Assistant managing editor at Marie Claire magazine, Dara Keithley, has more in common with the Syracuse University Ed2010 chapter than just her love of magazines. She’s also an alumna who was on the Ed2010 E-board herself. This Newhouse grad turned magazine-industry-insider started her career at Elle Décor and later moved to Marie Claire. There, she creates the editorial line up and the year long schedule, works with the advertising coordinator to match up editorial content with ads, and develops photo budgets, to name a few of her everyday duties.
Dara is the first and last person to sign off on the printable work and there isn’t a single page that she doesn’t go over. There’s no better person to gain insight about the inter-workings of a national magazine than a managing editor, like Dara.
Before getting her job, Dara interned at magazines like Seventeen and Art and Auction. She took advantage of her time at these magazines to hone her interests. Early on, she realized that she didn’t want to write, but still wanted to be involved in the magazine editing process. She suggested asking for one-on-one time from editors at your internships that you want to learn more about as well as sending hand written thank you notes when your experience there is all over and done with.
When it comes to jobs, Dara knows that even in a slow economy everyone needs to hire new staff members every now and then. She suggested sending your resume everywhere. Find alumni in mastheads or look on publisher’s websites to get a name to send it to. Find that connection. There’s a good chance that if there’s an SU alum, they’ll send along your email as a fellow Orangemen. Make sure to keep those connections, too, because you never know where these people will end up and where you will be able to reach out to them in the future.
While looking for internships or jobs, location is a key part to keeping the employers interested. Make sure you’re ready to start before you apply for your job/internship. Tentative plans are simply not good enough for employers.
Dara said that you have to be your own PR rep and market yourself as a brand. Create a great blog and put it on your resume, talk about the summer camp you worked for and tell them how it’s going to make you a great worker. Any skills you’ve gained from classes or projects are all valid for your resume and if you can tell them what exactly makes you a good candidate then they will believe it.
A big part of advocating yourself is also represented in what you wear. Dara said to remember that you always want to dress for the job you want and not the job you have.