world wide web--dynamic, multi-tasking, and talented, jyll saskin, a tufts university junior is the epitome of today's student style journalist: in addition to a killer eye for clothes and a passion for fashion she has a strong work ethic, a host of interests outside of clothing, and an amazing gig as fashion editor of thecampusword.com, a web site that provides college journalists and students a platform to freely voice their opinions on college life. we had a chat - literally, on google chat - with her this sunday where we discussed everything from her duties at thecampusword.com, to her love for burlesque dancing. writers, and aspiring writer, take notes. this is one student editor who has a lot to treach.....
5:01 PM i'm all set now if you are
jsassy: yup, i'm set
5:03 PM me: so tell us a little bit about you and what you do for the campus word
5:05 PM jsassy: i'm a junior at tufts university in boston, majoring in psychology and child development, but i've always had a love for fashion. in june, i was asked to be the fashion editor at tcw (the campus word). basically, i write an article every week, and then i'm in charge of running a fashion staff of about 7 writers - approving their topics, editing their articles, choosing what gets published. and i get paid to do it! it's my absolute dream job
5:06 PM me: it sounds fabulous! how did you land it?
5:07 PM jsassy: well i used to be a fashion columnist at my school paper, the tufts daily, and i've been copy editing there as well for a few semesters. last february, tcw sent out an e-mail to the entire staff of the tufts daily, along with other college newspapers looking for writers, so i replied and was hired as a fashion writer
the site was extremely small back then, i never knew it would take off like it has
5:08 PM me: we've checked out the site and totally love it. it's more in depth and very professional for a "student run" site
jsassy: thank you. i take my job very seriously, so it's very important to me that it's well-edited and that we're taken as a serious source for fashion journalism
5:09 PM me: is it a challenge juggling between your duties there
and being a student?
5:10 PM jsassy: oh definitely! my housemates joke that they never see me, because i also do a ton of extra-curricular things at tufts. but i know that i'm a student first, fashion editor second, and everything else comes third. it has to be that way in order for me to be successful, but the balance can get difficult at times
5:11 PM me: wow!
how old are you again?
jsassy: haha i'm 20
me: you sound very driven and focused!
jsassy: thank you! i am... i went to an all-girl's school for 12 years that had this inane motto "girls can do anything." but i was always taught that i could handle anything and everything, and i really took that to heart. if i'm not constantly busy and working on something, i get bored
5:12 PM me: lots of my blaynistas (what i call the fabulous folks who read my blog) are students like you.
and just like you
they are passionate about a career in fashion.
do you have any advice for them
on how to reach their goals?
5:13 PM jsassy: wow... there are so many different ways to get into the industry, i wouldn't know where to start
where we are: fashion journalism
jsassy: i guess the most important thing is to really be passionate about fashion, and not just read a magazine here and there, but read critically, analyze the trends, look at podcasts, know who's who
me: lots of folks are trying to break into that.....
5:14 PM jsassy: if you are still in college, write for the school paper, or send me an application to write for tcw :)
try to get published anywhere you can to build up a portfolio
and if you are good at what you do, you will be noticed
i guess that's the other hard thing - lot's of people want to be fashion journalists, but not everyone is good at it. and i don't mean that in a mean or conceited way, but you have to know what your strengths are and then play to them
5:15 PM me: if that's not sound advice, i don't know what is!!!!
what do you think is next for you after tufts?
5:16 PM jsassy: well i'd like to go to business school. you don't need anything higher than a bachelor's degree to be a fashion journalist, but i'd like to be an editor one day and an MBA is something that could really help me achieve that goal
and then i'd like to be a beauty editor at one of the nyc mags, and one day become editor-in-chief at an existing one or start my own
5:17 PM me: very ambitious and all very possible.
you mentioned that readers could reach out to you
if they want to write for the college word
jsassy: *the campus word
5:18 PM me: already in editing mode! thank you! :-)
jsassy: haha i can't resist
me: can you provide us with your email address or should
readers just go on the website and contact a general email there?
5:19 PM jsassy: if you want to work at tcw, fashion or otherwise, then e-mail email@example.com and if you're interested in fashion, your info will be forwarded to me. they'll ask for a resume and writing samples, so be prepared for that. it's a great opportunity and a great way to make money during college
5:20 PM me: can you tell us what the rates are or is that confidential at this point?
jsassy: no it's not confidential
hired writers get paid US$15 per published article and are required to submit 3 articles per month
5:21 PM me: oh, not bad!
many places won't even give you transportation money
for what you write!
jsassy: it's not bad at all! these are beginning journalists, so it's so great to get paid in addition to all the great exposure
5:22 PM me: i wish i had that when i was starting out! by the way, since this is a fashion blog, we can't resist asking...with the holidays
5:23 PM around the corner, what do you plan on wearing
to the inevitable round of holiday parties
5:24 PM jsassy: my biggest dilemma! i just bought this beautiful 3.1 phillip lim black jumper on sale, so that with black tights and black marc by marc jacobs platform mary-janes is a definite contender. i also have this awesome dvf black dress with a red band around the bust that looks like lips, so since red is so festive (and my favourite colour) that's a contender as well, maybe with black ankle boots?
5:25 PM oh and by jumper i mean a type of dress, not a sweater!
5:27 PM me: lol!
5:28 PM i think the style savvy audience got that.
jsassy: i know in harry potter a jumper is a sweater haha
me: personally, i'm all about dvf, but i woud go
with the philip lim piece. it sounds fab!
jsassy: thank you! best part: it was 40% off :)
me: oh smart and stylish!!!
speaking of which, how would you
describe your personal style?
5:30 PM jsassy: well my mother always taught me two important style lessons: 1) less is more, and 2) quality over quantity. i'd call my personal style trendy-chic with a sexy twist. i like dressing with the trends but i'll never wear a trend simply because it's a trend, it has to look good on me and be flattering. and i love anything that sparkles - american apparel lame is my unhealthy obsession!!
5:31 PM me: oh then we share the same sicknes.
i live for them!
jsassy: i just got the track jacket in silver lame - i get the craziest stares around campus, but i absolutely love it
me: thanks so much ms. j. we were impressed with you to begin with but after telling us your style secrets, we are official fans!
5:32 PM jsassy: thanks zandile, it was such a pleasure!
me: thank YOU! oh and one last thing, we love compliments here, so could you please tell us why you like the blay report!?
5:34 PM jsassy: well i love the blay report because it gives me an inside scoop into what's happening in london fashion. it's great amidst all the talk of new york new york new york - don't get my wrong, i heart new york, but london fashion is so unique and special, and you do a great job of covering that
5:35 PM me: ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! i'm beaming!
jsassy: anytime :) enjoy the rest of your weekend!