On Friday, representatives from Columbia Home Magazine held a roundtable discussion with graphic design, fashion communication and marketing students about their future upon graduation.
The magazine staff included vice president group publisher Chris Harrison, publisher Angela Huhman, director of sales Erica Pefferman and digital assets manager Kristi McCann. Stephens’ student-run marketing firm, Creative Ink, sponsored the discussion.
“At the beginning of each semester, [professor] Kate Gray asks us to tell her what speakers we want to hear from and this year a lot of girls wanted to hear from magazine industry influencers,” Michelle Niewald, senior and Creative Ink firm director, said. “I think it’s important to hear from industry professionals because they provide a lot of information about getting into the industry, struggles we face as new graduates, and what it takes to succeed.”
Each spoke of their education, internship and job experience at both corporate and small business levels.
“Get your feet wet. Find out what you like and what you don’t like,” Harrison told the audience. As the vice president group publisher of three local magazines and a national trade magazine, Harrison says flexibility is key.
Pefferman also spoke of the importance of flexibility and the idea of always learning.
“Be a continual student,” she said. The staff cited open communication, curiosity and having a supportive team as elements of their continued success. They spent most of their time speaking on behalf of their company’s culture and advised students to be observant of the cultures at the different companies in which they interview.
Columbia Home has 15 full-time employees, which allows for a piece of ownership in each project. McCann has only been working at the magazine for two months but says the atmosphere allows for her to work alongside different departments and executives, which is not always available at larger companies.
“I know it sounds cheesy, but I love my job. I enjoy going to work every single day,” McCann said.
Whether interests lie in editorial, sales or graphics, the possibilities in this convergent day and age are endless.
Story by senior Paula Goldenberg