Updated: May 13, 2021
Article by Katie Pietrangelo
For our first installment of “She’s In Season”, I was thrilled to interview and get some industry insights from the lovely Megan Uy, an assistant shopping editor at Cosmopolitan Magazine. Megan was able to tell me about herself and her experience in the editorial world as well as share some fantastic advice for those aspiring to be fashion/editorial professionals.
Megan currently lives in the West Village in New York City and absolutely loves it. New York is a one-of-a-kind city that Megan described as “refreshing and so liberating” as she grew up in a small town in California. She appreciates the city for its excitement and overall sense of motivation that radiates off everybody that lives there. The energy of NYC is unmatched and definitely as Megan noted one of the best cities in the world.
Megan started out in the Bronx while she attended Manhattan College where she majored in communications with a concentration in journalism and minored in psychology. During her time in college, she had several editorial internships/roles at magazines such as In Touch Weekly, Closer Weekly, Life & Style Weekly Magazine, People Magazine, and Delish + House Beautiful. Megan began her journey at Cosmopolitan as an editorial fellow. It should be noted that Cosmo is a publication within Hearst Magazines. In addition to Cosmopolitan, Hearst Magazines is the publisher of other esteemed and iconic magazines like Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and Women’s Health.
Her fellowship was intended to be six months, but it was extended an extra seven months due to the pandemic. While she was a fellow, she primarily worked with the social media editor but once she expressed interest in writing about a wide range of topics, she was given the green light to start writing for almost every vertical including celebrity news, fashion, and some beauty and lifestyle.
She was thankful for the extension of the fellowship that eventually led to a full-time job because, for her, Cosmo was the ‘dream’. Megan had always been a reader of Cosmo since high school. She loves the humorous undertone of many of their articles and how Cosmo is able to touch on hard topics in a more casual way while still being very polished and graceful.
A little over a month ago, Megan became one of the assistant shopping editors at Cosmo. She explained how she enjoys her role not only because she has been a long-time fan of the publication, but because her views and her voice align well with the magazine. She feels like she can talk about topics that she and the readers will care about which makes her job very rewarding.
“It doesn't even feel like I really like officially writing, you know, it just feels like I'm sending a text message or something to a friend... At Cosmo, you’re able to express yourself in a way that reflects your own personality but is still definitely Cosmo-esq. It's very sassy, sarcastic, but in a fun way and is still very informative and affirmative” Megan said.
As an assistant shopping editor, she gets to write about many topics within the shopping lens like “40 Cute Activewear Brands That’ll Take Over Your Closet” or “27 Cookbooks for Beginners That’ll Turn You Into Ina Herself”. She loves this aspect of her position because it allows for her to write about a variety of areas while also helping the readers find quality products.
When asking Megan about her experience in the editorial world, she gave me some great tips for students trying to make their way into the industry. Her most important piece of advice was just to “Write, Write, Write, Write!” If you want to be a writer, you’re going to need quality writing samples.
“At the end of the day, [the writing samples] matter just as much as your diploma,” she said.
She said your samples don’t have to be specific in the area you are applying to get into; for Megan, her samples she sent to People for her internship were from her school newspaper and did not have much to do with fashion. The higher-ups know that your experience may be somewhat limited, so they just want to see good quality writing samples from anywhere. In fact, a fresh mind out of college, someone that doesn’t have much experience in the area may be more of a benefit to the company as they can mold you and teach their ways of writing or as Megan said, they taught her “the Cosmo way”.
She also suggested that students should keep an eye out for any available opportunities at places they would enjoy working especially on the website ED2010 as that is where she found all of her internships. When picking an internship, Megan advises that college students should be open to what is available but also know their worth and where they would like to end up; take advantage of opportunities but not settle for a role that may not help them in the long run in reaching their ultimate career goals. Don’t be afraid of starting off in a position where you may be writing about something that is out of your wheelhouse because you don’t need to be there forever but just make sure it is benefitting your writing as a whole in some way.
Finally, Megan said getting your name published anywhere is the goal because employers really just want to see how you write and to understand your voice. At the end of the day, she pointed out how important it is to not give up and keep persevering.