Her Campus Graduating Cutie: Chelsea Cirruzzo '17

Every semester, Her Campus American watches as some of our best move on and graduate. This semester, Chelsea Cirruzzo, our beloved president, is leaving us to be a big-shot journalist. Chelsea embodies everything Her Campus stands for: integrity, boldness, and being true to yourself. She is a phenomenal writer (check out her articles here) and has advocated for our organization countless times since she joined Her Campus as a freshman. Chelsea will be dearly missed but we can’t wait to witness all the remarkable things she will accomplish in the real world. 

I sat down with Chelsea at 12:30 am (because she is a graduating senior and sleep is an illusion) to talk to her about her time at American University and Her Campus. This is Chelsea Cirruzzo:

Major/minor: Public Relations and Strategic Communication with a minor in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

 

Her Campus American University: Where did you grow up?

Chelsea Cirruzzo: Long Island, Northport, NY

HCAU: What have been your roles in Her Campus over the years?

CC: I started out as a feature writer, writing articles every week. When I was a sophomore I became a social media editor and then junior year I was vice president. Now I’m the president.

HCAU: Which role did you like the best?

CC: This is kind of a cop out but I loved being the president. It was kind of scary and difficult but getting to see everything from the top down made the previous roles I had as writer, social media editor, and vice president make a lot more sense. I got to see how much goes into every single moving part. I also liked being part of all the other media leaders who are amazing. I really enjoyed being able to create a relationship with She’s the First as president. They're an amazing organization that fosters women's education and they continuously demonstrate their amazing social conscience. We love working with them.

HCAU: What was your favorite part of being on Her Campus?

CC: I loved taking part in Women of the Year. It was such a great way to get to know women on campus and see all the incredible things they’ve done. When I was a freshman, the president at the time invited me to Women of the Year because she knew I wanted to be more involved. Being part of that really made me want to become more active and get to know all the people I was surrounded by in the organization.

HCAU: Which woman inspires you most?

CC: My mom. I call her almost every day and ask for advice. She always has the right thing to say and she always knows what I am thinking. For instance, when I was wondering if I should take a job in DC, my mom sent me this long text about how proud she was and, although it would be hard for her, she knows this is what I want to do. Having that support system in your life is irreplaceable.

HCAU: Looking at the women that inspire you, when people look at you, what do you think they are inspired by?

CC: How passionate I am about what I do. I am so passionate about women and writing and women being honestly reflected in the media. I think my passion for that shines through and I hope others can see that.

HCAU: Is that where you eventually want to end up: working with women and writing?

CC: Yeah, I would love to have my own women’s magazine at some point. Right now I am interested in the news, but I want something that is more inclusive and intersectional. That’s something I can’t do on my own and I would definitely need guidance and most likely get stuff wrong but I am open to whatever that would be.

HCAU: Do you have a name in mind?

CC: TBD.

HCAU: Do you have a women’s magazine that you read now that you consider close to what you are hoping to achieve?

CC: I definitely read Allure a lot. I read Teen Vogue and began to re-read Seventeen. Seventeen was a magazine I grew up with and I think it’s amazing how they are speak to girls who are at their most vulnerable stage in life. The content they put out is so important and I think they’ve done a great job at addressing issues young girls have.

HCAU: Do you have a personal brand?

CC: I’m funnier on the internet. I wear a ton of dresses and dark lipstick. And I write a lot - about everything.

HCAU: So you have a lipstick brand that you go to?

CC: Honestly, Elf.

*At this point, Chelsea goes into her bag and pulls out several lipsticks and glosses. The one in her bag right now is Revlon, but she managed to pull out an Elf at the very bottom as well.*

HCAU: If your house was burning down right now, what object would you try most to save? Excluding your phone and laptop.

CC: I would probably save my makeup bag. I love everything involved in the process of makeup; I even love taking it off. One day I am going to have an art gallery full of my makeup wipes so you can see all the different colors.

HCAU: What would you say to people that think makeup is a mask to cover imperfections and people who wear it are not really showing their genuine self?

CC: I have oily skin and acne and I don’t want people to see that. I have blemishes and that’s fine but I would just prefer not to have them, which I think is natural. Also, I love wearing colorful lipsticks because people can talk to me about them and I feel more confident.

HCAU: If an alien came down, what advice would you give them about surviving on Earth?

CC: You don’t have to like everything and everyone. What’s best for you is solid. I think people are often good intentioned but they don’t deserve your time if they are not treating you well.

HCAU: How have you changed since freshman year?

CC: I think I’ve gotten more confident and branched out. Freshman year I was really shy. Once I took the time to set my goals, I learned I could meet them. Now I see myself more as a leader and a mentor than a follower.

HCAU: What has been your best experience at AU?

CC: Winning the New York Women in Communications Hearst scholarship when I was a sophomore. Getting recognized for my desire to achieve in communications and getting to travel to NY and be amongst women such as Katie Couric and Gloria Steinem has set off an unprecedented series of events in my life. Not only has it opened doors to other opportunities, but I feel more inspired to be like those women who have been trailblazers in their fields.

HCAU: What’s your favorite book?

CC: Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. Her prose and essays are impactful and she doesn’t hold back. There’s nothing fake about her. She doesn’t apologize for the space she occupies.

HCAU: How have you responded to criticism in your writing?

I think feedback is so important. I listen to every criticism because there is value in it and I can always learn from it. Every writer needs to be able to listen.

HCAU: What advice would you give to underclassmen?

CC: Follow what you are passionate about. Don’t just pick a major because you think it will make you money or your parents want you to do it. This is your life: do what you love. Don’t play it safe.

 

Thank you for everything you’ve done for Her Campus, Chelsea. Go out there and kill it!

HCXO,

Her Campus American

 

All photo credits go to the graduating cutie! 

A senior at American University who enjoys reading banned books and drinking overpriced coffee. 

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