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Glamour’s 20 Amazing Young Women: Annie Wang, Co-founder of Her Campus

Annie was honored as one of Glamour’s 20 Amazing Young Women at the 2010 Glamour Women of the Year Awards. Read about the other honorees here.

Name:

Annie Wang

Age:

21

Year in school and school:

On leave of absence from Harvard University (originally class of 2011)

Your email address:

annie@hercampus.com

Your website:

www.HerCampus.com

Your “claim to fame” – aka why you were part of Glamour’s 20 Amazing Young Women!:

Starting and running the website HerCampus.com, an online magazine for college women, along with co-founders Windsor Hanger and Stephanie Kaplan!

What are you doing to change the world?

Defining what it means to be a profitable online magazine

What was your inspiration for this?

Previous success running a similar publication with my fabulous co-founders

What is a quotation or message that drives you?

“Arete” – a Greek word meaning “virtue and excellence”

What has been your proudest accomplishment so far?

Being named to Inc. Magazine’s 2010 30 Under 30 Young Entrepreneurs – and being the youngest on the list!

At what one point did you really feel like you’d made an impact?

When I live video-chatted and answered audience questions on Inc.com for Her Campus in front of 1,100+ people and had some of my sound bytes re-tweeted on Twitter!

What would you say was the “coolest” moment in your life thus far?

Being named one of the 25 most stylish Bostonians in 2010! I knew I had gained traction as an entrepreneur, but this honor took it to a whole new level :)

What is a challenge you’ve faced while trying to achieve your goals?

Trying to balance all the components of my life – school, work, faith, and relationships. Taking a leave of absence from Harvard to pursue Her Campus fulltime was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and has obviously helped me overcome this challenge!

If someone gave you a million dollars to benefit your cause (or your research, your company, etc.) what would you use it for?

Donate half to my church’s social justice mission fund and use the other half to research restoring hearing loss in children.

In 10 years I hope… to be a household name, known as both a stellar entrepreneur and also a humanitarian who has used her gifts to bless the world.

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this?

Finishing up my senior year at Harvard

What 3 adjectives would people use to describe you?

Creative, iconoclastic, excitable

What is your biggest weakness?

Being too excited about everything. It makes saying no difficult at times.

Who is your hero and why?

Jesus Christ. He loved the unlovable and died for those who rejected him.

Who is your biggest cheerleader, supporting you every step of the way?
My dad.  I remember that in the first few months of Her Campus’s existence, Dayton, Ohio was our #3 traffic source after New York City and Boston.  That was all him.  Of course, since then, our traffic has really jumped and unfortunately he is no longer #3.  But he’s still my #1 fan!  (Cheese intended.)
 
Describe your idea of a perfect day.
Wake up at 9:30 am with sunlight streaming into the corners of my room (but not on me).  Take a few hours for a “personal spa day.”  Read a book or magazine on my bed among a posse of cheerful and adorable stuffed animals.  Eat a delicious and healthy sandwich (and also rosemary French fries) for lunch with a friend and shop alone on Newbury Street in Boston (shopping is always best done alone!).  Fall asleep listening to the Pearl Harbor soundtrack and take a nap.  Wake up at 6:00 pm for dinner and be pleasantly surprised by my boyfriend’s offer to cook for me.  Check and respond to emails while he cooks something really simple (like salmon and broccoli, while I fry a couple eggs) for dinner.  Make and eat a crepe with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and Nutella for dessert.  Watch a few episodes of Modern Family or go out to see a movie afterwards.  Finish up with a couple rounds of Starcraft with the guys.  Sleep at 1:00 am.
 
What do you like to do outside of your work? 
Shop insatiably for dresses and accessories.  Play Starcraft and Super Smash Brothers (video games).  Shoot hoops with guy friends.  Sing and play guitar with my small group.  Play cards (especially Spades and Bridge) and boardgames (Settlers, Clue, Vegas Showdown).  Have long late-night conversations with my best friend.
 
Which of this year’s Glamour WOTY award winners would you most like to meet and why? 
Cher – I’d love to hear her talk more about the Heroes Project.  It has that rare quality of being simple yet powerful, and utterly unlike anything I’ve come across before.  Also, Dr. Hawa Abdi – her courage and graceful way of blessing the world with her talents is truly inspirational.  I desire for my life to be as meaningful as hers.
 
What was your favorite part of Glamour’s WOTY Awards? 
Watching the short videos preceding each of the honorees’ acceptance speeches.  They were incredibly touching and moved me to tears several times!
 
What did you wear to Glamour’s WOTY Awards? 
I wore a black mid-thigh Robert Rodriguez embroidered dress with fun black sequin and satin ribbon embellishments, cap sleeves, and shoulder pads!  Paired it with black satin Chinese Laundry peeptoe pumps with a shiny black bow at the front and the Lauren Merkin Eve clutch in Pewter Metallic Bubble.  My jewelry consisted of a ridiculous pair of giant faceted crystal post earrings and an opulent cuff by Ann Taylor.
 
Who did you bring as your guest to Glamour’s WOTY Awards? 
I brought my college roommate Megan.  Megan is not only one of my best friends, but also actually knows everything there is to know about the red carpet regulars.  I guessed (correctly) that she would find the Glamour WOTY Awards simply blissful.
 
Who do you think should win a Glamour WOTY Award next year? 
Angelina Jolie
 
What is your favorite thing about Glamour magazine? 
As a designer myself, I really appreciate attention to detail in typography and layout.  The first time I opened Glamour, I was immediately blown away by its elegant choice of complementary fonts and the arrangement of elements on the page.  Glamour is a prime example of why magazines are so delicious to flip through and read!
 
What does “glamour” mean to you? 
Glamour is all about being a star – an extraordinary light in the darkness, an example to behold, admire, and inspire change.
 
How does it feel to be honored as one of Glamour Magazine’s 20 young women who are already changing the world? 
In the past, I never understood it when individuals said they felt humbled to receive honors.  Shouldn’t one swell with pride rather than humility when accepting an award? Now, upon receiving recognition for my own achievements, I understand the reasons for feelings of humility.  I feel an elation and pride that are tempered by an awareness that this recognition is not mine alone.  Nor is it true that I was the only one deserving of the award.  Most importantly, I acknowledge and accept increased expectations of acting with responsibility, excellence, and integrity, for my recognition by Glamour is not lightly awarded. 
 
What advice would you give to our college women readers? 
Don’t forget to self-reflect often.  Doing so can protect you from being dishonest with yourself, and can also heal spells of creator’s block (I believe everyone is a creator).

Cara Sprunk has been the Managing Editor of Her Campus since fall 2009. She is a 2010 graduate of Cornell University where she majored in American Studies with a concentration in cultural studies. At Cornell Cara served as the Assistant Editor of Red Letter Daze, the weekend supplement to the Cornell Daily Sun where she also wrote for the news and arts section and blogged about pop culture. In her free time Cara enjoys reading, shopping, going to the movies, exploring and writing.  
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