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Glamour’s 20 Amazing Young Women: Stephanie Kaplan, Co-founder of Her Campus

Stephanie 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.

Stephanie Kaplan


Year in school and school:
Harvard University 2010

Your email address:


Your website:


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

Co-founder, CEO & Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus Media (HerCampus.com)- an online magazine for college women with branches at 70+ schools across the country that I co-founded with Windsor Hanger and Annie Wang

What are you doing to change the world?

Creating an online hub for college women and providing a model for the future of online magazines.

What was your inspiration for this?

Windsor, Annie and I met as undergrads at Harvard through running Harvard’s lifestyle and fashion magazine. We transitioned it entirely online, and in doing so came to recognize two needs that existed: 1) the need for an online hub for college women- there is no other media that specifically targets college women, and 2) the need for a platform for aspiring student journalists to get their work published on a national stage. With this dual mission in mind, as well as the challenge of figuring out how media could survive and thrive in the digital world, we entered Harvard’s business plan competition (the i3 Innovation Challenge) with our idea for Her Campus, and won.

What is a quotation or message that drives you?

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.

What has been your proudest accomplishment so far?

Seeing so many of our writers receive job and internship offers at top media brands including the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) Intern Program and at Seventeen, Glamour, Teen Vogue, Marie Claire, InStyle, Harper’s Bazaar, Hearst Digital Media Teen Network (Seventeen.com, CosmoGirl.com, DonateMyDress.org), O magazine, Reader’s Digest, Women’s Wear Daily, Details magazine, Us magazine, and Star magazine, among others.

At what one point did you really feel like you’d made an impact?
I was floored when Windsor, Annie and I were named to Inc. magazine’s 30 Under 30 Coolest Young Entrepreneurs list this past summer.  We were so honored to be on a list with such incredible entrepreneurs including the founders of Foursquare, LivingSocial, Rent the Runway, and more, and to receive this level of national recognition at such an early stage in our business—less than a year after our launch.
What would you say was the “coolest” moment in your life thus far?
Sitting at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards and being so close to so many huge celebrities and amazing and inspiring women.
What is a challenge you’ve faced while trying to achieve your goals?
We launched Her Campus at the start of my senior year at Harvard, and balancing running a business with being a full-time student was definitely difficult!  I learned how to prioritize and how to be as efficient as possible with my time.
If someone gave you a million dollars to benefit your cause (or your research, your company, etc.) what would you use it for?
Hiring more staffers to take on all of the exciting projects we’d love to pursue, an apartment/office in New York City, and Windsor, Annie and I would go on a massive shopping spree J
In 10 years I hope… to be doing something I love as much as what I’m doing right now.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this? 
I would be a writer.
What 3 adjectives would people use to describe you?
Ambitious, deliberate, stylish.
What is your biggest weakness?
I can’t go to sleep until I’ve cleared out my inbox.
Who is your hero and why?
My dad- he always reminds me to aim higher.
Who is your biggest cheerleader, supporting you every step of the way?
My mom- I think she spends more time on the Her Campus site than I do!
Describe your idea of a perfect day.
Shopping ‘til I drop at an outlet mall with my mom, laying outside by the pool and then going out to dinner with my family, or watching Sex and the City reruns all day with my best friends.
What do you like to do outside of your work?
Work out, bargain shop, not bargain shop, watch Grey’s Anatomy, spend time with my friends, family, and cat Sassy, read magazines (though I also do that for work), get mani/pedis, get frozen yogurt with my best friend Jackie, come up with new personal goals/projects for myself (last spring I completed my first half-marathon), organize my room, surf cuteoverload.com.
Which of this year’s Glamour WOTY award winners would you most like to meet and why?
I would most like to meet the female heads of state; I would love to hear about what it’s like to be the leaders of their countries.
What was your favorite part of Glamour’s WOTY Awards?
Hearing Julia Roberts tell girls everywhere to never tuck your hair behind your ears because it looks bad—I have since stopped doing that!
What did you wear to Glamour’s WOTY Awards?
A black and nude asymmetrical short dress by Adam from The Tannery in Harvard Square, a gold clutch by Lauren Merkin, and BCBGirls caged zippered shoes.
Who did you bring as your guest to Glamour’s WOTY Awards?
My mom!
Who do you think should win a Glamour WOTY Award next year? 
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg
What is your favorite thing about Glamour magazine?
I always feel better after reading it than I did beforehand.
What does “glamour” mean to you?
Confidence, style, and class.
How does it feel to be honored as one of Glamour Magazine’s 20 young women who are already changing the world?
What advice would you give to our college women readers?
Be confident in yourself and what you are capable of—you can accomplish anything if you are passionate enough and work hard enough.

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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