How She Got There: Olivia Muenter, Associate Fashion & Beauty Editor at Bustle

Name: Olivia Muenter
Age: 22
Job Title and Description: Associate Fashion & Beauty Editor at Bustle — I cover everything from fashion/beauty news to health tips. A lot of my job involves optimizing fashion, beauty and lifestyle content for Pinterest, as well. I have a team of 10 or so writers who I work with throughout the week.
College Name/Major: University of Florida/Journalism
Instagram Handle: @oliviamuenter
Twitter Handle: @oliviamuenter

What does your current job at Bustle entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day? 

Olivia Muenter: Every day is slightly different! On Mondays, I work with writers to cover breaking fashion and beauty news, and the rest of the week I work with a team of writers to create service content. Service content is basically any article that involves tips, tricks or hacks. Sometimes there are other opportunities that pop up, like covering fun events or fashion and beauty previews, and I do that stuff as well.

What is the best part of your job?

OM: I love working with so many different writers, since that’s how I started with Bustle myself. It’s fun to assign, read and edit so much different and unique content during a day, even if it is a lot of work sometimes. I also really enjoy working for a site that’s goal is to empower and support women; it’s amazing to be around so many creative, inspiring people every day. I also love being able to go to fun events, interview celebrities now and then and get free beauty products — that never hurts, of course. 

What is one thing you wish you knew about the editorial industry when you first started out that you know now?

​OM: I wish I knew just how different it would be going from interning seemingly 24/7 and being in college to having an actual “9 to 5” (no one in NY works just 9 to 5, though — another thing I wish I would have known) job. I think any new job is going to be a huge transition, but I think your first one after college is especially overwhelming at first as you have nothing to compare it to. I wish I was more prepared for that.

Since you’ve done a lot of editing and writing on beauty and fashion, do you have any tips for college women hoping to break into those specific verticals?

​OM: I think the biggest piece of advice I could give to any woman who’s hoping to work at a fashion magazine or publication is to let go of the idea of a “dream job” entirely. This sounds kind of odd, but especially in the field of fashion and beauty journalism, I think many girls get swept up with the idea of working at XYZ publication instead of  actively discovering the specific type of work that makes them happy and what exactly makes them tick. The fact of the matter is that even if a certain job title sounds like it would look super cool on your Instagram bio, in reality you might not be a fan of the company culture or the everyday requirements of the job itself. Focus on the actual activities and challenges that make you feel the most fulfilled, and try to find a job (and, before that, internships and other opportunities) that fits those parameters instead. 

Who is one person who changed your professional life for the better?

​OM: I can’t think of one person in particular, but being involved in my college’s magazine club really changed my professional career. It was where I heard about Bustle to begin with, actually, and what motivated me to apply for an internship when I (and no one else) had ever heard of the brand new site before. I also made a ton of connections who now live in New York and work in similar fields. 

What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?

​OM: I don’t remember where exactly I heard this advice, but I’ve gotten in the habit of this little go-to routine whenever I feel worried, embarrassed, overwhelmed — basically any negative emotion. I get out my iPhone, open up a note, type out the following questions and answer them: What’s bothering you? Can you control what’s bothering you? If the answer is yes: What’s in your control? Then I write out a few simple things I can do that are actually in my control to feel better, and then do those things. This works every single time, without fail, to help me feel a little better. No matter what’s going on.

What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?

​OM: Too many to count, ha! Specifically, though, I think that I thought graduating college, moving to New York by myself, and starting a new (and my first ever) job would be a lot easier than it actually was. I’m a very independent person, but adapting to all that sudden, intense change was much more difficult than I was anticipating, so I spent the first few months scrambling to feel settled and confident, and I felt a little bit like a failure — that it wasn’t okay for me to feel so overwhelmed. But sometimes it’s good to feel a little shaken up, I think. You get through it. I wish I would have realized that at the time. 

What has been the most surreal moment of your career thus far?

​OM: I covered the red carpet for Glamour’s Women of the Year awards this year as well as attended the event. It was cool to be up close and personal with so many celebrities I admire (Victoria Beckham, Reese Witherspoon, Karlie Kloss, Serena Williams), but I specifically got to talk to Jenna Lyons (creative director of J.Crew) for a bit, and I’ve been a fan of hers for as long as I can remember. I fangirled hard. 

What advice would you give to a college woman with similar aspirations?

​OM: Yes, it’s important to get internships. To push yourself. To try to get better at your craft. To have a brand, or an aesthetic &mdash to figure out what your skills are. But, at the end of the day, jobs will come and go. I think it’s more important to remember the stuff that no one talks about enough: That no one’s life looks like their Instagram page in reality. That it’s okay to be a mess, or to not know exactly what you want to do, or feel totally overwhelmed sometimes. Because tomorrow is a new day, and whatever ways you messed up today are only opportunities to be better and more creative tomorrow. To always say yes to extra guac. And to celebrate every single moment that you feel successful or beautiful or strong or intelligent and to never, ever apologize for it.

 

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