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HC Drexel Goes to Her Conference


Being part of the Her Campus family means being part of an online community of powerful, determined, intelligent women from around the globe. For the past three years these women have gathered in New York City for the Her Campus National Intercollegiette Conference to meet face-to-face, bond over their shared passions, and make tons of friends. Our Co-Campus Correspondents Lindsey Thompson and Aubrey Nagle joined the HC Team at Columbia University July 12 to unite with their online family.

Columbia’s beautiful library! (Hagerty is jealous)

The day began with a delicious breakfast of baked goods, hot coffee, Chobani yogurt and mini Luna Bars! Then the collegiettes had the chance to hear Carley Roney, the co-founder and Chief Content Officer of XO Group Inc. (home of The Knot, The Nest, and The Bump brands) speak about her career. 

As the leader of a global media brand, Roney is incredibly candid and funny as well as inspiring. She and her husband created a small wedding website during the infanthood of the World Wide Web in 1996. In the less than twenty years since, The Knot has grown into a multimedia content offering which serves 80% of U.S. brides each year, has spun off into lifestyle and parenting brands and has expanded into China! Of her unlikely and mistake-ridden path to the top, Roney said, “Imperfect is where it’s at!”

Roney’s top advice is don’t think too hard about the risks you need to take when starting a business. When you over-analyze every opportunity, you can convince yourself out of anything. “Once you start editing yourself you don’t have the creativity to come up with the next big idea,” she said.

A giant screen showed all of our social media posts throughout the day – so meta!

After Roney’s breakfast keynote speech, the HC team broke out into smaller seminar groups to learn about everything from entry-level editorial positions to how to create a career in marketing. We learned that luckily, the devil doesn’t always wear Prada – but when she does, it’s usually because she works in fashion!

Women from Us Weekly, Lucky magazine, and The Huffington Post spoke to magazine hopefuls about their first jobs in the biz and founders of Second Glass, VIVE Lifestyle, and BrightCo shared stories of their entrepreneurial success. Representatives from Amplify, Kickstarter, BirchBox and The United Nations talked about their experiences in the tech world and marketing mavens from Makr, APCO Worldwide, and Ogilvy gave advice on marketing career paths.

The second block of panels included editors from Cosmopolitan, New York Daily News, OKMagazine.com and Lucky magazine who gave us the inside scoop on climbing up the magazine career ladder. Strategists and executives from StyleHouse, Siren, ID Public Relations, and L’Occitane en Provence explained what it means to work in PR. Writers and photographers published everywhere from The New Yorker, Glamour, and Vanity Fair to Maxim, ELLE, and Mashable let us in on secrets to the freelance life. The founders of The College Prepster, Design Darling, and Bows & Sequins told collegiettes how they found their blogging niches. Both panel sessions were crazy informative for collegiettes interested in every aspect of the media industry.

Jennifer Bruno speaks to a rapt crowd of collegiettes. 

After a super filling lunch of Chipotle (yum!!) the entire HC family sat tight while the Publisher and Chief Revenue Officer of Town & Country, Jennifer Bruno, shared her career story. Rising through advertising sales and publishing at countless magazines, Bruno eventually landed her current gig at Town & Country, where she has guided the magazine to its best increases in revenue and ad paging in over six years! Wherever Bruno’s career took her, she improved the brands she oversaw and gained insight into the industry.

Never one to pat herself on the back or put others down, Bruno’s philosophy is “You live in the moment, you do a good job, and people find you.” We were fortunate enough to get to view some of the multimedia presentations her team puts together for advertisers, and they were fascinating. We definitely saw that when Bruno says, “You need to be the best. It’s that simple,” she means it.

Our favorite piece of advice from Bruno was, “We must think of transformation as a marathon, not a sprint.” When we think about our transformations from tiny freshman to smart seniors, we know she’s right!

Adorable mini cupcakes during our networking hour!

The last panel session of the day saw collegiettes sharing tips on how to run their chapters and learning how to make the best impact on campus that we can. You know what that means: a bigger, stronger Her Campus Drexel for the 2014-2015 school year! We also got to network with our fellow collegiettes and participate in some awesome raffles. (CC Aubrey even won an adorable Chloe + Isabel necklace.)

The first day of Her Conference was amazing, and we hope our fellow collegiettes have an amazing time at Day 2. It was a learning experience that we will treasure forever. Did we mention the INSANE goody bags we received?

HC Swag, snacks, books, makeup, jewelry, coupons, and more!

Thank you to all of the Her Conference sponsors and the Her Campus founders for making our day so great.

Perks like attendance at the Her Conference are not the only benefits of being part of the HC Team. Email LindseyThompson@Hercampus.com for information on how to get involved with Her Campus Drexel!

Aubrey Nagle is an English major at Drexel University. She is currently a Features intern at Marie Claire and has previously interned Seventeen and Philadelphia magazine. She loves everything about pop culture and someday hopes to be a culture critic or an Entertainment Director for a women's magazine or national newspaper.To view her clips visit aubreynagle.contently.com and follow her on Twitter @aubsn.
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