This week we met up with our lovely new editors, Jess Connolly and Charlie Cronin, to find out all about them – and their plans for Her Campus Durham this year.
Hi girls! Firstly tell us more about yourselves – where are you from and what are you studying here in Durham?
Jess: I’m from Newcastle (just down the train line), and I study History at Grey College.
Charlie: I’m originally from London and I study History with French. I decided to take a Joint Honours Degree because I’ve always been a bit of an ‘all-rounder’, and I enjoyed learning lots of different subjects at school.
And why did each of you choose to come to Durham?
Jess: I wanted to come to Durham because I went to a summer school here when I was in year 9 and had the best time! When I decided to take History I thought there were few better places than Durham. I’ve always been interested in History, largely because my dad loved it. We’d watch historical films like Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan together, and he’d always like to know what I was studying in History at school. I studied the History of Medicine at GCSE, then India under British Rule at A Level, and these areas have become my passion.
Charlie: I applied to Durham because a friend of mine had just graduated from here and really loved the experience – the college system really appealed to me, and events like College Days and the Summer Ball. I was also really excited about the prospect of spending a year in Paris for my Year Abroad. I just returned from Paris this summer, and it definitely lived up to my expectations!
When did you decide to write for Her Campus?
Jess: I picked up a Her Campus leaflet by chance outside the Freshers’ Fair in my first year at Durham, attracted by both the bright purple and the prospect of continuing writing! I’d done a lot of creative writing and reviewing at school.
Charlie: I started writing for Her Campus in second year because I’ve always been interested in journalism and fashion as a career. I love the ethos behind Her Campus as an online magazine, and the fact that there are different Chapters across the world, mainly in America as Her Campus originated at Harvard. Last year I was in charge of social media as well as being Deputy Editor, which was such great fun!
What have been your favourite articles to write for Her Campus so far?
Jess: My favourite articles are more often than not food-related. In our upcoming ‘Wine and Dine Week’ I’ve written a review of one of the many fabulous tearooms in Durham where I like to spend my time. Last year I really enjoyed writing a blog piece called ‘Remembering the Wizarding World’, which I wrote after a friend of mine told me that a whole class of primary school children didn’t know who Hermione Grainger was! Too sad.
Charlie: My favourite article so far has to be my ‘12 Ways To Become The Ultimate Sass Queen’ as it was so much fun to write – I used TV characters such as Blair Waldorf and Cher from Clueless as my inspiration! I like to write funny pieces with lots of GIFs, as they are easy for people to read whilst they’re procrastinating in the library.
Why did you take on the role of Campus Correspondant?
Jess: Last year I was Deputy Editor and had a great time working with and supporting our Editor and the rest of the exec. Most of all I enjoyed getting to know our writers as individuals and being familiar their writing styles – all the articles last year were fantastic! Charlie and I are really determined to make Her Campus Durham even bigger and better this year – hopefully to achieve a Pink Level status within the wider Her Campus community.
Charlie: I decided to apply for the role of Campus Correspondant as I am so enthusiastic about Her Campus! Both Jess and I are determined to get Durham to that Pink Level status. I’m so excited to work with a group of such amazing ladies, too!
Aside from your work with Her Campus, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Jess: Not many people know this but I am actually a black belt in Taekwondo! I am also a huge fan of cooking and baking (hence my love of food-related articles) as well as reading a really good book – there aren’t many things better!
Charlie: I am very obsessed with Instagram and I love taking photos of what I encounter in my day-to-day life. Yes I am one of those annoying people who take pictures of their food. It started in Paris, as it was a perfect way to document my year abroad. I’ve also been involved in Hild Bede Cheerleading Squad, which I loved – I couldn’t recommend it more. I love fashion, all things French and watching series on Netflix.
And what are your favourite things to do here in Durham?
Jess: There are so many great things about Durham but you just can’t fail to neglect how beautiful it is. As a History student I’m lucky enough to have some of my lectures on Palace Green! More generally, I’d say the best thing about Durham has to be the friends I’ve made here.
Charlie: One of my favourite things about Durham is its friendly and petite atmosphere. There are so many societies and events that are so uniquely Durham, which I really missed during my Year Abroad. In France, university is really just about studying and the majority of students live at home, so I love the fact that at Durham you get a great degree and it’s also really social!
You’re both final years students – any plans for after uni?
Jess: Although History will always be my passion, I’ve decided to apply to study Graduate Medicine after my History degree. After doing lots and lots of work experience this summer, I can’t imagine myself doing any other than working in a healthcare profession and helping people. Hopefully I’ll have time to carry on writing too!
Charlie: I’m not entirely sure what I want to do after university yet but perhaps something involving fashion, marketing or PR. I’d like be involved in a career where I can be creative, and where I can arrive at work happy because I love what I’m doing.
It was lovely catching up with you girls, thank you for your time and best of luck reaching that Pink Level this year!