Rachel Epstein: Her Campus FSU Editor-in-Chief

Introducing the one and only Rachel Epstein: Editor-in-Chief of (you guessed it) Her Campus FSU. As you can tell from the looks of our site (though we may be a little biased), she exemplifies dedication, ambition and hard work in everything she does. She has taken HCFSU to the next level and has truly defined a voice and purpose for this organization. Here Rachel fills us in on her time with the publication and her passion for the field.

Name: Rachel Epstein

Year: Junior

Major: English (Editing, Writing & Media) and Public Relations

Hometown: Coral Springs, FL

Photo By: Nicholas Kielbasa

Her Campus (HC): How long have you been in Her Campus and what positions have you held?

Rachel Epstein (RE): I have been a part of Her Campus for three years now (god, I’m old). I started as a staff writer with my own column in fall 2013 and then I became a content editor the following semester. I applied to become Editor-in-Chief spring 2014, began spring 2015 and have held the position ever since. I’ve had a passion for magazines since I was 12 years old, and Her Campus FSU really allowed me to translate this passion into reality. I’ll never forget the first time I went on Her Campus FSU after I saw someone shared a story from the website on Facebook (shoutout to Sydney Schaefer)!

HC: Where did you gain your experience in the magazine industry?

RE: I started to find my voice when I joined Her Campus FSU, but it wasn’t until I landed an internship at DuJour the summer after my freshman year where I really learned about the editorial world. I owe everything I know today to my two bosses at DuJour—they’re amazing people and took a chance on a freshman with little experience. The following summer I became a digital editorial intern at Harper’s BAZAAR where I fell in love with the digital magazine world. From building articles in a content management system to market research to curating content, I try and take what I’ve learned in my internships and incorporate it into Her Campus FSU as many ways as possible.

HC: How do you operate as Editor-in-Chief?

RE: I don’t set expectations (well I do, but not how you think). Everyone has different experiences and skills and you can’t expect them to know what you’re talking about at all times. You have to use communication in diverse ways so you can be easily understood by multiple people—just picture communicating with 80 different girls! Whether that means sending emails multiple times or having to repeat yourself at meetings—you have to do whatever it takes. You also have to let people know that you’re open and there for them—I really think that's key. At the end of the day you just need to be human. 

Courtesy: Rachel Epstein

HC: Describe your personal experience as a member of Her Campus FSU.

RE: Her Campus has helped me improve not only as a writer and editor, but also as a person. I love that we're not only a publication, but an organization. Her Campus has shaped me into the person I am today and even introduced me to some of my best friends. It's been amazing watching the rest of the staff grow and become friends with eachother too.

HC: What is your favorite Her Campus FSU memory? 

RE: There are so many, but one of the best moments was when I found out we received 88,000 page views and became the number one chapter in the nation during my first semester as Editor-in-Chief. I also really enjoy the Her Campus Tour. When nationals visited last year and this year, the writers really got the chance to get to know one another. I think people forget we aren’t just the Florida State chapter—we are a part of something so much bigger.

HC: Why are you leaving Her Campus after this semester?

RE: I am interning abroad in London in the fall. If I could I would still be Editor-in-Chief from abroad, but this is a period of change in my life that will be good for me!

HC: To put it simply, why do you write?

RE: I write because I want people to know something or I want people to hear my thoughts. Writing is powerful. It becomes an outlet for people to really share what they think and feel with the rest of the world.

HC: Will you continue to write in the future?

RE: My experience with Her Campus FSU has pushed me to pursue my creativity. I would love to become a creative director or Editor-in-Chief of a magazine. I want to control the overall direction of content people want to see rather than focusing on my own personal writing.

Photo By: Nicholas Kielbasa

HC: Do you have any words of wisdom for people who want to be a part of Her Campus?

RE: I always hear people say, “My writing isn’t as good as I want it to be” or “I don’t have any experience,” but I say f*ck that. Please apply! Stick to writing about what you’re passionate about and the rest will come naturally.  

HC: Do you have any general advice for fellow writers?

RE: I am a big believer in always saying yes. Take every opportunity given to you. Treat everything as a learning experience. Remember things happen for a reason. Even rejection helps guide you to where you are supposed to end up. Always be confident in yourself and in your work.

HC: What final words would you like to leave your readers with?

RE: The quote I live by, “Remember why you started.” You can be passionate about something in the beginning and as you keep doing it you tend to get caught up in the little things that make you question what you’re doing. Remind yourself of your purpose. If you can keep that reason in mind, you will be successful no matter what.

On behalf of Her Campus FSU, we would like to leave Rachel with some final words: You have poured your heart into Her Campus. Week after week you have sent emails upon emails keeping us updated. You have suggested the best story ideas and pushed us to write about things we are interested in. You have brought the staff of Her Campus together despite the different ages, majors and personalities. You have created a second family for most of us. You have made us better writers and better people. And for that we thank you. It is with smiles and eyes filled with some tears that we send you off to London. We are so proud of you and know you will be a star wherever you go. Thank you for all that you’ve done, Rach. We love you!

*You can keep up with Rachel on Twitter and Instagram @rachelepstein_