For this Campus Celebrity interview, I decided to shift the spotlight behind the curtain. Meg Malhame (MSB ’15) and Lacey Henry (COL ’15) are the hardworking head editors that spend hours on hours each week organizing writers, editing stories, uploading content to the website, and planning fun activities for the Her Campus Georgetown team. Writing for Her Campus can tend to be more of an individual activity, where girls write stories on their own time and usually e-mail them to their editor each week. But these East Coast ladies, hailing from Manhasset, New York and Greenwich, Connecticut, really bring an aspect of cohesiveness to the group, planning fun activities like kayaking on the Potomac, Chipotle dinners for the team, canned food drives and more. I sat down with Lacey and Meg to talk about how they manage to run and organize the Georgetown branch while balancing their busy lives!
How did you become involved with Her Campus?
Meg: At the beginning of my freshman year I found out that my peer advisor in the business school, Catherine Murphy, had just started the Georgetown branch. Catherine knew I was going to study marketing since I wanted to go into the beauty industry, and thought I would be interested in Her Campus. She asked me if I wanted to write articles and I remember internally freaking out and saying yes right away.
Lacey: I first heard of Her Campus because my sister was involved with the chapter at Bucknell University. When I came to Georgetown I knew I wanted to join a club where I could write, and Her Campus seemed like the perfect fit. Freshman year I started off writing Campus Celebrity profiles and later a column called Freshman Diaries. I loved having a journalistic outlet that was lighthearted, fun and creative. Ever since, Her Campus has become a pretty defining part of my Georgetown experience!
What’s your favorite part about leading the Georgetown team?
Lacey: It’s a really rewarding role. If I just go to the Her Campus Georgetown site, I see tangible results of all our hard work and effort. Knowing that I play such an integral part in contributing to a nationally recognized website makes everything worth it. I’ve had girls I don’t even know come up to me and say they’ve read my articles online. It’s a good feeling to know your work is being seen and appreciated by a wider audience. Not only that, but it’s also fun. Before I was an editor, I was first and foremost a fan of the site. I love reading all of the articles. The girls never fail to impress me with their talent and creativity. I love that Her Campus’ content is lighthearted and entertaining while also substantive and intelligent. At the end of the day I really do enjoy it!
Meg: I think one of the most amazing parts about being in charge of Her Campus is seeing how much it has grown in three years. We started off with only the writers and the Campus Correspondents, or Editors, and at this point we not only have a team of writers, but an editorial team, a business team, and a social team. It’s also been great being involved in something I love and am passionate about, and I think it’s the same for Lacey. Her Campus has been a part of my Georgetown experience since my first few days on campus, and as cheesy as this sounds it’s really close to my heart.
And the most challenging part?
Meg: One aspect would be the amount of work and time that goes into a typical Her Campus week. The online process, especially the publication and publicizing of the articles, can sometimes get tricky. It’s an everyday kind of commitment, and while it’s definitely rewarding, sometimes it can be a lot to handle. I also think combatting the popular opinion that surrounds Her Campus can be challenging, because it seems more girly than other publications at Georgetown (and I agree, it can be!). However, our team writes great articles and I’m so proud of them for that. While Campus Cutie is definitely our most popular category, there are so many other articles that I love that sometimes become lost in the mix. This is something Lacey and I have been working on trying to fix, and we have a series coming up that we’re really excited about.
Lacey: Meg and I started off the year brainstorming lots of goals and ideas for how we wanted to develop and rebuild the Her Campus Georgetown team as an organization. We definitely pushed ourselves to aim high in implementing them, which has been motivating, but also challenging. Over the course of the past semester we’ve worked hard to become a recognized club, restructure the branch, improve article quality and foster a sense of community within the team. I think I underestimated all of the factors we would have to consider and at times it can get a little overwhelming trying to balance everything with the leadership responsibilities. There’s a lot of time and effort that takes place behind the scenes that you take for granted when you’re just scrolling through articles on the website. So it’s definitely been challenging, but also a really valuable learning experience. And having Meg to share it with makes it that much easier and enjoyable!
Have you always had an interest in journalism or blogging?
Lacey: As cliché as it sounds, writing will always be my first love. I’m referred to as the writer of my family and have always had a passion for both creative and journalistic writing. I spent the majority of my extra time in high school in the newsroom. Ever since I knew I wanted to pursue an editorial career in the media field. As an American Studies major I’m fascinated by culture, history, politics etc. That, combined with writing, led me to media as the perfect crossroads for all of my interests. As I’ve taken more classes for my Journalism minor, I’ve also discovered I’m really interested in digital media. I never would have predicted it, but I loved learning storytelling techniques through digital mediums like video and photography. Many people see journalism as a dying field, but I’m confident that the landscape is simply evolving and adapting to new technology. The Her Campus site itself is evidence of that. I can’t imagine myself pursuing any other type of career!
Meg: When I was younger I read all the time, to the point where my mom cut me off from Barnes and Noble, and I think reading so much got me really interested in writing. I guess I have an interest in a lot of things, and blogging kind of grew out of that. I follow a ton of blogs and websites, whether it’s news, pop culture, fashion, etc., and I think my own personal interest in all of these things inspired me to start a blog. my life in lipstick (the name of my blog) is basically just an extension of who I am. I tend to start writing about one subject, and end up on another, but it somehow works itself out. It’s definitely more of a lifestyle blog, because I write about everything from fashion and beauty to cooking and décor to random musings about current events and life, but I like it that way!
What else are you involved in on campus?
Meg: Even though I’m an Editor for Her Campus, I actually still am a writer for the site. Freshman and sophomore year I submitted an article every week, but now I mostly just cover Campus Cutie articles, and write random articles every now and then. I worked for two years at J. Crew, but took a break last semester, and am back in retail once again over at Calypso St. Barth. On campus I’m also involved in GAAP, especially GAAP weekends. I’m all about those check-in shifts. Since I love food, especially anything having to do with baking, I want to get involved with writing for Spoon University, but one step at a time!
Lacey: In addition to my role on Her Campus, my biggest extracurricular commitment is working on the Board of Blue & Gray Tour Guides as the Special Tour Coordinator. Over the past three years I’ve also been involved as an Orientation Advisor, writer for The Hoya, marketing strategist for Innovo and volunteer for GAAP. One of the things I love most about Georgetown is that the entire community is so passionate and invested in their activities. That spirit is really contagious and it’s made my time here that much more valuable both in and outside of the classroom.
Get to know Meg & Lacey!
Meg: Definitely Greece. I’m a Classical Studies minor and am such a geek when it comes to Greek archaeology and history. I’d also be more than down to go to Mykonos or Santorini and hopefully have my own Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Lena and Kostos moment… (Just kidding, but not really.)
Lacey: Paris. City of lights. City of love. City of crepes and croissants. What more could you ask for?
Dinner with anyone, dead or alive:
Meg: Elvis Presley, hands down. Maybe even Elvis and Johnny Cash.
Lacey: J.K. Rowling. There are very few books that could rival the Harry Potter series in my heart and I would love to pick her brain about her writing.
Go-to karaoke song:
Meg: Definitely “American Pie” by Don McLean. In second grade I submitted the lyrics to “American Pie” as my own story and got caught for plagiarism, so obviously it’s near and dear to my heart.
Lacey: You can never go wrong with “My Heart Will Go On.” I’m always ready to channel my inner Celine. Plus, everyone loves a good powerhouse song.
Favorite rainy day activity:
Meg: Definitely me, a blanket, and my Netflix or Hulu account. I’d probably try to bake something that I saw on Pinterest too…
Lacey: O.C. marathons. Ryan Atwood and Seth Cohen are all I need to brighten my day!
Best spot in Georgetown or D.C.:
Meg: Quick Pita. That was a joke, but I’m also really serious. A spot that should actually be visited (that isn’t really in D.C.) is Arlington National Cemetery. When you stand in front of the Arlington House, the view overlooks the whole cemetery along with the National Mall, and it’s amazing. As cliché as this sounds seeing the monuments at nighttime is something else I love. In terms of food I’m a Baked + Wired kind of girl, and Neyla is always amazing.
Lacey: Not to sound like a complete journalism nerd, but the Newseum is one of my favorite places in DC. I’m fascinated by the history of the news industry and it’s evolution. But there are so many other places on my bucket list that I have yet to explore!