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Woman Crush Wednesday: Claire Blaha

Her Campus Hofstra has some badass women, so let's meet them!

Up this week, we have Claire Blaha!

Major: Journalism 

Minor: Creative Writing

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Member Since: September 2017

 

Why did you join Her Campus?

"I joined my freshman year to further myself in my major and learn about journalism. I needed to join a club and I don’t remember how I heard about it, but it seemed like the kind of thing that I want to do for a  future career. So, I thought that it was the best thing for me. And I was also really shy as a freshman, so I wasn't going out for a lot of things. It was like the first and basically only thing I did freshman year to get involved, so it was my first involvement at Hofstra."   

What is your favorite part about being involved in Her Campus?

"When I first started, I really didn't know many people in the club, but it's become a lot more of a bonding experience as well as a career booster, in a way. At first, it was just writing articles and getting my stuff out there, but then eventually I started to make friends through it. I like that it has come a lot further and I feel more comfortable with things I wouldn't have felt comfortable writing about at first because I know more now."

What is your favorite bonding experience you have gotten out of Her Campus?

"We did the clothing swap this past semester and I saw how much actually went into it. I am a huge clothing person. I like to thrift shop and I like vintage. I'm really big into like trying to conserve my clothing or at least give it to someone else if I know it's going to be needed instead of throwing it away. So, I thought that was a really cool event that I'm glad we got to put on and we got to work with another club for it, the fashion club, which I thought was really good for our image at Hofstra."  

Why did you want to become a part of the executive board and have a more prominent position within the organization?

"Like I said, freshman year, it was the first and only thing that I really did. So, I think down the line, I knew that if I was going to be on the executive board or try to take a little bit of a leadership position in something, it probably would be Her Campus because that was where I got my start and a lot of my friends and connections. Also, when I joined Zeta last year, my big Christina was the previous treasurer. So, I knew that knowing her would make me feel more comfortable, and I would be able to reach out to her with things that I was confused by in the position. I wasn't exactly acclimated to Treasurer beforehand, but I wanted to be on the board, and I knew that she would be there to help me along the way. So, I it seemed like a good decision at the time, but I think it was. 

What has been your favorite article you have written for Her Campus?

"I wrote one about how clothing doesn't equal consent. I wrote it about a year ago, and I remember it incorporated not only fashion, but it also talked about a bigger issue that was really prevalent throughout the ongoing #MeToo movement. It was like a really hard issue -- no means consent isn't dictated by your clothing. So, I really liked that idea. I wish I would have like expanded more on it after I wrote that first article, but I did enjoy writing something that brought those two worlds together." 

How do you use fashion to express yourself?

"I like when people ask me where I get my clothes, so I like to do things that people don't always like I wore overalls when I was in like middle school and people thought it was the weirdest thing, and it's like so big now. I just like to wear things that people don't always think they would look good wearing, and not necessarily that aren't cute, but they're always like afraid to try." 

Do you have a go-to power outfit?

"I have a sports bra and leggings set that is yellow and gray and white that makes me feel like a superhero when I wear it because it's high waisted so it feels like everything is like tucked in and I feel so comfortable with myself. So, that's like my favorite thing to wear when I want to feel good." 

What do you see yourself pursuing once you graduate?

"Her Campus is more along the lines of what I want to do than joining The Chronicle. I am more interested in editorial pieces than hard news pieces. I thought that being an editorial writer, it was going to be really, really hard to actually get a job. I didn't think it was something that was attainable, but Her Campus made me realize that I know many people who have graduated and gone on to jobs that sounded really cool to me. I've always been mainly interested in fashion. So, I think my main goal for after graduation is still to try to work for a fashion magazine."

What else are you involved in on campus?

"I'm in Zeta Phi Eta, which is the communications fraternity, and I've been in it for a year now. In the organization I'm the PFC chair right now, meaning I'm the chair to the Professional Fraternity Council and report back to our e-board -- anything we need to know on even just our club and all professional charities. It's a really cool club, everybody should join. There are probably more things I should have done in the School of Comm., but like I said, my freshman year I was really like put off by the idea of doing a bunch of things and not really getting involved. So, I'm kind of glad that I only do two things, mainly because I can put a lot of effort into both of those. I also have a really big emphasis on putting effort into my classes as well. So among those three things, that's like plenty for me, in my life."   

Why did you want to come to Hofstra?

"I'm originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which doesn't seem like it'd be far, but it's like an eight-hour drive. I wanted to be a good distance where I couldn't come home on the weekend easily. I wanted to give myself a good amount of distance, not because I thought I would come home a lot, but because I wanted to be somewhere new. I didn't want to stay in Pennsylvania like all my friends were. I wanted a whole new experience to see if I liked it and to know if it's where I want it to be or if I wanted to go back to Pittsburgh. I also really fell in love with New York City when I was like 13 and I decided that’s where I wanted to go to college. My mom didn’t really want me to live in such a big and busy city, so Hofstra was kind of like a compromise. It just kind of fell together really well."   

What has been your favorite class you've taken?

"Honestly, the journalism classes that I've taken at Hofstra, I’ve really liked. They have pushed me to talk to people and do things that I like knew journalism was about but wasn't really ready to accept. So, I took Journalism 13 last semester with professor Scott Brinton and he had just started up The Long Island Advocate. A lot of our pieces were going out there onto that, which I think was an added bonus and an incentive to make me want to work harder because it felt like I was actually being published more than just turning in an assignment. It was definitely a challenge because it was the first time I had to travel off-campus to report on real things, but it was a good challenge. It definitely helped boost my confidence in reporting and interviewing and also realizing that I had the capacity to like actually be published."

What is your proudest accomplishment?

"Not just going to college, but actually like making more out of my college experience than just going to class. I didn't expect to be this involved. I knew I was going to get involved in something, but I didn't realize that my involvement outside of class would be so important, sometimes even more than like actual classes. Being able to like gain confidence and realize that I can do other things besides just going to class I think is probably my biggest accomplishment."  

What is a cause that you care about and fight for?  

"I wish I was a little bit more of an activist than I actually am. I probably could do more, but I think journalism is advocating for things as well. So, I think there are a lot of things that I think are very important to advocate. Women's rights is obviously one of them. And then I think, you know, it's important to remember that like, yes, we've come a far way in equality for women, but we are still not considered completely equal in my opinion. I think it depends on what's happening in the world, especially on what I try to advocate for, because climate change, it's a big thing now. Also in high school, I learned a lot more about sex trafficking and just human trafficking in general, and  Zeta’s philanthropy is about human trafficking. It's a big thing that people could kind of forget about because we still technically still have slavery in the world and in this country, and people don't like to realize what it is because it has a different name. But I think it's really important that we remember that we are still enslaving people for no money and making them do work or other acts and thinking that it's okay."

Do you have any phobias?

"I have a phobia of failing, of failure. I'm really afraid of failure. I also think I'm afraid of drowning because I was a really good swimmer in high school and it's like always been something I've enjoyed. So, if I'm drowning and I can't save myself as a swimmer and lifeguard, then I know it's the end. That's why I'm afraid of it."  

What is your favorite thing about New York City?

"I like the idea that every time I go I can go somewhere completely new that I've probably never been before or haven't seen as in-depth. I like that I don't feel like a tourist anymore. So yeah, I'd probably just say the idea of going in and finding new things and doing different stuff in particular."   

If someone asked you for recommendations in NYC where would you tell them to go?

"It's not even a specific place, but if you see a dollar pizza, it's for a dollar. I highly recommend it because it's never bad -- like it's not like the best pizza I've probably ever had, but it's actually really good and it only costs you a dollar. I think it’s such a cool thing about New York. I also really liked the area where I had my internship last semester. It was downtown by the World Trade Center and it's just like a really cute. It's like a rich area, but there's like a lot of like nannies with kids and it's just like really nice to walk because it's the kind of place where you can walk in the middle of the street. It's a lot quieter, but it still has a lot of life to it."

Who is the most famous person you've met?

"I'm probably going to have a say Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler. I think that was my freshman year of college. The first time I went into the city by myself, like without my parents, was with my one friend for New York fashion week. We were trying to see if we could see any fashion shows or anything, and we were like walking across the street in Chelsea and Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler were just there. I stopped them and she was really mad because she didn't want to stop, but I made them stop and I took a picture. But her boy, Austin Butler was super nice. And I think I saw him on the train again like a couple of months later, which was like super weird."  

What is the coolest thing you have made?

"I had this project in high school, and we had to create something that had to do with like our favorite book by incorporating a quote from that book. So, I did Perks of Being a Wallflower. I had a quote on the piece of paper and a typewriter, but I did it all in pen and I didn't color it in. I crisscrossed lines a bunch of times to shade different areas to make them look darker. And I just like, it was one of those things that was simple -- I was just using a pen and like tracing, I drew the typewriter and just traced it on bigger paper. I think that was the most, that's like the coolest thing and I think that I've ever done, like made."  

Do you have a mantra?

"I don’t necessarily have something that I always say, but it's probably more of the ideas that I tell myself all revolving around the same thing. It's just not like a sentence, but I would probably say it's the idea that working harder isn't always better than working smarter, but it’s always worth putting the hard work in. I try to put everything into what I do, especially academically. I don't want to cut corners just because I can. I want to do the hard work because I feel like it's going to make me better in the end."  

What is your favorite fashion trend from any time ever?

"I don't get to do this anymore, but dresses over jeans."  

Your least favorite fashion trend?`

"Pencil skirts."

Favorite movie?

"Ten Things I Hate About You."

Favorite DCOM?

"High School Musical."

Favorite childhood TV show?

"Hannah Montana."