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Meet Flora Seidler: Night Editor of ISU’s The Vidette

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois State chapter.

Her computer pinged, signifying she received new mail. She hovered her mouse over the message, reading the subject line: The Vidette is now hiring. Curious, she scrolled through the message and read about her school’s newspaper and all its positions. Smiling as she read the copy-editing department, she moved the mouse over the button labeled “apply” and clicked.

“My experiences at The Vidette confirmed my decision as to what I want to do with my life,” Seidler said. “After editing for over a year, I can clearly see myself continuing this kind of work in the future, and for genuine enjoyment, not just financial stability.”

Senior publishing studies major and The Vidette’s Night Editor Flora Seidler wasn’t always so sure of herself when it came to what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. While she began her first day of freshman year at Illinois State University as an early elementary education major, she soon switched her major… later that same day. Seidler went on to try English and psychology, but those weren’t great fits either.

“At this point, I was close to dropping out because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I decided to switch it one last time,” Seidler said. “I saw that publishing was available, and being that I’ve always loved reading, I decided to try it. After some classes and the opportunities The Vidette has given me, I discovered that this is something I really love doing.”

With being in a new major, and it already being her third year, she thought copy editing for the newspaper would be the experience she needed to not feel so behind her publishing-studies peers.

So that’s what she did—applied as a copy editor. When she heard back, though, her heart sank. “Copy editors are full,” is all she remembers hearing. Deciding not to drown in the discouragement for too long, she applied to the next available position: blog writer. “I would definitely say I’m a better editor than I am a writer,” Seidler said, laughing. “Don’t get me wrong though, it was fun, and I like writing, but I prefer critiquing.” 

Since writing was not necessarily her forte, once there was an opening in the copy-editing department, it was a breath of fresh air. Seidler was first in line for the job and continued to edit the reporters’ articles for a few semesters. “I ended up really enjoying it,” Seidler said.

Not long after that, another position opened up: the night editor.

Determined to climb the ladder, Seidler applied. “People at The Vidette asked me to interview for the position of night editor, so I did. I honestly didn’t think I’d get it, but I got it, and I’ve been doing that for the past year,” Seidler said nostalgically.

The responsibilities of the night editor increased greatly from a copy editor. She now was in charge of interviewing, hiring, and training the copy editors, which entailed teaching them AP style, grammar and fact-checking. “I basically just manage them and am ready to answer any questions they have,” Seidler said.

With graduation around the corner and her year as the night editor coming to a close, it is now time for her to head out into the real world. But she has something else on her mind other than a job. “Right now, I’ve held off on applying to jobs because I’m applying to a summer publishing program at New York University,” Seidler said.

The New York University summer publishing institute takes place over four weeks. While two of those are focused on publishing for books, the other two’s focus is on magazine publishing. With visits from major publishing firms, workshops on mock interviews and resume building, and a career fair at the end of the program, Seidler would be set, if she’s given the chance. “They only accept about 80-100 people,” Seidler said.

As she has already submitted her personal statement and resume, all that is left are two letters of recommendation. And one of them is coming from where it all started. “I asked JP, The Vidette’s editorial adviser, to write a letter,” Seidler said. “It was where my interest in publishing began, and I think he can attest to my work there and how it relates to publishing.”

With only one part of her application remaining, Seidler hovers her computer’s mouse over the email address line, typing NYU’s address. She labels the subject line “Letters of Recommendation.” She then moves her mouse over the attachment’s icon and scrolls through her files for two specific letters. She then clicks send.

Alexa Fricilone

Illinois State '23

Alexa is a recent journalism graduate of Illinois State University and current student at NYU's Summer Publishing Institute. She has been a contributing writer since 2021 and our Junior Editor since 2022. Follow her on Instagram @alexafricilone