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Campus Celebrity: Katerina Bizios

On Monday, April 25, the word “impulse” took on a new meaning here in Champaign.  Students changed their expectations and perceptions of reading a student publication as they flipped through the debut issue of IMPULSE Magazine.

This sophisticated college lifestyle magazine can be attributed to University of Illinois junior, and HC Illinois copy editor, Katerina Bizios and her ambitious determination to make an idea come to life. IMPULSE is only one of the many successes Katerina has managed to achieve this year.  She is also the President of the Society of Professional Journalists and Vice President of Membership where she runs recruitment for her sorority, Delta Gamma. 

Clearly Katerina is a natural-born leader, and anyone that has met her has experienced her warm-hearted personality, but there is one simple word to describe her and the reason she stands out: driven.  It is with this drive that she has become editor in chief of her own publication, and it is with this drive that she has landed a summer internship with Cosmopolitan Magazine.  New York City bound and already partner of a media company, the future is definitely bright for campus celebrity, Katerina Bizios.

HC: How did you get into magazines?
I came into U of I studying economics and I really wanted to break into the business world. By second semester of freshman year I was bored and decided I wanted to graduate and be able to build a career that I was passionate about.  I fell back on my love for reading and writing, switched my major to journalism and hit the ground running. I interviewed and landed my first internship last summer with Michigan Avenue magazine in Chicago. That experience really gave me the tools to produce what IMPULSE is today and now I’m looking forward to learning even more as an intern with Cosmo this summer. 

HC: How did you get the idea to create Impulse?
As an editorial intern at MA magazine last summer I did everything from researching to writing and helping direct photo shoots alongside another intern, Zak.   Our summer interning together sparked the idea to bring the sleek feel of MA magazine to our campuses. Zak launched DMIX magazine at Duke and I brought IMPULSE to U of I.  We operate as sister magazines under the media company we created.

HC: What can we expect from the first issue of Impulse?
This first issue really highlights students who are talented and doing big things.  I wanted to bring in a mix of people to represent the student body and how diverse people on this campus are.  The theme is power because these are the people taking charge of their lives and their careers.  There is also a taste of fashion, Greek life, music, food, alcohol and sex.  I really wanted to encompass all aspects of student life in a sophisticated way.

HC: How about future issues?
Right now our fall fashion issue is on deck and we’re brainstorming for our winter issue. I want to get more creative with everything in the magazine from layout, to photo shoots to story ideas, all while keeping it completely about students and student life.

HC: What has been your favorite part of creating IMPULSE thus far? 
IMPULSE gave me the chance to meet so many people I never would have before.  Getting to learn their stories and how they got to where they are today was incredible. Along with that, I loved directing photo shoots and styling.

HC: What was it like setting out to achieve such a large goal of creating a magazine from start to finish?
It took a lot of planning and finding the right ambitious people to believe that the end product would come together after a lot of hard work.  I had an amazing staff of 20 and there were a lot of times I didn’t think we would pull if off, but we did and I am so proud of the end result.

HC: Do you have any long term goals for IMPULSE?
I hope to keep improving and building on every issue.  It’s been such a huge learning experience and I want to keep getting better and better.  The plan is for it to be a quarterly publication, so look for our fall issue in September.  Post-graduation I’d like to pass the reigns to someone who can keep producing this type of magazine for our campus.

HC: What is it about the magazine industry that intrigues you so much as to produce your own?
I love magazines because I appreciate every aspect of them—from the photography, articles and layout—which come together to make it a complete book. It’s so cool to see people glammed up and I wanted to do that for people on our campus. 

HC: All of this hard work and experience you’ve gained—how has it paid off?
I knew the next step for me to take in a publishing/magazine career was to go to NYC and work at a bigger publication. Creating IMPULSE definitely helped me land my summer internship with Cosmo. It’s a great feeling to see results after a lot of hard work.

HC: Where do you see yourself 5 or 10 years from now?
I love the entrepreneurial mind set so in the next five years I see myself continuing to run my media company alongside my current business partners. Eventually I would like to achieve a position as an editor at a major publication.

HC: Do you have any advice for readers interested in pursuing a career in magazines or publishing?
I would say no matter what you’re doing, don’t be afraid to go after something you believe in and be passionate.  Nothing will stop you if you believe you can do it.  Also, surround yourself with the right people who support you.  I truly believe you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

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