Interview with an Editor: Cassidy Lunney

Name: Cassidy Lunney

Age: 21

Major: Fashion Studies

Minor: Journalism

HC Position: Fashion and Beauty Editor for Her Campus at Montclair

HCM: How do you feel about having three very different college experiences (LIM College, Brookdale Community College, MSU) and what have you learned from the process?

CL: While I really love MSU, sometimes I regret not staying at LIM, just because I had a solid friend group and enjoyed living in the city as a college student. But if I didn’t transfer, I wouldn’t [now] know what I really liked. I’m not just into fashion; I’m into PR and film and writing. It’s really cool to be on a campus where you can get involved with all those things instead of just being at fashion school or community college where you’re kind of limited.

HCM: Can you tell us about your various past internships? Which was your favorite?

CL: My first internship was for a fashion blogger which was really cool. I got to go to NYC like every week and go to showrooms. I got free stuff and I got to learn a lot about SEO and social media in general. I got to help at NYFW which was awesome, especially because I was a lot younger… it was my sophomore year, I think! And then I’ve done remote internships (a lot of writing). And then I interned for Ellery Homestyles, which was a home fashion company. They were the best! That was my first paid internship. That really got my foot in the door and helped me make a lot of friends and connections. And then I interned for Nordstrom [visual merchandising] over the summer. And then I’ve just done little things here and there like Justin Alexander and lots of other little things.

HCM: What advice would you offer to any college student looking for an internship? What advice would you give to succeed in that position?

CL: To get an internship, I would say you just have to keep looking everywhere. You have to do your research; you have to email people. Even if they don’t have a position up on their website, you should still find somebody’s email on the company’s website if you really like them and just reach out to them and see what they have to say. Definitely ask friends and go online. Use collegefashionista or or that’s my favorite! Make sure your Linkedin is up to date, because I know a lot of people reach out to you on Linkedin. When you’re actually at the internship, just do your best. Ask a lot of questions; if you don’t know something, let them know that. Show them that you don’t know everything and you are there to learn. They understand that. Internships aren’t as scary as they used to be, especially in fashion. It’s just important to be yourself and stay eager and always want to learn more.

HCM: Considering that you have have plenty of experience in both the fields of fashion and journalism, what advice do you have for anyone hoping to make it in these somewhat competitive paths?

CL: Get involved as much as you can. Pitch stories to various school papers like The Montclarion, Her Campus, the radio station (which you can pitch movie reviews and things like that). We also have the Normal Review also which is our art magazine on campus, so you know, things like that. You can pitch to magazines in the area and also if you have a really interesting story, pitch to magazines that you love to read. You can also start your own blog; just try to look for internships where you can get your writing in. Even just write because you feel like it. You should also write about all your interests and not just fashion itself, because that gives you more variety. Just because you want to end up writing about fashion, that doesn’t mean that’s what you’re going to start off doing. So you kind of have to have a well-rounded experience.

HCM: What shopping/style secrets can you share for anyone who wants to look like a fashion editor on a budget?

CL: I know everyone likes to shop online, and I really don’t enjoy it because I’d rather see it in person and get it right away. But if you’re going to shop online, I’d say Nasty Gal and Topshop are really good options. ASOS is my favorite! When it comes to shopping in real life, I’d say go to the mall, hit up H&M; they always have really good sales! Forever 21 does too! I love Urban Outfitters and Free People (even though they can get really expensive). Boutiques are always a good option and if you like to thrift shop that’s fun too. It’s kind of just about finding who you are style wise and picking up pieces that relate to you and make you feel a certain way. And it’s okay to splurge a little bit!

HCM: Looking into the future, where do you see really see yourself after college? Would you have guessed this five years ago?

CL: Right now, I definitely want to work in film, whether it’s styling for movies or writing for them. I’m really into comedy, I like the radio; I’m just really into the entertainment industry as a whole and I don’t think I would have realized that had I stayed elsewhere. Five years ago, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I loved fashion in high school, so I figured I would just want to work for a fashion magazine or be a stylist and travel the world. I’m still into that idea, but I definitely have a lot more flexibility as far as what I would want to end up doing. I have a lot more interests and passions now. I’m excited for the future, but also a little scared!

HCM: Can you offer any suggestions for how to expand a professional network?

CL: Just be genuine; be yourself. Post your interests and show people who you really are. As far as Linkedin goes, I just post whenever I do something at school or at an internship. It’s a good way to reach out to people or for people who could help you later on to reach out to you. I’m not the best at networking in person; it can be hard to approach people. At the same time, it’s important to put yourself out there to avoid missing out on opportunities.

HCM: Considering that we are at that point in our lives where we have the opportunity to really find ourselves despite all the stress that comes with these years, what advice do you have for anyone looking make the most out of college?

HCM: I say just put yourself out there and have fun. Honestly, I’m the worst person to be asking this, because I’ve been all over the place with college so I haven’t really had my group that I’ve stuck with. But if you’re a freshman or just getting started, get involved on campus and do as much as you can. Go to a party if that’s your thing. Just socialize as much as possible and pursue all your interests. I struggle with my anxiety but I don’t let it get in the way of having fun. If you want to get involved then go for it, but if you’d rather just stay in your room and do work, that’s cool too. You just have to do you.