Meet HC Emerson's Talia Santopadre

As part of the Her Campus National Sister Chapter Program, our chapter at Northeastern was given the opportunity to work with Her Campus Emerson as our sister chapter!  We are really excited about this partnership, so to celebrate it, we decided to highlight some members of the Her Campus Emerson team!

                                                                                                        Courtesy of Talia Santopadre

Name: Talia Santopadre

Year: Class of 2020

Major/minor: Writing, Literature, and Publishing: Publishing concentration, minor in Marketing

Hometown: Cranston, RI

Guilty Pleasure: Having a lazy day.  I know that doesn’t sound like it would be a guilty pleasure, but for me, as I’m constantly running around and love having a packed schedule, sometimes I like to just take a day to myself and binge watch my favorite TV shows.  Disconnecting from the world, at least for a few hours, just to veg and not worry about anything is one of my favorite things to do.

Some fun facts: I’m a major cat person, I even wear pictures of my cats in a necklace (because I miss them so much)! I love reading and writing (obviously). I think if I had to pick, my favorite book would be Brave New World, but also it really depends on my mood the day you ask me, because I also love a lot of YA books, as well as some other classics! Not only that, but I love food and trying new restaurants as a means of exploring Boston. I definitely have an unhealthy obsession with Hamilton and Grey’s Anatomy as well.

What made you choose to attend Emerson?

My Emerson story is actually really funny! It was my dream school ever since I learned about it (7th grade), but I had always been told that writing, outside of journalism, wouldn’t lead to any good careers. A bunch of years went by, but I just couldn’t shake Emerson. I started looking into it and figured out that I really could make a career, maybe not in writing, but definitely in publishing! I had always loved editing other people’s work, so it seemed like the perfect fit.

I decided to tour Emerson and immediately on the way there got sick on the T (it was my first time ever going to Boston AND my first time on the T). So I stepped off at Boylston station and walked up the stairs and was faced with Emerson, the school of my dreams, and the first thing I said was “There is no way I am ever going to school here.” It was loud and crazy and from someone who isn’t from a major city, it really freaked me out to just be thrown into it. Emerson doesn’t have a campus like the other schools I had toured and it was the polar opposite of all the schools I was looking into. My parents finally got me to walk to the visitor center and as soon as I walked inside, it was as if I was transported to somewhere far outside the city on a campus like all the other schools. It was weirdly calming. I went on the official tour and I kid you not, with every step I took, I knew more and more that I had found the perfect school. I ended up applying as soon as the application opened and the day I got the acceptance letter I knew that no matter what, I was going to school there. After hearing back from all the other schools I applied to, I went to the accepted students day, and if it hadn’t already been set in stone, this was the final nail in the coffin. Emerson had stolen my heart and there was no going back. I ended up sending in my deposit about a month later and now, 2 years later, here we are! And let me just tell you, I am THRIVING. I’ve never, for one single second, second guessed my decision to come to Emerson, it really is my home away from home!

What made you want to join the Her Campus Emerson team and how long have you been part of the Her Campus Emerson team?

I’ve been part of HCE since my first week at Emerson (so almost 2 years!). I think I really wanted a different taste of all the orgs on our campus, and I wasn’t sure which one(s) I would get into (as most have applications). I applied to a bunch of clubs and our old CC Jamie was amazing. She really supported me and that kind of support was something I really enjoyed. At the time, my roommate had also joined the club, so it was a fun social environment to help us make more friends! From the moment I joined, though, I knew it was going to be one of my favorite (and most important) clubs!

Do you enjoy being the Campus Correspondent (CC) for HC Emerson?  What is the most rewarding part?

Being the CC is incredible. Personally, I know I function well in positions of leadership, and this one in particular has really fit like a glove for me. From the moment I took over as CC from Jamie, I knew I had big shoes to fill, but I also knew it was a challenge I was ready for. I think that I’ve done right by my team and I’ve taken it from a mere 12 members to a whopping 35 (which is a tough level of commitment for Emersonians). I think the most rewarding part is being able to work with a group of incredibly talented women. I’ve definitely grown from being in the role of CC and I hope that my team feels as though I’ve represented them and our chapter the way they think I ought to. I love my team more than anything, and the camaraderie we share isn't something I find frequently in people due to my personality. Everyone is so passionate, and their passion makes me want to fight harder and harder for them to get the opportunities they deserve. Being able to do that for my team is my favorite part of being a CC and when I see my team succeed, it really warms my heart (and like every other part of my being).

Are there any parts that you don’t like about being a CC?

I wouldn’t say there are any parts I don’t like. As I’ve said, I love my team and they are a fantastic group of girls. What I will say, however, is that as someone who values communication, hearing from team members is something I wish I had more of. Whether it was a question, or if they were going to miss a deadline, I’m pretty flexible, but advance warning is nice to have so I know when to expect work and I’m not waiting for it!

What is your favorite memory from your time at Her Campus?

Oh goodness! I don’t know if I have one! Her Campus has always been one of my favorite groups to work with, so I don’t necessarily have any bad memories or least favorite memories. I think if I had to pick though, it would be the first meeting after the organization fair when we got a ton of new members. I was so taken aback by it because I had only expected 3 or 4 to actually show up! I went back to my room and told my roommate that we got 15 new members and honestly burst into tears because I was so happy. Seeing so many students want to be part of an amazing organization like Her Campus is something I didn’t expect to inspire. And the fact that they have all been just as dedicated as our more experienced members makes me happy in ways I can’t even begin to explain. I was really afraid taking over or failing our old CC Jamie and losing our status as a Pink Level chapter, or not being able to run HCE as effectively as she had, but this moment really restored my faith, not only in myself and my capabilities to lead, but in the people who surrounded me, looking to share their voice with the world. So if any of my new members are reading this, thank you so much for building my confidence in order to lead this club, and to my experienced team members, thank you for supporting me through the rough patch and transition into this role. I truly am so thankful for all of you.

What are your career goals?  Do you think Her Campus has benefitted you in moving toward them?  If so, how?

My goal is to become the Editor-in-Chief of a publishing company. I don’t really care which one, as long as I get to do the work I feel like I was meant to be doing. My favorite way to describe it, actually, is that I essentially want to be Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada. I just love the power she has for being good at her job, and while clearly that has a twinge of comedic nature to it, essentially the position fits me. Being in the role where you get a little piece of everything is something I strive for and I definitely think Her Campus is helping me build toward that. I love Her Campus so much, and being the CC, and with that Editor-in-Chief, I feel like I’m getting to experience the position on a smaller level, before moving up into the big leagues. Getting to work with a team of people and publish content week after week is perfect preparation for what I want to be doing in the future, even if in the future I’m looking to do it for books rather than magazines. I think Her Campus has really set me up for success, and for that I’m eternally grateful.

Are you part of any other co-curriculars other than Her Campus?  If so, which organizations and what do you do for them?

I’m part of a few other on campus organizations! I love keeping busy and working on the things I love, so all of my so-curriculars lend themselves to that. In addition to being the Campus Correspondent for Her Campus Emerson, I am also the assistant managing editor (soon to be Co-Editor-in-Chief) for The Emerson Review. I also work for the Undergraduate Students for Publishing (Pub Club) on both their design team, and as an assistant copyeditor.  Along with that I am a copyeditor for Gauge Magazine and, while it’s not a club, I am a national intern for Her Campus.

What has been your favorite part of college so far?

I think my favorite part of college has been my opportunity to grow. Growing up in Cranston, I didn’t think I was ever going to leave (as many people live there for their whole lives).  Now that I’ve left, however, I’ve grown into a much stronger, independent person. I really can’t see myself moving back any time soon. College has given me the chance to spread my wings and leave the nest, and while Cranston will always be my home, I’m excited to see all the places I have the opportunity to go to. Going into college, I didn’t think I would stay away from home long, but during my time here, I’ve come to realize that I’m so much bigger than what Cranston can offer me, and I can’t wait to see where life takes me.  

Have you made any noteworthy accomplishments during your time in college so far or plan on accomplishing while in college?

I think that raising through the ranks of different co-curriculars has been really rewarding for me.  I’m just finishing up my second year, and already I am the Campus Correspondent for Her Campus Emerson, the Editor-in-Chief of The Emerson Review (starting in May), and working on the executive board for Pub Club’s copyediting team. I think that being trusted with many different levels of leadership between these clubs at such an early time in my career is an accomplishment, and a rewarding one at that! I love all the jobs I hold, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

If you could be anything in the world, disregarding any particular talents you may or may not have, what would you want to be?  Why or why not?

I think I would want to be a doctor, specifically a surgeon. While I feel like everything in my life has always lead me toward where I am today, being a surgeon is something that I would have really loved doing because of my love for science, specifically anatomy and physiology. But Alas, I do not have hands steady enough to cut, and my passion for editing far surpasses the desire to treat illnesses. While I might want to be a surgeon, I know being an editor is something that in my life, right here, right now, is going to make me more than happy.  

Anything else you want the readers to know?

I don’t think so! Maybe something funny? I was handed a steak burrito while answering these questions so I’m kind of distracted by said burrito.  

 

~Bonus questions~

If you could have any superpower in the world, what would it be and why?

I would love to be able to freeze time. I think we can all agree that on mornings when you just need another hour of sleep, freezing the rest of the world for an hour for that to happen would be absolutely priceless. Not to mention if you are struggling to meet a deadline or you are running late to something. I don’t think you could really go wrong with freezing time, although, you might have to walk a lot of places, but I don’t know, that seems like a good enough price to pay for me!

What is your spirit animal and why?

Oh it is definitely a cat. My friends always joke about how my personality is pretty much identical to that of a cat, because I tend to like being by myself unless I actively seek attention from someone else. It’s really funny when people talk about what dog they might be, and when they get to me they decide that I literally can’t be any dog, because I am simply a cat.