Alumna Spotlight: Chloe Bryan '14

Name: Chloe Bryan

Major: English/Creative Writing

Extracurriculars/Activities: Lipstick on Your Collar, Peer Advocate Center, Kappa Delta 

Current Occupation: Culture Writer, Mashable 

City: New York, NY 


HC: Where are you originally from, and what made you want to attend Rhodes?

CB: I grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I chose Rhodes because I liked the idea of a liberal arts school in the middle of a city. I'd also never lived in the south before, so I was curious.

HC: If it was different, what was your original “plan” career wise, and how did that change throughout college?

CB: didn't have a specific career plan other than writing in some capacity. I didn't even know I was interested in media until after I graduated! At Rhodes, I felt so anxious about not having one singular Big Dream. When I look back on it now, I'm like, "Of course you didn't. You were literally a teenager." Anyway, I think it's fine if your plans change or if you're not sure what you want to do. Just fill your time with things you like as much as possible, because that's how you'll figure it out.

HC: What was your favorite course you took, and why?

CB: I loved my fiction and poetry workshops with Mark Behr and Caki Wilkinson. The workshop environment was so valuable for me. It's challenging and personal.

HC: What was your first job or internship?

CB: My first internship out of college was at ServiceMaster in Memphis. I helped with content marketing and wrote blog posts for American Home Shield.

HC: Say a little bit about what you do now at Mashable. How did you find your way into that role?

CB: I write for the culture section at Mashable, which focuses on digital culture. Basically, that's what people do on the internet and why they do it. I was hired as an intern in 2015 and came on full time the next year.

HC: After reading some of your work, it seems like you get to have a lot of fun with the content you write! What’s your favorite piece you’ve written/researched for and why?

CB: I have a few favorites. I had a great time talking to experts about the auditory science behind the Yanny/Laurel meme a few months ago. It was one of those huge cultural moments that takes over the internet for a day, and those are always fun to dissect. I'm also proud of this essay about Trump and the decline of fun online, although it's not particularly sunny. 

HC: Could you speak to the decline of print media and how digital sites like Mashable play a role in that, or perhaps how digital media is the "new frontier"?

CB: It's no secret that media is not the most stable field right now (including, increasingly, digital media). There are lots of reasons for this: ad sales, Facebook, corporate ownership, etc. One area in particular decline is hyper-local reporting, which is so important for keeping people informed about their communities. I'd suggest subscribing to your newspaper and donate to blogs that cover your area. They're especially vital during election season. And if there's a magazine you love, subscribe to the print version.

HC: What's one thing you learned in college that best relates to your current position at Mashable, or even just your life out in "the real world"?

CB: This is a small thing and very corny, but I really believe in it: Every day, do the thing you're most anxious about first. Bless it with your post-coffee energy.

HC: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to your “college self”? In other words, what’s one thing you know now that you wish you knew then?

CB: Don't pigeonhole yourself. There is always time and room to learn something new. Also, go to sleep. And don't be a disco ball for Halloween because there will be glitter in your hair for three months.

HC: Favorite Memphis restaurant?

CB: Central! I used to get fried bologna sometimes. Is that sacrilegious? Also, Pho Binh.

HC: What was your go-to on campus study spot?

CB: One semester, my friend and I spent hours studying on the stage in Hardie Auditorium. Just on the floor. It was very cold. I am not 100% sure we were allowed to be there, though, so I cannot officially recommend.

HC: For English majors; what’s one piece of advice you have for them in regard to getting jobs and maneuvering the professional world?

CB: Ignore the people who say there is no room for what you do. Humans will always need to communicate, and guess what? That's what you're good at.

HC: Three words to describe your college experience.

CB: I'd like to dedicate my three words to the Lynx Lair: Spicy chicken sandwich.