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How She Got There: Andrea Arterbery, Successful New York Writer, Current UNT Grad Student

Name: Andrea Arterbery

Website: http://andreaarterbery.pressfolios.com/

Twitter Handle: @Arterbery

Andrea Arterbery is an accomplished beauty and fashion writer that turned her big city dreams into a reality. Born and raised in small town Marshall, Texas, she packed her bags and left for New York after graduating from UNT in 2004. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and public relations, Arterbery lived and worked in New York at several obsession-worthy positions. She worked as a Beauty Editor for ESSENCE magazine, public relations for CoverGirl in Manhattan, and as a freelance writer for several publications including the NY Times, Cosmopolitan and Allure. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Journalism from UNT. While she is proud to say that she is “technically a New Yorker,” from our conversation I can confidently say that she could “technically” succeed in whatever she sets her mind to (wherever that may be).

What inspired you to move to New York after graduation?

AB: New York City is the publishing capital of the world. I really idolized living there. I was rejected several times for jobs, but it just pushed me more. I was the only one in my family to move away after college, so it wasn’t easy.

What advice would you give a 20-something-year-old with similar aspirations?

AB: You have to develop a tough skin. If it’s something you’re passionate about, it may be hard but you can’t take criticism personally. Don’t make excuses! There is no such thing as “I don’t know.” Instead, say “I’ll figure it out.” Being a good journalist is about knowing how everything works. So, stay curious, ask questions, get to know everyone in the room and be social.

What wisdom can you share from working in New York?

AB: Never miss a deadline. It’s important to learn to self-edit, and that does not include spell check! Fact check everything yourself, always ask questions to your editor in advance, and don’t keep going back to bug them. They are busy people, too!  

Do you have any cringe-worthy moments from working in the beauty industry?

AB: So, when I was doing PR for CoverGirl in Manhattan I was working an event for the Queen Latifah line and saw trays full of food come out around lunch time. I had been working the event for hours and woke up around the crack of dawn to get there in time, so I was obviously hungry and grabbed a sandwich. One of my co-workers comes out of nowhere, and smacks the sandwich out of my hand! Before I could say anything she blurted out “Andrea, you can’t eat that, that will get you fired!” Moments later my boss walked in, and I was kicking the sandwich to the side. I would have lost my job if she caught me. Long story short, I learned not to eat on the job!

Any writing tips you would like to share?

AB: Always take notes, and not just with your cell phone. Bring a notepad and pen because technology can and will fail you. In today’s world you have two seconds to reel in a reader, so you need a strong lead.  Be well read (know about everything), this includes news, blogs, magazines, etc. Most of all take pride in your work.

So, what’s next for Andrea?

AB: I want to publish books and become a professor. One of the things I liked the most about working as a Beauty Editor at ESSENCE magazine was the mentoring type atmosphere. Mikki Taylor was one of my first editors, and she taught me that image is everything. I want to teach students and share what I’ve learned. That’s where I fell in love with beauty writing.

Yes, Andrea is just as cool as she sounds. She can always be found wearing black, even on the warmest Texas days. Like a true New Yorker, she warned me about the subway rats, how to make rent and staying out too late in the city that never sleeps. To read Andrea’s work or to reach out on Twitter, visit the links at the top. Collegiates everywhere can look up to Andrea for accomplishing her dreams of not only making it in New York, but working in coveted positions in the industry.

Lauren is a Public Relations major at University of North Texas with a passion for blogging, DIY, food and learning about the world. She's a self-proclaimed Pinterest addict, coffee lover and constant smiler who can (almost always) be caught eating. She has a serious case of wanderlust and hopes to one day work for a lifestyle and PR firm, as well as publish work focusing on travel.
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