Emily Murphy: From Editor-in-Chief to President of Her Campus Winthrop

Name: Emily Murphy

Hometown: Fairfield, CT

Major: Mass Communication with a focus in Print Journalism

Minor: Humanities

Year: May 2018


To begin, you were previously Her Campus at Winthrop’s Editor-in- Chief and now President. How do you feel? Is it everything you thought it would be?

It’s everything and more! I loved being Editor-in- Chief because I love to write and being able to read and brainstorm ideas with the team was so much fun, but now as president I do a lot of “behind-the- scenes” work and I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much, things like overseeing Executive Board, putting space requests in and communicating weekly with our Chapter Advisor. It was a lot to follow in Catherine’s footsteps, because not only was she the president but she was also the co-founder, but I think she was a great mentor and helped me become ready to take on such a big role. Like I said, because I love writing and editing so much, I didn’t think I’d enjoy being president as much as I did EIC, but it truly has been such an amazing experience knowing I’m a leader and (hopefully!) am someone girls look up to.

What was one of the biggest goals you had set for yourself as President?

My personal goal was to become more professional and more organized. I have a bit of what I’d call a writer’s mind, and so I’m sometimes a little wacky and all over the place. My thoughts are messy and jumbled and there are a million different ideas that are popping in my mind to do, and because of this, staying organized is difficult. But, I knew that having to stay organized, on top of things and in charge was going to challenge my normal clutter, always wanting to move onto the next thing. So having this as my goal was a great idea and it definitely is something I now work on everyday—and between my emails and my team management and relations with the school and community, I’d like to say I’m slowly reaching that goal of becoming more organized and professional. My goal for the team was to create more of a sisterhood. We have a ton of great girls in our chapter, but everyone is so involved on campus-- which is a great thing and we encourage them to be involved in other organizations. However, because of this, it was always so hard to plan events where we could just hang out and get to know each other in a setting other than meetings. It was near to impossible to figure out a day to do team bonding that would work best for (almost) everyone. But, because both Ann Marie (my Co-CC and Editor-in- Chief), decided we should try to focus on team bonding more than once or twice a semester, we now have team bonding every other Wednesday, and our meetings are now biweekly. I’ve started to see more of this sisterhood this semester than I had in my previous four years, so I’m hoping that it’ll keep up and I can graduate knowing that I’m leaving a chapter filled with sisters and best friends.

What attracted you to join Her Campus at Winthrop?

When I was a freshman, HCWU was just being chartered at our school. My friend, John Hembree, knew Co-Founder Carolyn Rennix and signed me up for it at the spring activity fair, keeping in mind that I liked to write, wanted to get involved and needed to make friends. So, after signing me up and giving me information about the launch party, I fell in love with it and felt perfectly at home. It was probably one of the best things any of my friends have ever done for me.

In regards to your chapter, what are you most proud of?

To put it simply, I am proud of our team as a whole. Every single member, both Executive Board and Staff Writers, work so hard to get articles in, promote our chapter through social media and make such an effort to keep HCWU a Pink Level chapter, which is the highest chapter ranking. Being one of the first staff writers in a team of eight girls, to now having 80, I’ve seen so many busy and involved students come and go. But, each person I’ve met that was apart of Her Campus at Winthrop at one time just reminds me that I go to an amazing school with such inspired minds. Everyone on the team is amazing and I’m so proud to call myself their president. They give me such hope and strength and love and it’s so rewarding.

This is your senior year here at Winthrop and your final semester in Her Campus, is there anything that you hope to achieve before graduating?

This might sound silly, but I want to finally be able to put into words and to fully explain just how much Her Campus means to me. Both Her Campus Nationals and Her Campus at Winthrop have changed my life in drastic ways. They’ve solidified my passions, helped me learn so many amazing skills, gave me amazing networking and job opportunities and experience and it’s what I’d consider to be one of my biggest accomplishments in my life this far. So, being able to fully explain the passion and true love I have for all things HC is something I really want to be able to express. Not only do I want to do this kind of as a tribute to the organization that has given me a place to call home the past four years, but I’m also hoping that it’ll help other girls find their home and find their niche. I want more than anything for HCWU to live on even after I graduate and to grow and keep getting better.

What are some words of wisdom that you would love to leave within your chapter?

There’s so much I want to say—and I’m sure I will before graduating—but I think the best words of advice I can give right now is to never give up. We as women writers and student journalists can change the world in so many ways. Her Campus gives us all a voice and platform to write about things we want to write about and things we’re passionate about, and I think that’s such great practice for the future—whether you’re going to be a journalist or not, it’s just great experience to use your voice, so don’t ever let yourself stay quiet, and don’t ever give up. We’re doing so much more than just being a presence in an organization on campus: we’re making stuff happen. So, keep writing about what you love, keep writing about what you want to change about the world and never give up.

Former President Catherine Lowe was asked, “If you could have any celebrity write for your chapter, who would you choose?” and I’d just like to know… who would YOU choose, Em?

This is actually a really hard question for me to answer because there are so many celebrities I look up to. But, I think I’d have to say Miley Cyrus. Of course I love her music and loved watching “Hannah Montana,” but aside from simply just being a fan, I genuinely think she has a lot of great advice for girls of all ages. She is so comfortable in her own skin and is just who she wants to be, and I think that is a great lesson for everyone—especially for college girls! So, I’d definitely love for her to write something for our chapter, maybe a story along the lines of why you should shamelessly be whoever the hell you want to be.

Do you have any plans after graduation?

Ah, the most dreaded question for every graduating senior! LOL! I actually really don’t mind the question so much because though it’s scary, it’s so exciting to start a new chapter. But, truth be told, I have no idea what my next chapter is going to be! I think I might be in denial a little bit that within months I’ll be a real person, but aside from that, all I know is that I want to be writing, I want to be taking pictures, I want to be telling stories and as cheesy as it sounds, I want to be happy. And, that’s as far as I’ve gotten for what the heck I’m going to do once I graduate.

I know you’re a bagel connoisseur, what is your favorite kind of bagel?

Hands down, lox on a plain bagel with cream cheese, capers, onions and tomatoes. It might sound weird, but I can promise you it’s amazing—especially if you like salt..it’s extremely salty. Plus, I’ve been eating it since I was a little kid…so weirdly enough, I have nice memories associated it too. (Hahaha that’s so weird but YOLO!)

With President’s Day coming up, what does being President mean to you?

It means everything to me, which is cheesy—but it’s so, so true. It’s given me confidence, it’s made me into more of a leader and less of a follower and it’s really helped me identify who I am. I’ve learned so much about myself and about others and about how to work with a group of people. I’ve also learned that I can’t give up trying to meet everyone’s expectations and make everyone happy, but with that it also taught me that it’s okay if I fail and it’s okay to try again…and again….and again. Being president is a lot of work and a lot of pressure, but I love it and wouldn’t give up this position for the world.

Murph, thank you so much for all of the hard work and effort that you put into this chapter. Thank you for always bringing your wonderful sense of humor to our meetings, and most importantly thank you for being you! We are all so proud of our president, and we know that when you graduate, we will miss you so dearly.

Happy President's Day!!