Lucky’s Editor-in-Chief, Eva Chen, Has Great Advice For College Girls

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eva chen

Eva Chen is the brand new editor-in-chief of Lucky Magazine. She wrote this great bio about her path to success and offers some advice I think is helpful to us twenty-somethings who are just trying to FIGURE LIFE OUT. Gah!

On starting one place and ending up somewhere else.

“When I went to college, I very much thought I was going to be a doctor. So I went to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. There are definitely not many people in the magazine industry who went there—I think there are about five total! But I had a great experience there, even if it was totally a different track than I wound up on. I think women in their 20s should really explore every path, leave no stone unturned.”

On getting burned out in college.

“I was pre-med for the first three years of college. I’ve always loved the sciences—and now, from a distance, I see that it was more of an interest in nutrition and wellness, and the concept of being able to help people and make a difference—which sounds very Pollyanna and goody-two-shoes, but it’s true. By the end of my junior year, I was a little burnt out, since pre-med at Hopkins is pretty intense, so I decided to take the summer off and do something just for fun.”

On finding out “something fun” could be something of a career.

“So I applied to about 10 internships, cold-emailing HR places and companies. I applied to advertising agencies, publishing houses, even MTV! I also applied to Harper’s Bazaar through HR, and it turned out that that particular internship was paid—it was a few hundred dollars a week, but to me that seemed like an enormous sum. For my first day, I had no idea what to wear—so I went to Barneys for the first time and bought a pair of pointy-toed Miu Miu kitten heels, which I wore with a little pleated skirt and a white shirt. I probably looked like a waitress, but I was just so excited! It was as if someone had peeled back a layer of the industry, and I was finally getting to see behind the curtain.”

On taking whatever job in a crap economy

“I graduated during the first dot-com boom, and it wasn’t a great time for magazines, so there weren’t many jobs available. I took a job at a law firm—I feel like law is sort of the default profession for everyone.”

On realizing you’ve made a mistake.

“On day two at the firm, I realized it wasn’t the right fit for me. But—and this is something I always stress to people in their teens, 20s and 30s—making a mistake is not a bad thing. It’s more instructive to learn what you don’t like than just to like everything. So I sent emails out to everyone I’d met during my summer interning, and Joane Amay invited me to come work with her at ‘a new startup magazine about shopping.’ I quit the law firm immediately and came to Lucky to work on credits with her. I learned every single brand, every designer—and back then, everything was done by fax. So the job was very paperwork-heavy, but it was such a great experience.”

Read the full article here.

Other interesting articles around the web

The Senate has passed a major immigration reform bill, if this makes it into legislation it will be the first of its kind since 1986. Read here.

“The reform will implement a mandatory, national employment verification system, allow for more legal immigration of low- and high-skilled workers, beef up border security and eventually give green cards to most of the nation’s 11 million unauthorized immigrants who pass background checks and pay fines.”

Is this a week of breaking major ground in America? Is there astrology to support this?

Where is the female Tony Soprano? Where are the woman anti-heroes of high brow television? Read here.

Three reasons income inequality is destroying the economy. Read here.

Watch the all-gold version of M.I.A.’s latest single ‘Bring The Noize.” 

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