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


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.” 

Emerald is an editor at CollegeCandy, lover of coffee, and pretend francophile. After studying writing and popular culture at NYU she decided to be a grownup and get a job. Tweet at ya' girl @EmeraldGritty.