The week in review

Monday (6.9)

On Monday, one of the lectures was a panel discussion about how to write pitches that work. I couldn’t take notes fast enough! Loved every second of it.

Later in the day, something came up and I had to leave a little early. But I got to walk up Broadway and see a bunch of amazing stuff along the way, including Canal street and some of SoHo. I so badly wanted to go into Dean and Deluca and oogle over all of the goods that I could never afford. Another time, perhaps.

That night, Keenan was in town for business. So he, Collin, Jana, and I all went out to eat at an artisan grilled cheese shop here in Park Slope called “Melt Kraft.” I swear it’s trendy right now to take the ordinary or mundane and give it a classy or artistic spin. I totally fall prey to this, as you will see if you read on. Anyways, the dinner was lovely, but the company was even more so. And the restaurant was practically empty, which I loved, as solitude is hard to come by in the city.

What could have made the night better?  If my whole family could have been there. That, or maybe some dessert.

I told myself I wouldn’t eat out this week. Day one: failed. I wish I could say I did better the rest of the week. Yeah…no. Oh well. “When in Rome,” right?

Tuesday (6.10)

In class, I felt more in my element than I have in the whole program so far. We talked a bunch about copy editing, which is my forté. I even felt a little bit ahead of the curve. We also got out later in the evening because we had a lecture on what are called “Edit Tests.” These are not just tests to see how well you can edit text. The “edit” here refers to “editorial,” and it usually requires a job applicant to come up with new fresh editorial ideas for a magazine, right off the cuff. The lecture taught us how to do this. And, the whole student body (~120 students) was assigned to complete an edit test (for AFAR Magazine) to be turned in on Friday.

Our business magazine (entitled PLATFORM) is starting to take shape. Each department has really done a lot to pull their weight. Everyone is still pretty stressed and it is really a lot to ask for a team of 12 to produce every aspect of a magazine launch in 2.5 weeks’ time. But I think we’ll pull it off.

I got a fitbit last weekend and I’ve been really trying to put it to good use…walking to a further subway stop or getting off one stop early so I can walk more. I even make myself walk the subway platform until the train comes, instead of just standing there waiting. I really enjoy seeing the numbers add up and seeing my progress, all from my phone.

Wednesday (6.11)

We had what might’ve been my favorite lecture/discussion so far in this program. Up until now, every lecture, panel discussion, strategy workshop, etc. has been so New York-centric. New York is the hub of the publishing industry. I know. And that’s fine. But one of the lectures was called, “NYC is Not the Center of the Universe: Finding Jobs Outside the City.” It’s one of the lectures I’ve been totally and absolutely riveted by and excited about. You mean there’s a chance for those (very, very few) of us who don’t want to set up shop here in the Big Apple?

I have grown to love this NYC experience after just 2 short weeks. Still I can’t avoid my distaste for the subways, the prices, and the lack of nature. Yeah. I feel like I’ve been complaining a lot about how I couldn’t really live here for an extended period of time. But, with all that I’ve learned about the biz, I assumed it was my fate if I wanted to be successful in my industry. I came to terms with it. I’d have to pay my dues in order to be successful, and then I could go elsewhere. But alas! ‘Tis not so! Honestly, Boston is really speaking to me. On the discussion panel, we had magazine executives from Alabama (which also seems amazing), Pennsylvania, DC, Seattle, etc. Who knows? I guess time will tell where I end up.

Later in the day, there was a mandatory forum/cocktail party. Prior to that, we had a really helpful networking lecture teaching us how to “work a room.” It was really interesting. But, I must say, a lot of the social strategies were a refresher course for me; I learned most of those tactics while serving my mission. I am so grateful for that.

They let us out of school early-ish to go home and get ready for the party. I made a quick stop at my Jay St/Metrotech subway stop to try Shake Shack (a famous burger place that’s been compared to In-n-Out). It was pretty good. I happen to be partial to In-n-Out, but I wouldn’t have known unless I tried it.

The cocktail party was fun. I enjoyed the discussion on social media (you can find the link about it in my previous blog post). I didn’t stay long for the actual cocktail portion…mostly because I don’t drink. But the best part about the event was this:

The view from the 10th floor of the NYU building in Greenwich Village. It looked out onto Washington Square Park and the amazing skyline.


Also, I’d gladly stay in NYC if I could live in this park-side building with greenery growing up the side. Yes please.

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I left the cocktail party just at dusk and got a stellar view of the park and that whole area. I fell in love.

Thursday (6.12) and Friday (6.13)

The next couple days were full of what the NYU SPI calls “strategy workshops.” Professionals in their various sub-fields come in and assess our magazines and give us feedback. We had a marketing workshop, a web/mobile launch strategy workshop, etc. We got expert opinions on the nuts and bolts of our publication. It was enjoyable, but the best part was that it provided for a lot of free time in between workshops to work on stuff for the project.

On Thursday after classes, I went grocery shopping (with free delivery!). I also met with the AWESOME sister missionaries and went to institute. I love that the gospel is the same no matter where you go.

On Friday, I had a pseudo-celeb sighting. I saw Kim Stolz from season 5 of America’s Next Top Model, back when it was a good show. The picture is the back of her, but I swear it’s her (in the beige blazer).


Later, I was planning to meet up with a couple friends from my mission. But I was just so wiped out from a long week. Plus, it started raining a bunch. So, I went home, showered, did my laundry, and stayed in. It was relaxing to just sit on my bed and hear the rain and thunder.

Saturday (6.14)

I was only planning on attending my optional (but highly recommended) InDesign workshop for school, and then going home afterwards. I actually already know how to use InDesign, but it was a good refresher course. During the lecture, I got a text from a mission friend (one I was supposed to meet with the night before) to meet up for lunch. We met up near Madison Square Garden at a place called Mexicue. Loved catching up with Sister Malala!

After lunch, I took the train back to Park Slope and decided to walk around the town.

I went to a gorgeous grocery store called “Union Market.” The colors alone…



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I also stopped at Barnes and Noble, where I bought a few novels (yeah, I have no free time. I don’t know what I was thinking). Also did some “market research,” aka looked at a million magazines, took some pictures, and jotted down some publishing companies to look into later.



I should also note that I heard a guy say in a thick NY accent to his daughter as she was walking away from him, “Don’t go too fah (far), bubby.” I secretly loved it way too much. I want to have kids, so I can call them “bubby.” And for other more noble reasons too.

Later, as per my mom’s request via her Food Network recommendations, I tried a popsicle at “People’s Pops.” It’s another one of those regular foods that has been made more posh by labeling it as “artisan”. I admit, it was delicious.

Then to “Beygl” for an artisan (and gluten free) bagel. As I walked up and down the avenues and streets, a big festival was going on down on 5th avenue.


And, I want to live in this house on the corner of 8th Ave. and 3rd Street:


I also walked along the edge of Prospect Park. So lovely. Sometimes, I like to pretend I am a local. Just taking a stroll along the park. I hope one day to picnic in the grass in front of this mansion (yeah, there’s an old mansion in the park!)


It was a wonderful day.

AND…I logged over 20,000 steps on my fitbit! Yeah! New record!


Sunday (6.15)

Ok. I know I’ve written a lot.

I will share my Sunday adventures in pictures. I didn’t get to go to church today. 😦 Instead, I worked at NY ComicCon (arranged far in advance) as an assistant to the comic writer Chris Claremont. I’m not really into comics, but it was a really interesting and fun experience.



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We got to take a car service there and back (YAY!), so I got to be a tourist on the drive home. There’s the Brooklyn Bridge!


Then my phone died.

The end.

Stay tuned for more stuff coming up this week.

We launch our magazine on Thursday, so it should be busy and eventful.



One week down. 

This week has been something else.

This city is crazy. I’ve come a long way since the beginning of the week, though. I most enjoy exploring on my own. During my lunch breaks, I like to wander the busy streets of the financial district and discover new spots. I like to walk around like I am a local: crossing crosswalks before the light changes, navigating the labyrinth of one-way streets, and transferring trains at subway stations like a pro. Whichever way I turn, there is something to see, do, or explore.

The food! Oh, the food! I had my first New York pie (pizza) this weekend from Brooklyn’s own Pizza Plus. I’ve also discovered the best macarons ever at Financier Patisserie. And Park Slope’s Naidre’s Cafe has the most delicious carrot cake I’ve tasted. My poor Instagram followers have had to endure my incessant food pictures lately. So far, no complaints, though.

I’m still working on acclimatizing. The humidity is insane. And, I’m told it’s only going to get hotter and more humid. Lord, help me.


Woolworth Building (aka, my classroom building)

So, now to the actual reason why I’m here.

This NYU Publishing Institute is no joke. It has been challenging and exciting at the same time. They really know how to push us to our limits. I understand that it’ll be for our good. And they want to pack as much as they can into the 6 short weeks of the program. Anyways, I’m exhausted.

As I mentioned before, we got pre-assigned magazine genre groups. Well, we also got pre-assigned roles within our magazines. And I got the role of Managing Editor (of the Business/Finance Mag). Basically, I am the organizer. In addition to helping the Editor-in-Chief with some ancillary tasks, I keep a detailed schedule for everyone on the team and I keep them on their toes to have everything in on time. Ideally, we’d like to go to print 2 days before launch so that we can edit and practice our launch presentation beforehand.

In the 2.5 short weeks we have until we launch, we have to create a brand on several platforms: print, website, tablet, mobile, and a customized app. We also have to create a detailed business plan with a 3 year profit-and-loss statement, a social media presence, a media kit, a mission statement, an advertising plan, planned hypothetical launch events, and a mockup of an email newsletter.

And, in the meantime, we also attend class, listen to guest speakers, sit in on workshops, and brush up on our digital skills.

With 12 people in the group, we can get it all done. But it’s going to be very labor-intensive.


What is my favorite part? Hearing from some amazing people in the magazine industry. Names like:

Pilar Guzman; Editor-in-Chief, Condé Nast Traveler

Michael Clinton; President, Marketing Publishing Director, Hearst Magazines 

Jon Gluck; Managing Editor, Vogue

Alison Brower; Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Oz The Good Life Magazine 

Lavinel Savu; Assistant Managing Editor, InStyle Magazine

Yulia Boyle; Senior Vice President, International Publishing, National Geographic Society 

David Curcurito; Design Director, Esquire Magazine


Oh my goodness. This is just the tip of the iceberg.


And, each day, we get a slew of magazines to keep, analyze and study. Me gusta.



Anyways, that’s it for now.

Here’s to another busy but exciting week.


I’ve Arrived


Well, I made it to NYC.

Here’s the gist:

I spent all Friday packing, making sure I didn’t forget anything. I feel pretty good for doing it all with 2 big suitcases, a backpack, a purse, and a tote bag.

Ok, when I see it on the screen, it seems like a lot. But, trust me, it’s pretty good. I have to dress business casual for this program, so that was a game changer. I’m usually a jeans and t-shirt gal, but I had to pack with the business casual thing in mind.

My sweet friend, Danielle met me at my bishop’s house where I dropped off my car. (My bishop is the BEST for letting me keep my car at his house for like 7 weeks. He could be taking joy rides in my sweet hatchback for all I know. Haha.) After moving all of my stuff to Danielle’s car, we headed out.

We made a quick stop in PG and then to dinner. I had to bid farewell to my love, Costa Vida, for the next 7 weeks. I will miss you greatly.

As the time passed, my emotions kept bouncing between excitement and fear.

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Danielle got me to the airport around 9pm for my 11pm flight. As I stood in line, I felt extremely scared. This is really happening. I’m going across country.



New everything.

As I sat on my computer waiting to board the plane, I might’ve shed a few discreet tears. This is really happening. I was so afraid.

But, this is what I do. I fear change.

But I chose this path. The same thing happened when I went on my mission. It was the right thing to do, but the jump into the dark was terrifying. To this day, I don’t regret for a second the mission that I served. I fear regret more than I fear change.

Anyways, I digress.

The plane ride was long. But I sat next to the nicest couple. They’re from Vernal, UT and were coming out to visit their son before they head to Europe for vacation.

I told myself I wouldn’t, but I finally broke down and bought a pillow from the flight attendant. Not the best $6 I’ve ever spent. But, they also supplied me with a complementary sleep mask and ear plugs. Thank you, JetBlue.

Despite my best efforts, I didn’t really sleep on the plane. I tossed and turned most of the time, maybe sleeping 30 minutes total the whole time.

After 4.5 hours in the air, I was amazed to open my windowshade and see that we had finally found the sunrise.


I landed at JFK airport at 5:20am. Collin (my brother) lovingly got up to pick me up at that ungodly hour.

I came to his apartment and crashed and slept for a good 5 hours.

Later, Collin and I ventured out to Brooklyn for a little bit and I got a taste of the streets here.


My fear is starting to change back to excitement again. New York is safer than a lot of people think. And it is so charming. The weather is fantastic so far.

I can do this.

I can do anything for 6 weeks.

And I think I will thrive.


Calling all idea-makers!

I’m starting a (pretend) business/finance magazine.

What would you like to see?
Any specific themes?
Story Ideas?

This topic of magazine is definitely out of my wheelhouse. Looking for feedback from anyone out there.