Welcome to Dream Jobs, a series where we ask some of the coolest, smartest and most creative people working in design today to tell us all about their jobs and just what they did to get there.
Perhaps you recognize Amanda from her recent TV stint as a regular judge on Ellen's Design Challenge, or maybe you just know her name from the glossy pages of Dwell magazine (or her previous work at Architectural Digest). Either way, this lady really knows what's what in the world of design. Wanna know how she got so cool? We asked her.
What’s your official job title?
Editor in Chief and Executive Vice President, Content
When did you know what you wanted to do?
When I was a junior in college, after interning at a magazine and working as a copy editor at the school newspaper, I decided I wanted to be a professional editor upon graduation. Though at that time I thought I would go into book publishing. It wasn’t until I attended the Columbia Publishing Course that I realized I was better suited for magazines.
Where’d you go to school? What did you study?
I studied English at the University of Cincinnati, attended two semesters at the Universidad de Sevilla, and attended the post-graduate Columbia Publishing Course at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
How did you score your current job?
Persistence. I think I sent three or four resumes to Dwell until I finally heard back—I began working at Dwell as a part-time independent contractor, hired to create a custom taxonomy for eight years’ worth of content and relaunch dwell.com.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day is different, and I really love that about my job. A typical day in the office will include reviewing layouts with the Design team, going over pitches and texts with the editors, working with the marketing and PR teams on upcoming initiatives, discussing strategy and user behaviors with the digital team, pitching concepts to outside partners, or checking in with architects, designers, writers or photographers over a coffee in the office.
What’s the coolest thing about your job?
Working with creative people to develop different ways to tell a compelling story. I love that I get to bob and weave between creating stories in the magazine to talking to the same creative minds onstage at Dwell on Design, our bi-annual conference that takes place in Los Angeles and New York. It’s exciting to me to pursue conversations that transcend mediums, building from a print story to a live conversation in front of an audience. The feedback we get from audience members helps us to reframe our reporting for future stories. I like that we create narratives that are continuous arcs, rather than static stories that only appear once. I think that’s the future of media, to incorporate feedback and hone an editorial perspective based on the conversation we’re having with our audience. It makes me proud that Dwell is a leader in this new landscape of storytelling.
What’s the worst part of your job?
Telling people that a project they’ve submitted isn’t a good fit.
What advice would you give to someone looking to do what you do?
Never underestimate the power of an internship, and don’t hem yourself into a particular specialization too early. Ask questions, and walk through any door that opens to you. That’s the path to figuring out your strengths and weaknesses.
What else should we know about what you do?
I consider my job to be a dream job, and every day I am thankful that it’s what I get to do for a living.
Thank you, Amanda!