Emily Shea

Where are you from?

I’m from Asheville, North Carolina, and I graduated with a degree in mass communications from the University of North Carolina Asheville in May 2018.

Did you always know you wanted to be a magazine editor?

I actually wanted to be a surgeon for the longest time. My dad is a doctor, and I spent a lot of time playing around with gauze and sutures when I was a kid. It wasn’t until my second year of college that I realized I had a true passion for writing and that I was actually pretty good at it. My adviser convinced me to switch majors, and I never looked back. Even when I was about to graduate, I didn’t think I’d become an editor right out of the gate. I figured I’d have to work as a local newspaper reporter for a while, but I worked really hard, and here I am. 

What’s the hardest thing about your job?

Finding a balance. This isn’t a 9-to-5 job; it’s an around-the-clock, answer-the-phone-if-someone-calls job. It’s hard to set firm boundaries. At first, I was nervous about saying no to something or disappointing someone. But then I remembered how hard I worked for this position and how much I deserve to stand my ground and create some space for a little rest and relaxation every once and awhile. Being a young professional, I want to form a good reputation for myself, but I also don’t want to get stepped all over. Like I said, finding a balance is key. 

Advice for other young professionals?

+ Practice gratitude every day. 

+ Speak your dreams into existence, no matter how big or scary they are.

+ Embrace a growth mindset. 

+ Be humble.