A few months ago, when I was a guest on the Today Show, I suggested that parents read Teen Vogue in order to stay in the know with their children, as this magazine is a great source for the latest scoop on teen celebrities, and fashion, style, hair, and makeup trends. When the cameras stopped rolling, after I had gone back to the green room to retrieve my belongings, I hopped into an NBC car and settled in for the ride home. Before I had even made it to the West Side Highway, I looked down at my cell phone and saw that I had an email from Teen Vogue’s Beauty and Health Director.
Here’s what it said:
Thanks for mentioning Teen Vogue on Today this AM! I work at Teen Vogue (and am a Johns Hopkins alum).
Would love to say thank you by offering you a little office visit… Let us know if you’re back in NYC anytime in the next few months!
Also, send me your mailing address!”
A few days later, I received three issues of Teen Vogue, a nice makeup brush, and a shiny, pink lip-gloss in the mail. The next gift she offered me, however, definitely takes the cake.
Last week, I had the privilege of visiting the Condé Nast building in Times Square to see Teen Vogue’s office. I was able to sit with the JHU alum and receive comments and critiques on my resume. I told her that I wanted a career in television production, and while she’s a magazine girl, she gave me her two cents into the production world. Additionally, she referred me to three other JHU alumni who work in television (one of whom was a member of my sorority), and to one of her past interns who switched from magazines to television production and is currently working at E! Entertainment Television. I walked away from the visit feeling connected, motivated, and privileged to be part of a university with such a wonderful alumni network.
My twin sister, Allie, feels the same exact way. As an economics major looking to join the financial scene, she was invited to a networking reception at the end of July for Hopkins alumni and Hopkins students in finance. Additionally, she attended a closed informational session for a consulting firm, solely for Hopkins students. And lastly, as a Hopkins student in finance, she has been given a mentor (who’s a Hopkins alum) and has been in touch with her all summer. Her mentor even reached out to another Hopkins alum who works at a hedge fund and is also a part of the finance mentoring network, and this man invited Allie to shadow a bunch of Hopkins alumni at his company for one week this summer.
I hate to say it, but in this day and age, it’s more about who you know, not what you know. It’s important to be knowledgeable and good at what you’re doing, but that step comes after you’ve actually been given the opportunity to perform. It’s so tough to get your foot in the door, but once you’re in, that’s when your skills and education become so important.
As a part of the Hopkins family, I feel like I’ve been blessed with a personal doorman whose job is to stop doors before they close. Once I see that little bit of light on the other side of the doorway, then it’s my job to scream into the room, asking if anyone inside went to Hopkins. Once I hear a few “yeses,” I just know that one of them will throw me a rope, and with our combined strengths, I feel confident that I’ll make it inside.