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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

UF continues to lead its students out from the Swamp and straight into success.

From broadcasting on ESPN to winning Heisman trophies, Gator students prove their success through athletics, scholarship, and perhaps less recognized, their fashion sense.

UF alumni holds top post at fashion magazine

By Rebekah Geier, Avenue Writer

In the New York offices of Hachette Filipacchi Media, the world's largest magazine publisher, UF alumni Kate Cavanna holds the title to Assistant Managing Editor at Elle.com.

After graduating from UF in 2006, Cavanna made a quick transition to the city. A former advertising major and retail associate, she searched for a job in the city's publishing industry, unaware that the opportunity of her dreams would be riding the subway.

What is now a flourishing career for Cavanna began with a fellow subway rider wearing a Gators sweatshirt.

"Go Gators!" said Cavanna, approaching the girl who seemed to be about her age.

True to the Gator Nation's widespread presence and plentiful pride, the fellow Gators chatted about their beloved community.

When it could have been the end of the conversation, Cavanna asked, "Where do you work?"

Much to her delight, the woman worked in the human resources department of Condé Nast, a major publishing company.

"Lightbulb!" thought Cavanna.

An ordinary transit turned into business', when the two exchanged contact information. Cavanna followed up and stayed in contact every week or two, checking for any job openings.

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Shortly after, she snagged a job writing for Brides.com, one of Condé Nast's publications.

"It is all about networking and who you know in this marketplace," Cavanna said. "You can't be afraid to reach out to people you don't know."

Cavanna said one of the most important tools job seakers should employ is attending networking events.

"Go to 20,000 networking meetings," she said. "And never leave without asking for one more contact. Eventually one of them is going to get in touch with you."

It's no coincidence that Cavanna's resume is loaded with .com jobs.

"Online is becoming bigger, and people want their information right away," said Cavanna. "This generation is about immediate gratification, and on-demand information is key."

Today's generation is at the cusp of a changeover.

Between the pull of old-fashioned ways and the tug of technological advance, the journalism industry is awkwardly fluttering between print and digital.

People don't entirely know what the future is going to bring for newspapers and magazines.

Cavanna advises students who face this ambiguous reality to learn how to publish online.

"You will be ahead of the game," she said.

Although the future of her industry is uncertain, Cavanna is enjoying the creative and glamorous opportunities her job offers now.

Cavanna will attend New York Fashion Week in September and gets to work with celebrities on a routine basis.

"It sounds corny, but it's like what you see in movies and are like, 'Whoa!'" she said.

But play does not come without hard work.

Working online, time management is a big issue. Information has to be continuoulsly dissemated and updated.

"Learning the politics for any job is also just as challenging. You're not just answering for the editor in chief. There's so many more people involved."

Cavanna offers a final piece of advice to anyone searching the job market: "People get very strict about 'tracks'. If you are really focused on what you want, then do not be afraid to take different paths because you never know where that's going to lead you," she said.

Courage is essential.

"Don't be afraid to try anything once. Anything you can learn, it's only going to benefit you," she said. "And then you might find something you love."

As Cavanna's story shows, people should never underestimate where a ride on the subway, or any other seemingly trivial events, might take you.

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