Ohio University

Scripps Alumna Spotlight: Katie Pittman Q&A

Scripps Alumna Spotlight: Katie Pittman Q&A

Q: What is your hometown, and what was your college major? 

A: I’m originally from Athens, Ohio (Bobcat from birth!). I double-majored in journalism news and information and Spanish, and I have degrees in both.  

Q: What kind of work do you do post-graduation? 

A: I work at O, The Oprah Magazine as executive assistant to the editor-in-chief. That’s basically a fancy way to say I’m an editorial assistant—aside from general administrative duties, I help write and edit stories, pitch ideas, create and post social media content, pitch and write for our weekly newsletter, help edit the iPad edition of the magazine, plan parties, and work on special projects like books or one-offs.   

Q: Where are you currently located, and what has the adjustment from Athens been like? 

A: I work in New York City and live in Brooklyn. I was lucky enough to live in NYC for an internship in the summer of 2018, so I was really familiar with using the trains and getting around Manhattan. Brooklyn is a little more down-to-earth than the city, so that adjustment wasn’t too hard. Personally, the most difficult thing for me is being away from my family. I had spent my entire life in Athens, so it was hard to not only say goodbye to my hometown, but to my second home at OU, too. I try to find time to make it back as often as I can. That being said, though, there really is an energy you get from living in NYC. You give to the city, and it gives back. Cliché as it is, this place is magical.  

Q: What does your typical day look like?  

A: Everyone in the industry says this, but truly, no two days are alike! I arrive at the office around 9:30 in the morning, make sure my boss has what she needs to read and edit before she comes in, and get right to work on the pieces I’m writing or editing. We work on three issues at a time three months ahead of time, so on any given day, my internal calendar is severely confused about what month it actually is. That’s part of the fun though! You’re always looking ahead.  

Q: How did you get your current position?  

A: I was lucky enough to intern with O through the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) in 2018. When a position became available, one of my editors DM’d me on Instagram and encouraged me to apply. I was already living in New York when she messaged me, so I went in for a couple of interviews within a week’s time and started two weeks later.  

Q: Is this something that you had originally thought you would do? 

A: Honestly, no! I had always dreamed of working for a magazine, but I assumed I would start somewhere small, like a city magazine or freelancing for a niche publication. When I got the message from my editor at O, my heart jumped into my throat. It still feels surreal working for such an established publication right after graduation. I’ve been here a little over five months, but I can’t help but smile each time I walk into the office and see our logo on the door.  

Q: How did your experience at Scripps prepare you for this job? 

A: Not only did my classes give me the tools to thrive in a fast-paced work environment, but working at a student org allowed me to put those tools to use. I worked for Thread magazine for six years (perks of going to high school in Athens—I nudged my way into student orgs early), eventually becoming editor-in-chief for two. Working with a team and creating something together showed us the reality of making a magazine—you don’t always agree on things, stories fall through, there are late nights—but it all pays off. I wouldn’t be where I am today without those experiences. Not to mention, my professors (Dr. Hendrickson, I’m pointing at you…and sending a hug from afar) who encouraged me to keep going, especially when things got tough.) They shared the “inside baseball” elements of the industry with me: How budgets for publications worked, how to create a business plan, why networking is so important. They also helped me build my web of connections.  

I want to give a shout out to two other employees I worked closely with: Julie Conrad and Becky Fox. These ladies reminded me of the importance of taking care of myself during the stressful moments of school, work, and life, and they would also encourage and validate my need to take breaks. I would be in awful shape without them.   

Q: What do you miss about Athens? 

A: I miss a lot of things about Athens, especially the people. It will always be my home, and the people there will always be my family. Plus, I really miss going to Donkey to get my daily roast of the week, grabbing a marg at Casa Nueva, and running to Power Hour at Jackie O’s. And, even though they were ROUGH when they were happening, I miss Thread late nights, too. Nothing like pulling an all-nighter with your production team.