Name of Professional: Stacy Girard
Profession/Title: D Home and D Weddings Executive Editor
Business/Company Name: D Magazine
Date of Interview: 6 October 2016
In speaking with Ms. Girard, I was able to view the world of journalism from a completely new and refreshing perspective. Rather than just another way to get informed on breaking news, upcoming events in the community, and the latest big event in politics, magazines are the perfect medium for inspiration and style to Ms. Girard. From her, I learned that print journalism has numerous realms; anybody can find something that they are passionate about within the industry. Stemming from this, she taught me the importance of writing about something I am passionate about.
As the home and weddings editor, Ms. Girard focuses on publishing the latest and greatest interior design trends, names in real estate, and unique stories behind sometimes triple-digit local homes for sale. A few years back, preceding her time at D, she founded Shuz, a magazine completely dedicated to shoes. Fashion is certainly something that Ms. Girard has a passion for, and pursuing that passion is what got her started in the magazine world. This raised the question in my mind- is there a particular subject that I am passionate enough about that I would like to write strictly about it for a career? I am fervent when it comes to environmental issues- the destruction of our forests, the melting of the polar ice caps, our unprecedented, unsustainable manipulation of fossil fuels- as well as when it comes to food- its ability to naturally cure disease and what it does in the body. Is there a situation in my mentorship in which I would be able to write about one of these topics? I plan on inquiring this of my mentor and actively pursuing any opportunity of this kind that presents itself.
Ms. Girard called the ability to communicate well and be open to new opportunities the most important skill to have as a journalist. As she had to travel often in her previous job position, senior copywriter for Neiman Marcus’s The Book, she was able to experience how individuals interact differently all over the world. Being able to communicate well with people from all walks of life is an essential skill in journalism, because knowing how to relate and appeal to anybody makes conversing with them much easier and more natural. This taught me the importance of gaining experience in communication, being outgoing, and being adaptable to any circumstance. Furthermore, being open to new opportunities, no matter how intimidating they may be, can help build skills that may have been weak before. For example, my mentor has offered to let me fact check a few pieces over the course of our mentorship; while I have never fact checked anything before, I am willing to embrace the challenge and reap the valuable benefits accompanying the practice.
Ms. Girard was able to show me that remaining persistent when acquiring sources and asking hard-hitting questions are not the only type of skills useful to a journalist; there is in fact a whole other side of the industry. Being social, amicable, outgoing, and open-minded are all skills that aid a journalist in building relationships and opening doors to new opportunities.