Mathis in the City
As a recent graduate of Loyola, Meg Mathis, 24, has had much success in Chicago where she is currently acting as the associate editor for Michigan Avenue magazine. She credits much of her success to networking.
Like many students, Mathis chose Loyola because she always wanted to live in a big city. She also always wanted to be a writer. She believes that while she was at Loyola, Patty Lamberti had the biggest impact on her, whom Mathis admired because of her prior successes in journalism, which included writing for Playboy magazine.
Mathis focused on internships and opportunities while majoring in communication at Loyola.
“That’s the luxury of being a communications major,” Mathis said. “The opportunities are always there.”
The internship that impacted Mathis the most was one with Modern Luxury, where she served as an editorial intern for CS Brides. There, she pitched and authored magazine and website articles, fact-checked and assisted with event management.
“It really was my first foray into magazine publishing,” Mathis said.
After graduating from Loyola in 2010, Mathis landed a job at the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago as a result of networking. She ran every aspect of the hotel’s social media network.
Her current job with Michigan Avenue magazine also was produced through networking opportunities. As the associate editor, Mathis works directly with JP Anderson, the magazine’s editor-in-chief. In the marketing office in Chicago, she works hand-in-hand with Anderson on all things editorial. This includes assigning and writing stories, editing and managing outside shoots.
Because the primary offices for the magazine are in New York, Mathis says much of her work goes through there.
“Our managing editor’s office is in New York, so I seem to always be on the phone,” Mathis said.
Working for a popular Chicago publication of course comes with its perks. When Harrison Ford was on the latest issue of the magazine, he attended the cover party.
“We had the opportunity to meet him, and it was the most amazing thing,” Mathis said. “The whole way home I was texting my mom, ‘Are you awake? Can I call you? I just met Harrison Ford!’ He was really nice and incredibly humble.”
Mathis’ job involves both the public relations and journalistic side of communication.
“Luckily, I love both aspects,” Mathis said.
Her favorite type of story to cover for the magazine is usually a “Talent Patrol,” which celebrates an up-and-comer in Chicago, or a story for the Food and Drink section.
“This job is a complete lifestyle change,” said Mathis. As she works on a two-person editorial team in the Chicago office she says it is a 24/7 kind of job, but she still loves it.
Mathis believes the greatest advice she could give to any young person looking to break into her field is to remember how important it is to network. In a field where sometimes it’s all about who you know, Mathis said, “Never underestimate the power of a handwritten note.”