Alissa Hicks: from Intern to Associate

Working as a Media Associate for Today’s Woman isn’t just a job for 23 year old Alissa Hicks but a dream come true.  This Louisville native thrives on her busy schedule all the while remaining perfectly fashionable.   As a student at Bellarmine University, Alissa grew to love communications, writing and design.  With hard work, determination and a little help from her stepdad the graduate got her foot in the door at Today’s Woman magazine.  Going from intern to hired associate, Alissa's role has grown immensely at the Louisville magazine in just a short time.  From working photoshoots to writing editorial pieces there’s no stopping this savvy businesswoman.

GRACESHIP: What did you want to do when you first got to Bellarmine University?
ALISSA: I talked to one professor who I got really close to for the next four years and decided to go with communications. I've always been really interested in creative writing and literature.  She would say, “you know you might want to look into PR, marketing or even graphics." So I went the general route of communications and from there tried out all the other aspects to see what I liked.  I ended up graduating with a communications degree and a minor in writing.

GRACESHIP: What is your official position at Today's Woman?
ALISSA: I'm a Media Associate for them.  To start they hired me and they didn't have a budget because they're a free magazine and they were staffed.  At the time they were trying to revamp their directory to the three sections they have now: Today's Woman, Today's Family and Today's Transitions. I dabbled in a little bit of sales even though I didn't have much experience and revamping the directory, that's kind of where I started. From there I did editorials and designing for the photoshoots and website. If you ask around the office they call me the "everywhere girl" I am here, there and everywhere. I will go from writing an article at 10 am to making sales calls from 11-12 to writing an ad proposal to working a photoshoot the rest of the day.

GRACESHIP: Who or what do you look to for inspiration?
ALISSA: I don't really know, I just kind of go for it.  Whatever inspires me at the moment from magazines I'm reading to blogs I see online. You'll see my desk covered in magazines with tabs sticking out or I'll take a corkboard and stick pictures from fashion magazines I find inspiration in. I just go with my feelings, I'll ask for corporate advice from my dad a lot.


GRACESHIP: Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
ALISSA: I honestly have no clue. I think I have a dream job but of course who says " I have a dream job" and then ends up there forever? I never found that realistic I guess. When I was in college there were always people saying you know I want to be "this or that." But I thought If I tried different stuff maybe I would find what I really liked. My heart lies in editorial and design, I think that one door will lead to the next. So I don't really have a plan for where I want to be in the future.


GRACESHIP: Do you have any favorite blogs that you follow?
ALISSA: I do! I have a blog myself and I'll often look to other blogs for inspiration.  I love “A Spoonful of Style” and Olivia Palmero's blog especially because she's so classic but very trendy and always looks so effortless but flawless everyday. I'll generally find them on Instagram or through websites I like that have a "blog we love" feature on the sidebar, I'm constantly finding something new. That's really what I love about blogging, it's never competitive. I think everybody that blogs does it because they love it and just want to share and inspire.


GRACESHIP: Where do you love to shop at most? In person and online?
ALISSA: I never online shopped until I started working and now I find myself doing it while eating lunch and I find myself saying "this is going to be a problem one day."  I really love J.Crew and ZARA, I think they're so classic. I also like C. Wonder because it's a little more fun and quirky, The Loft for their basics and I love Sole Society. I think that's where I get most of my online shopping done.  I'm always buying their shoes because I'm constantly running around. I have shoes under my desk, I adore their flats and their booties are super comfortable.

GRACESHIP: What are your fashion staples as working woman? What couldn't you live without?
ALISSA: Definitely a black pencil skirt and you have to find one that fits which is the key. When it fits you'll want to wear it all the time.  In the summer I can tuck a blouse in it and in the fall I can pull a sweater over it. It really works for all seasons. You can wear it three days in a row and mix it up, I highly doubt anyone will notice.

GRACESHIP: What is your getting ready routine, is there one product you couldn't live without?
ALISSA: Oh gosh, my Clarisonic Mia facial cleanser, I'm the biggest advocate for this thing. I cannot go in the morning without it, I'm huge on skin. It exfoliates and cleanses, I feel 5 times more energized after using it.  As far as a morning routine, I don't really have one.  I'm kind of whimsical, I just do whatever I feel. I'll wake my sister up and ask, "what do you think, ponytail or not?" One thing I couldn't do without makeup wise is tinted lip balm, If I don't have it on me it's just not going to happen. If I feel like my skin looks bad or I'm having a bad hair day it does wonders.

GRACESHIP: What's been your most memorable experience at TW thus far?
ALISSA I really love our Derby photoshoot's and as a tedious intern task I had to catalogue the designer hats sent to us to feature them in the magazine. I took off my shoes and sat on the floor taking pictures of them and cataloguing them, putting it in a spreadsheet. When I got home I thought "I never want to look at another Derby hat again." However, when I look back I think "you know that was really fun, I got to try on and play with all these amazing derby hats which is way better than sitting in a desk filing paperwork all day." 

GRACESHIP: What's your favorite online feature on the TW website?
ALISSA: SInce I now run the website, I really love all that we have to offer on it, which is really bias. Mostly I just really like how we're connected to everything, social media wise especially.  We do giveaways online and our readers love that and I just like to see everything really connected, it's more interactive. I'm a visual person, I like to see the photos we have to offer and I run the Pinterest page and like to keep it regularly updated.  I love that our tweets pop up and what not, it's nice to have feedback.

GRACESHIP: What's your favorite feature on GRACESHIP'S website?
ALISSA: My favorite feature is Emily's story because it's good to see where the product is coming from. I want to read about the publisher, I like seeing what makes the publisher or owner tick. It gives a product or business a sense of personality. I think you have a really good website, I love how crisp and clean the website is, so easy to use.  

GRACESHIP: What kind of advice would you have for girls who are still in college and want that first break?
ALISSA: I say this and it's going to sound funny. This really started as a joke between me and my sister but we always say "go big or go home" because at the end of the day as long as you tried you're getting somewhere. You can fail and learn from it or you can succeed, either way you're moving ahead. I know when I first got started, before TW decided to keep me around, I contacted over 65 magazines. I mean, you name it, anywhere on this side of the U.S. I was sending resumes in the mail and making small portfolio samples. If you have to work for free for a while, do it, it's the experience that counts. I would show up to a photoshoot as an intern to sit back and watch because when did a fresh set of eyes ever hurt anyone? After a while I would make small comments like "hey this is just a suggestion, but I don't think that color really looks good on her" and eventually they start noticing and saying "you know what, you're right." Don't be afraid to speak up and give suggestions.

McKauley DeLonjay
McKauley DeLonjay


2 Responses

Becky Delonjay
Becky Delonjay

January 31, 2014

McKauley DeLonjay
That has a nice ring to it!!!
Great job baba

Lindsay Spiegel
Lindsay Spiegel

January 31, 2014

Ahh! Ali is one of my dearest friends :) small world! LOVE this post!

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