Meet Maria, a PG Certificate in Fashion and Lifestyle Journalism alumna who now lives and works in New York.
Could you introduce yourself and your current role?
Hi! My name is Maria Bobila and I'm an associate editor at Fashionista.com. I graduated from LCF's PGCert program in 2009 and have written for Vogue.com UK, Refinery29, InStyle, SHEfinds, i-D, Complex and more.
What did you study at LCF and why did you choose the College?
I completed a postgraduate certificate in fashion and lifestyle journalism. I chose LCF because I never had the chance to study abroad in college, which was something a lot of my classmates did. When I started becoming interested in fashion and style, I always admired London and UK-based publications the most. It seemed like the best place to kickstart my career in fashion journalism.
What skills did you learn and continue to use now?
I really learned how to be resourceful when reporting on stories, especially since I'm from the U.S. and was living in a brand new city. I met so many interesting and different people in London for interviews/feature stories and I think that taught me to be proactive and take advantage of what's available to you to get the most and best information for your story. I think that ultimately helped me with freelance writing and pitching stories to publications that I admire. I also think my Photoshop and InDesign skills wouldn't be where they are today without a course at LCF!
How would you describe the course?
Boot camp journalism. I learned so much throughout the course, from different types of feature stories and how to use Photoshop to interviewing tips and how to work on multiple assignments at one time.
How did you find the teaching?
It was great to have teachers who were actual working journalists because they gave our class so many anecdotes and real instances from their own work experience. They knew exactly what we were getting ourselves into and I think that helped everyone prepare for a career in journalism.
What did you do for your final project?
I did a supplement for NYLON Guys Magazine that's focused on sneakers and sneakerhead culture. It had an interview with a sneaker collector in London, a few guys from around the world who were known for creating custom sneakers and profiles on sneaker boutiques in Philadelphia and Boston in America. I even styled an editorial of menswear outfits (and sneakers) inspired by pop culture. Years later, I'm still very much proud of it!
What have been the biggest challenges, if any, in building your career within the industry?
After completing my postgraduate certificate, I moved to New York when the publishing industry was probably at an all-time low and digital media was steadily on the rise. Although I was interning for a few print magazines at the time, I knew I had to get online experience. So I think making the switch to focus on digital was a worthwhile challenge.
Tell us about an average day at your job?
At Fashionista, we start our days very early to get a head start on the morning news rush. The first part of the day is a lot of reporting and breaking stories and by the afternoon, we're usually working on more long-lead feature stories, having interviews, visiting showrooms, attending press appointments or events, etc.
How would you define your own style?
It's definitely androgynous and menswear-inspired. These days, I love an oversized sweater (preferably with a high neck) and a pair of skinny frayed jeans and ankle boots or sneakers, along with a tailored coat and leather backpack.
What is your top tip for people who want to get into roles like yours?
Write a lot and read a lot. There are so many opportunities for journalists to get their work out there, especially online. Don't be afraid to pitch your ideas to editors or start a blog so you can develop your voice. And devour content whenever you can so it can inform your own writing.