Students visit magazines in New York City on annual Glavin trip

By Emmie Martin

January 27, 2014

A brutal January wind blew down Sixth Avenue, chilling the faces of 15 magazine students attending the 2014 Bill Glavin Magazine Trip, an annual excursion to New York City to meet with editors and writers from some of the nation’s leading publications. The trip is made possible by a generous donation from Eric Mindich, and his wife, Stacey Okun Mindich, a Newhouse alumna and a student of professor Bill Glavin, who taught at the Newhouse School for 38 years. Single-digit temperatures numbed students’ fingers and toes for the three-day visit, but the industry advice offered by editors warmed their passion for journalism.

The trip’s itinerary reflected the ever-growing digital side of magazines and included visits to Business Insider, People.com, Fortune.com, Epicurious, Cosmopolitan.com, and Esquire.com. The first stop, Business Insider, buzzed with youthful energy (a pingpong table in the reception area) and proved an unexpected highlight for many of the students. Managing Editor Jessica Liebman and List and Rankings Editor Leah Goldman encouraged students to explore both the online and business sectors, niches with which few attendees had experience.

“Even if it’s not what you set out to write about, you might end up loving it,” Goldman, a Newhouse magazine alumna, says.  

The young writers learned that you don’t necessarily have to be an expert in the field you’re covering to do a good job.

 “You don’t have to come in with a specific expertise, but you do need to know how to immerse yourself and learn about it,” says Andrea Lavinthal, style director at People.com and magazine alumna. This sentiment, which echoed the advice of several editors, served as a refreshing reminder to students that no publication lays outside of their reach.

Print journalism also had its (7 degree) day in the sun, with visits to Forbes, GQ, Self, and O, the Oprah Magazine, where editors encouraged students to write and brainstorm ideas constantly. GQ editors Brendan Vaughan and Michael Hainey advised students to pitch their ideas continuously—even in the face of constant rejection. “Know the voice of any magazine you come to, whether it’s in a tweet or an article,” Hainey advised. Self editors Erin Hobday, Marjorie Korn, and Devin Tomb recommended keeping in touch with interesting people and looking out for potential stories. “Keep a mental list of what you and your friends talk about, and use that to find story ideas,” Tomb suggested.

As students left NYC ready to thaw their bodies, the words of magazine alum Eric Gillin, director of product at Epicurious, stayed frozen in their minds: “You make your own breaks.”

Emmie Martin is a senior magazine journalism student originally from Houston, Texas.