Facebook staffer joins Newhouse in New York Faculty

by Nicole DeMentri

January 16, 2018

With experience at Facebook, the New York Times and Allure, Simone Oliver now brings her social media expertise to the Newhouse in New York classroom.

A photo of Simone Oliver
Simone Oliver

She may not remember her first Facebook post, but as an early adopter of social media, Oliver has always been passionate about social storytelling.

“I went through different stages of each platform where I was posting like a madwoman,” she recalls.

Last year, Oliver took that passion to Facebook as the editor of Magazine and Lifestyle Partnerships for the social giant. And this evening she’ll teach her first social media class as an adjunct professor at Newhouse in New York. With years of experience at Facebook, the New York Times and Allure magazine, she’s sure to incorporate her vast knowledge of digital media into her class: Social Platforms, Processes and Perspective.

Social from Day One

In addition to taking classes, Oliver’s 22 students are interning at various media companies this semester. Fortunately, Oliver knows how critical those internships can be to their future careers.

Her summer internship with the New York Times in 2003 led to her first job as a news assistant and what later became a nearly 13-year career at the paper.

“We started to transition to digital and by that time I was obsessed with becoming a copy editor,” Oliver says of her start at the New York Times. “But they don’t hire copy editors who are just a few years out of school.”

So shortly after joining the newspaper, she moved into their digital space where she worked on their website and helped make the paper a digital-first publication.

During her 13 years at the New York Times, Oliver advanced to positions including senior fashion and styles web producer/journalist, online fashion editor, and growth strategy editor. She launched the newspaper’s first Instagram account in 2011, led the editorial side of their first fashion app, and co-created a fashion video series focused on individual style around New York City and the world called, “Intersection: Where Culture Meets Style.”

In 2016, Oliver became digital director of Allure magazine. In just a year, she led a team of 20 to completely overhaul their digital editorial strategy.

Now, six months into managing Facebook’s Magazine and Lifestyle Partnerships, Oliver is finally is achieving a lifelong career dream.

 “This company is based on Mark Zuckerberg’s dream to connect the world and I mean, c’mon, it’s kind of hard to beat that company mission,” Oliver says. “I also get to work with some of the smartest, most humble people ever.”

A photo of Simone Oliver
Simone Oliver

The Classroom Experience

Although she’s not a Syracuse University alumni, Oliver has admired the Newhouse School since she was a teenager.

“How far back in history should I start?” Oliver jokes. “I visited Syracuse when I was a junior in high school. I remember going to the campus and being overwhelmed with how beautiful it was. And I remember thinking how amazing it was, but it was cold!”

Oliver graduated with a degree in English from Howard University in Washington, D.C. And while it’s understandable that the Syracuse cold isn’t for everyone, Oliver feels like she’s finally getting a piece of Syracuse through teaching at Newhouse in New York.

“It’s something I wanted to do because I’ve had teachers that have made a tremendous difference in my life,” she says. “It’s been a dream of mine for a very long time and to have this opportunity to me is something that I won’t ever take for granted.”

The spring 2018 Newhouse in New York students will be her first teaching experience, and she promises not to disappoint with a “really, really fun class that covers a lot of ground.”

“I really want students to leave the class with an understanding of how much they can do across social media and realize how important social media is for storytelling and business growth,” Oliver says.

Her philosophy for teaching? Mostly, she wants to be extremely welcoming.

“We have a lot of different minds, personalities, and learning styles in one room week after week, and I think it’s important to make yourself accessible and to be approachable,” she says.

Outside of her Social Space

Aside from her passion for all things digital, Oliver is quite the fashionista. Throughout her career, fashion has played a large role in her daily life at work and at home.

“Here’s why I like fashion: Fashion to me has nothing to do about how much money you have, how much access you have. Fashion to me is a convergence of creativity and business. And, to me, it just never gets old.”

Aside from her unique style, this New York native is also a beloved foodie and travel addict.  She enjoys traveling with her husband and daughter around the world, trying different cuisines.

Newhouse in New York is thrilled to have Professor Oliver as an addition to their faculty.

Nicole DeMentri is a senior broadcast and digital journalism major at the Newhouse School.