Gardens in January

Texts about the theoretical bases of qualitative research quickly gather to an unbearable weight, much like the unwelcome snow outside. (Snow inside isn’t impossible.)

It was more than refreshing to grab my PB&J and head to a brown bag lunch with some mag industry vets from Better Homes and Gardens. Nancy Hopkins joined MU grads Veronica Toney, James Baggett and Maggie Meyer for an informal Q&A.

Access to industry insiders, even recent grads like Meyer and Toney, is a swell little perk that Mizzou doesn’t list on the tuition bill.

The quartet seemed overtly positive about the mag business, another uplifting sign. We’ve hosted a few sun-won’t-come-up-tomorrow types as recently as the fall semester. It didn’t hurt that the four had a sense of humor, either.

NH~ “Anything is possible. Sometimes you just need to ask twice.”

“Just because you go in working for free, doesn’t mean a position can’t be created for you based on your talent.”

MM~ “The connections won’t get you the job, but they might get you to the top of the pile.”

JB~ “Pursue your passions, but be nimble and be able to write anything.”

One student brought up convergence of disciplines, asking if she should specialize or aim for a broader skill-set. I’m under the impression that you should be really, truly great at one skill, while also possessing the capabilities and a basic understanding in related fields.

I want to be a phenomenal writer, but I have plenty of video experience, a photography hobby and some design skills.

NH~ “Converging is important, but anchor it.”

MM~ “Be able to direct those skills.” Know how something should look or sound or feel, and why.

Finally, on the differences between NYC and DSM:

JB~ “You give up a lot living in New York, but you make up for it in experiences.”

Perhaps those experience include a shovel for dense documents.

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