Name: Kara Cuzzone
Class Year: 2019
Title: Assistant Commerce Editor
Organization Name: PureWow
1. In one sentence, what does your job entail?
I write shoppable articles for PureWow’s beauty, wellness, fashion and home verticals.
2. What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?
Late into my sophomore year, I decided to change my plan to go abroad to Italy and applied to the NYC Semester Program instead. That was the first major step towards my career today, because I got to intern at Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazines and get a feel for whether I’d really like working in women’s media. Spoiler alert: I did. Through the semester program, I met a wonderful HC alumna who connected me with a summer internship at Byrdie (yes, the alumni network is as great as everyone says). That gave me some really valuable experience in writing shopping content which helped me to land my role at PureWow. But first, I had to discover PureWow, which is all thanks to Isabelle Jenkins, associate director of the Donelan Office for Community Based Learning. She was (and continues to be) a great mentor to me, and was able to connect me with a friend of hers who had worked at PureWow a couple of years prior. That connection helped me to get my foot in the door rather than just cold applying to the assistant commerce editor role I’m in today.
3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?
During my time at Holy Cross, I was a CBL intern, fall orientation leader, a member of Best Buddies, and a co-chair of Peace of Mind, an organization aimed at promoting mental wellness and self-care practices on campus that I founded during my sophomore year.
4. What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?
I was an Anthropology major. Through my Anthropology courses, I realized that I really enjoy learning a little bit about a lot of different topics. Within the discipline, you can study everything from the cultural impacts of social media in America to how interior design impacts people’s sense of self in Vietnam. As an editor, I get to feed that interest by constantly researching new topics for articles. Anthropological field work also involves interviewing people, which I came to really enjoy. In my job, I’m able to interview experts, so it has a similar feel.
5. What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?
One skill that I developed at Holy Cross is the ability to build strong professional relationships. Through my experiences as a CBL intern, as well as just interacting with professors and attending office hours, I learned the importance of finding mentors and how to collaborate with those in leadership roles. In my work, I’m conscious about reaching out to editors who are more experienced for mentorship and advice, which has been really valuable. I’m better able to advocate for myself at work and interact with folks regardless of their position in the workplace hierarchy because Holy Cross gave me the tools to do so.
6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?
My advice for current HC students is don’t be afraid to change paths. Some of the best decisions I made during my time at Holy Cross were last minute pivots, like deciding to do the NYC Semester Program instead of going abroad, or majoring in Anthropology instead of Psychology. I think the key is to follow what truly interests you rather than doing what you feel you “should” do. You don’t have to stick with something just because it’s what you wanted your freshman year. You’ll change throughout your four years, so it’s totally natural that your plans will change too.