To begin a media career that has included stints as fashion director at Essence, founding editor of Uptown magazine and editor-in-chief of Ebony, Harriette Cole started with what she knew: fashion. The former runway model used her field expertise to wrangle two internships for herself.
There were no internships in liberal arts, so I created them at two free papers in Washington, D.C. I convinced them to let me write about fashion and gave myself a year to collect a body of clips. When that milestone got close, I reached out to two women I’d stayed in touch with from school who worked at magazines and asked if they knew of any job openings. They both did, one position at Fairchild Publications [now Fairchild Fashion Media] and another at Essence. I was offered both, but I took the job at Essence.
But before Harriette Cole was writing, she was typing. The first job the Howard graduate had was on the Hill, and it was far from glamorous. Cole’s role was secretarial in nature, but she found a way to write, and learned a lesson she continues to pass on: Read more