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Lauren Phillips ’16 receives post-grad fellowship with Time Inc.

The English major was selected for the media organization’s Lifestyle Group Fellowship Program and will assist the editorial staff of Coastal Living, a print and online magazine based in Birmingham, Alabama.

Lauren Phillips ’16, an English major with a double concentration in creative writing and literature, will spend the next year as an editorial fellow with Coastal Living magazine. 

Elon University senior Lauren Phillips has accepted an offer to join Time Inc. for a competitive one-year post-grad fellowship with Coastal Living, a print and online magazine that features content relating to coastal communities and activities. This fellowship marks the culmination of a deliberate four-year pursuit by the English major to work in the magazine industry.

“I've wanted to work with a lifestyle magazine since I started college,” said Phillips, noting that past internships with Good Housekeeping and Four Seasons Magazine solidified her interest along the way.

The Peachtree City, Georgia, native supplemented her internship experiences with a variety of roles with on-campus organizations, serving as managing editor of Colonnades Literary and Art Journal as well as several positions with The Edge and The Pendulum, including a tenure as the student newspaper’s opinions editor.

As part of the Lifestyle Group Fellowship Program, Phillips will relocate to Birmingham, Alabama, home of Coastal Living’s offices and several other Time Inc. publications. During the paid fellowship, which runs from June 2016 through May 2017, she will primarily assist the magazine’s editorial staff.

“I'm still not sure what my specific responsibilities will be – it's a smaller editorial team, so I think I'll get the opportunity to work in several different areas – but I've been hired as an editorial fellow,” she said. “I'll be writing, editing and researching, and probably doing plenty of copy-editing and fact-checking. I'll be supporting the regular editorial staff with whatever they need to produce.”

She added, “The magazine itself focuses on design, travel, food and coastal lifestyles, all topics I'm interested in but looking forward to exploring further as I try to decide what kind of lifestyle magazine I want to work with.”

Phillips found the fellowship’s application process to be pretty straightforward, requesting an online form, resume, cover letter and work samples. A few weeks after her submission, she participated in an automated video Q&A session. Soon thereafter, an email arrived to schedule separate interviews with Coastal Living’s managing editor and assistant managing editor.

“Time Inc. is a huge international company and I felt like I was just one person in a sea of applicants, so I was actually shocked – and so excited - when I got an email,” she said. “After the first-round interviews, everything moved incredibly fast.”

As she considered her post-graduation plans, Phillips ultimately decided to pursue opportunities with Time Inc. at the recommendation of Grace Elkus ’14, a former participant in the company’s fellowship program. The journalism major served as a digital fellow with CookingLight.com last year.

“Grace had great things to say about the program, and I already admired the participating magazines,” Phillips said. “Really, it was the perfect combination of a post-grad opportunity with lifestyle magazines (there aren't many of those), an opportunity to work with magazines I had grown up reading, and an opportunity to be part of a major lifestyle media company.”

Phillips expressed excitement about moving to Birmingham, a city she’d never visited before despite being just two hours from her hometown. Not surprisingly, this relocation plan has her mother thrilled.

“I'm really excited to eat some good Southern cooking again and check out the growing foodie scene in Birmingham,” said Phillips. “I've also heard a lot about the music and art scene there, so I'm really excited to explore that and to explore the city in general.”

Tommy Kopetskie,
4/26/2016 4:35 PM