We don’t know about you, but we used to fantasize about our dream jobs as children. And–for many of us–those dream roles included glossy magazines, mile-high skyscraper offices, and writing in a big, shiny city. Ever wonder what it takes to work at some of the top publications on the planet? To find out, we sat down with editors at Hearst, and asked them how they landed their dream jobs in the fast-paced and ever-changing publishing landscape. Today, we’re speaking to Chloe Hall, Special Projects Editor and Producer at ELLE.com. She also contributes to Elle’s Instagram and stars in/produces her own video series “BackSeat Facebeat” where celebrity makeup artists like Sir John and Patrick Ta give her the ultimate face beat in the back of a moving car. When she’s not writing or shooting, you can catch her in Brooklyn with her pug Capone. Below, Chloe tells us how she landed her impressive position at Elle.

What was your first job out of college? How did you get it?

My first job out of college was at Teach for America! I applied during my senior year of college and was accepted early on in the semester. After TFA I knew I wanted to enter the media world, so I started working for Betches, the popular Instagram account and lifestyle website, remotely. That turned into a full-time job and moved me to NYC.

What was your college major? Did you feel like you needed to be a journalism major in order to be an editor?

I majored in Global Communications at USC’s Annenberg School for Journalism and Communication. I don’t think you need a journalism degree to be an editor, but it definitely helps. I think it’s more important to get experience and clips in publications as early in your career as you can.

What internships did you do prior to your first job?

I interned at Nasty Gal, BET, and bebe. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do but I knew it involved media, fashion, and beauty. I learned a lot at each internship and somehow incorporate little lessons from my past experiences into my work now.

How did you land your current job? What were the steps you took?  

While working at Fashionista, the brilliant Leah Chernikoff, ELLE.com’s former Executive Director, slid into my DMs (LOL!). She liked the work I was doing at Fashionista and wanted to meet up and chat. We met for coffee and I was later hired as ELLE.com’s beauty producer. You never know who is watching and what it can lead to!

What was the best/worst piece of advice you ever received?

The best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten is be yourself, someone else is already taken. I always try to stay true to who I am and follow my moral compass.

The worst advice I’ve received is from friends and family who didn’t believe I could break into the media industry. In college, I constantly heard that it was too competitive and a million people were vying for one position. That’s not always the case and just because it’s competitive doesn’t mean you should count yourself out.