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 chatting with Kelsey Stiegman, Senior Style Editor at Seventeen. In her coveted role, she’s in charge of the platform’s fashion and beauty verticals on the website and on social media. She’s also their resident Harry Potter expert, and loves traveling. Wondering how Kelsey got her start? Keep scrolling to find out. 

What was your first job out of college? 

Seventeen.com was actually my first job. I started as an intern and worked my way up to Senior Style Editor. I literally grew up on a farm in the middle of a cornfield in Illinois – I had absolutely no connections in the industry whatsoever. When I moved to New York, I didn’t know a single person. I just worked really hard and thankfully, my bosses took notice and hired me.

What was your college major?

I majored in Apparel Merchandising – for me there really wasn’t a choice other than to be a fashion major. Fashion is at the core of my being; I wouldn’t be happy doing anything else. I added on an English minor to get some technical writing experience. Having a degree in journalism definitely isn’t required. I know a lot of editors who weren’t journalism majors.  

What internships did you do prior to your first job?

Seventeen.com was my first-ever internship. Before that, the only experience I had was at my college newspaper, where I was the Features Editor. After Seventeen, I interned at a boutique doing styling and social media, then at a vintage clothing exhibit at my school. After that, I did a fashion and beauty internship at Cosmopolitan.com. A few months after I finished up at Cosmo, Seventeen.com hired me back.

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

Honestly, I’ve never really had a mentor, so I’ve never really gotten bad or good advice. I’ve kind of always just done what I thought was best and so far, it’s worked out for the most part.