Still love your Lilly Pulitzer for Target dress? Thank Noria Morales. The former magazine editor was Head of Collaborations for the superstore, and also worked on fashion shoots for Glamour, The Wall Street Journal and more. Now she’s CMO and Co-founder of The Wonder, a members-only community that’s a lot like The Wing, but for families. (“I’m a nurturer,” she says, “and literally want to hold everyone’s baby.”) When she’s not making waffles or sipping martinis, Noria is probably working to make working mothers’ lives a lot easier. Here’s how she does it.

What was your first job out of college?

 My first job was at Houghton Mifflin, a publishing company based out of Boston. I was an editorial assistant supporting the US history textbook editor. I applied the good old-fashioned way, and did not have any connections. 

How often do you use the skills you learned in college to do your day-to-day work now

I was an English major at Boston College. I think that experience laid an intellectual foundation that I still [use]. I am very good at communication and articulating thoughts and ideas, which has served me well. 

What internships did you have prior to your first job?

Soooo… I never interned anywhere. I needed to make money, so I worked as a waitress, babysitter, caterer, coat-check attendant. You name it, I did it. I learned a ton about human behavior through my jobs, though. It’s different today–companies expect all these internships on the resume.

How did you land your current job? 

My dear friend Sarah Robinson first came to me with the idea for The Wonder about two years ago. As a working mother, I knew Sarah had tapped into a much-needed concept, and I was instantly excited to partner with her.

What’s the worst piece of advice you ever received? 

It came from one of my favorite people–my mother. I was young and wanted to leave my steady job as an editor at Condé Nast. My mother thought it was reckless, and she urged me to stay. She said, “Slow and steady wins the race, Noria.” I knew in my heart I was not the slow and steady type, and that I would essentially be going against my mom’s wishes (which is hard when you’re in your 20s).

What do you believe to be the most important thing for a healthy work environment? 

It’s so easy to succumb to toxicity, pettiness, and paranoia at work. But what if you worked in an environment where empathy, humility, and asking questions in order to learn was the cultural foundation for work? It would be pretty awesome, right? 

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned on your career journey?

 Staying calm and the transformative power of clear, positive communication. 

What’s your number one tip for someone looking to do what you do?

Take the time to examine your values, beliefs, and capabilities—and do it regularly. That’s your operating system. I believe people can do lots of different things if they are self-aware of their basic operating system. It will help you identify the type of work you want to do, the kinds of companies you might fit in with, and how you might work (or not work) with types of people.

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