To call her a “modern day Carrie Bradshaw” feels a bit trite as pretty much all of us aspire to be the Carries of our friend group. But in Alyssa Fiorentino’s case, she is the living, breathing, Insta-storying embodiment of the fictional character we love.
It should’ve been obvious to us that Alyssa was going places fast when as one of our very first editorial contributors, she never missed a deadline. Never. And every piece she wrote was that perfect mix of relatable, witty, aspirational and encouraging. Like a little internet hug from your BFF.
Since graduating college, in less than two and half years, Alyssa has worked her way up to Social Media Manager at Vogue – you read that right, freaking Vogue – and though she humbly didn’t mention it (we will for her) has found herself on Folio’s 30 under 30 list before even turning 25.
Here’s how she did it.
Hometown: Wilmington, MA
Year you graduated: 2015
Where did you go to school? Fordham University
What did you study? Communications and Media Studies
Briefly describe what your college experience was like:
College was the best. I worked really hard to get good grades which, I realize now, was not important at all. I also spent all my free time between classes working at the dean’s office—my only source of income during school—and doing internships, which was incredibly important. I partied, I procrastinated, I ate a ton of pizza. It was amazing and I have no regrets.
What are you doing with your post grad time?
Mostly working—I’m the Social Media Manager at Vogue—but also trying not to think about turning 25.
What did your post-grad path to your current job look like? Did you start right away? Take some time off?
I actually started working when I was still in school. I got lucky with timing; I was able to take my last two classes at night. During the day I worked a permalance (full-time freelance) job at WomansDay.com. About a month before graduation I was told about a job at Delish.com, and two weeks before graduating I got it. I finished out my work at Woman’s Day through graduation, went home for a week, and moved to New York for good on Memorial Day Weekend in 2015.
Delish was a blast and such an incredible experience. After two years climbing to the top with that family (it’s not a team, it’s a family) I left for Glamour. Three years out of college, I am now at Vogue.
(from Alyssa’s days at Delish…not bad)
What does a normal week day look like for you?
Most weekdays I get in to work around 9:30 or 10:00. I check the site to see what has been published that morning, and then schedule that content to go out on social. The rest of the day is usually a mix of running to meetings and trying to keep up with getting news on social as it’s published. By the end of the day I’m wrapping things up, and making sure enough content is prepped to go out overnight.
How about the weekend?
My weekends have become really routine lately. On Fridays and Saturdays I try to make time for the things I was too tired to do during the week, like going to the gym, spending time with my friends, and running errands. On Sundays I workout with my trainer in the morning, watch my boyfriend’s football game for most of the afternoon, then come home and make dinner. At night I also make salad for the rest of the week (blah, so boring) and do something for me, which could be a facemask or a 3-hour Netflix session with my roommates.
What has been the hardest adjustment for you going from college to post-grad life?
There are so many things you have to adjust to, from coming to terms with the fact that you do not live with your family anymore to paying bills, but I think the hardest adjustment for me has been “not knowing”.
When you’re a kid you know what’s next; after second grade you’ll be in third grade. When you’re in high school, (almost) everything you do is in preparation for college. In college, if you’re lucky enough to have this figured out, you know what you want to major in and where you want to work after college. But what do you do once you get the job? What do you do after you’ve had that job for a year? Do you stay there? Do you go somewhere else? Do you do something that makes you happy or that makes you money? There aren’t any solid benchmarks or rules for being an adult, so losing that structure and having to answer hard questions about what I really want to be doing has been the biggest challenge for me.
Again, there’s so much to choose from. But for this one I think I have to go with no homework. I do not miss school work at all. I actually get anxiety every time I approach an edit test because I’m instantly transported back to the countless late nights I spent procrastinating every single college paper. You can keep that, I don’t want it back.
What helped you land your current position?
Before I started at Vogue I was the Social Media Manager at Glamour. While I was interviewing at Glamour I mentioned my interest in fashion multiple times. That must have stuck with my manager there, because when Vogue needed extra coverage during Fashion Month she thought of me and asked if I wanted to help fill in. One thing led to another and now I’m at Vogue. But that may never have happened if I hadn’t been clear about my interests.
Knowing what you do now, what advice would you give your college self?
For starters, relax. I was so worried I wouldn’t get a job because everyone was always talking about how horrible the economy and the job market were. You can just go ahead and tune that out. You will most definitely get a job.
I’d also want to add something about paying attention to yourself and the things that get you really excited. Today, if you’re really obsessed with something to the point where you could talk about it for hours on end, that could be a successful podcast. The way the media industry is moving, you really don’t have to fit into a particular category anymore, i.e. beauty editor or food editor. In fact, I’d say the more specific your area of expertise is, the better chance you have of turning it into something others want to share and be a part of. There’s an audience for everything on the internet, but you can’t deliver anything without knowing what your message is first. I wish I thought about what mine is a lot sooner than 24.
Student loans. Yes, 100% it sucks knowing you owe a lot of money. But right now in my early 20s it’s really not the end of the world. I don’t know why I was under the impression that the minute I graduated someone was going to come bang down my door, looking for all the money I owe. I really don’t even think about it anymore. It’s just one of my bills every month—albeit a big one—like electric or rent.
In 5 years you hope to be:
This could change by next month, but I hope in five years I’m no longer spending money on rent. I want to have a house and live down the street from a Target, where my money belongs. I also hope I’ve written a book and have a dedicated following of at least 10 strangers who think I’m really funny.
Current binge show: Does ‘Riverdale’ count if I’m watching it the old-fashioned way? One week at a time.
Favorite way to unwind: I play Undisclosed—a podcast that dives deeper into Adnan Syed’s case— while I fall asleep at night. I usually play the same episode every night for two weeks, because I fall asleep within minutes and forget what I have or haven’t heard. I wouldn’t say I’m really listening or absorbing any of the information, but now I hate sleeping without it.
Favorite song right now: ‘This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things’ Taylor Swift
Cause/issue that’s moving you: Women speaking out against sexual assault is so epic. I’m really glad I’m witnessing this unfold.
Favorite podcast: The Morning Breath
Something good you read for pleasure lately (can be a book, an article, an Instagram caption, etc.): I’m reading ‘How To Murder Your Life’ by Cat Marnell. It’s a really good read if you’re living in New York City and working in the media industry.
Morning drink order: Ginger tea
Current favorite social media account you follow: So this is technically not an account to follow, but I live for The Morning Breathers Facebook group. There’s so much good celebrity tea, it really reminds me of my days on the Jonas Brothers Street Team forum circa 2007.
3 things you can’t leave home without: My phone, my Beats headphones, and my keys.