The editor of Elle Magazine (South Africa), Jackie Burger, was invited by Invest Soc to deliver a brief overview of ‘The day in a Life of a Magazine Editor’ at The University of Cape Town. This event took place on campus on 18 April 2013. I was really eager to attend this event because I love reading Elle Magazine and I am deeply inspired by Jackie Burger and have hopes of one day working at such an established publication.
Jackie took a page out of her moleskin notebook (literally) and told us what her day consists of. She told us about her usual morning routines, her jam packed day filled with meetings with each division of the magazine to the events that she had to attend that evening and what she does just before sleeping – she goes through the social networks just to stay updated. I like that, something she and I have in common.
Jackie has an Honours degree in Sociology from Stellenbosch University and worked for a top PR firm for many years which shaped her understanding of the industry and the analysis of trends in pop culture, self-expression and social issues. What I loved about Jackie was that not only is she passionate about the fashion industry but she is also business-savy and very intellectual. She gave us a better understanding of the fashion industry and how it goes hand in hand with commerce.
Jackie engaged really well with the students and discussed crucial issues about the fashion industry. She was very open to all the questions that were asked and was very honest and genuine in answering all of them. Jackie emphasised that passion alone would not put you on top of your game, extensive knowledge of the industry that you’re in was a high requirement. That really stuck with me, the fact that even when you’re a working woman, homework is still something that you have to do. You need to know what’s happening in the industry that you’re working in, you need to stay informed regularly.
Jackie is well spoken and looked like a million bucks in all black, her outfit consisted of a sheer vintage top and Topshop shoes. She is so lovable and does not make you feel like you’re her junior in any manner. All you want to do in the presence of such a woman is sit there and absorb everything that she says. I learned so much in a matter of an hour by just sitting there and listening to everything that she had to say.
I left the event feeling motivated to get involved in what I was passionate in but I was also very confused. For Jackie, this was not the path that she had thought she would end up in yet there she was happy, successful and doing a brilliant job. This left me wondering where I would end up one day…