Name: Ijeoma Nwatu
Title: Managing Editor
Our Feature Friday spotlight this week is on Ijeoma Nwatu, Managing Editor at Her Agenda. Ijeoma walks us through her career journey leading to Her Agenda and she offers more insights into the company. Check out her interview below:
Tell Us More About You:
1) For our audience who may not know, tell us about HerAgenda? How do you all serve? What sort of impact does Her Agenda wish to make?
Now in its eleventh year, Her Agenda is an award-winning digital media platform bridging the gap between ambition and achievement for millennial women. We aim to universalize the motto of No one Ever Slows Her Agenda through our platform.
We serve through our website with content geared toward ambitious women, private digital community (Her Agenda Insiders), in-person events, job opportunities and more.
With Her Agenda, we hope to offer inspiration and professional advice from women who have years of experience and success in their respective industries. We also seek to connect like-minded millennial women to each other through our programming and events.
2) Tell us how your freelance career in writing & digital communication turned into a job as Managing Editor at HerAgenda?
I’ve always helped friends and colleagues on the side–editing resumes and admission essays to developing marketing strategies. With my startup and agency experiences, I decided in 2015 to pursue contract and freelance projects. I’ve since worked with entrepreneurs, local government, and nonprofits on social media content, crowdfunding campaigns, and communications plans.
I wrote two features (“Power Agendas) for Her Agenda years ago and enjoyed the experience of highlighting influential women. I knew Rhonesha while I was in New York and stayed in touch. When I saw an opening, I immediately reached out and the rest is history.
3) What’s been the most difficult adjustment in this current role and how have you learned to manage it?
My role requires working with writers at all levels. Initially, it was a challenge to adjust to different writing styles. I continue to provide detailed edits and feedback. Additionally, I host Google hangouts to support our contributors who want more assistance.
4) Your work has been featured on Essence.com. For our other aspiring freelancers/side-hustlers, what advice can you give about how to put yourself in positions to get your work seen by the right people?
First and foremost, it’s important to write well and to know your audience. Do the work that’s necessary to elevate your writing. From there, connect with other writers, read your favorite publications (online and offline), and pitch to editors that are a good fit for you. Attending conferences and events don’t hurt.
5) What are you all working on right now at HerAgenda that you’re most excited about?
We just onboarded a few interns, which will be helpful in expanding our content. We have some interesting profiles of women per our ongoing Power Agenda features that I am looking forward to. I am always seeking new writers who can add their perspective to our site. Expanding my network of writers is exciting.
6) Do you have any resources you’d like to share with our community that have helped you. Podcasts, books or career hacks you’ve discovered along the way?
I love getting lost in libraries. I am a curious person and I can always find a book, magazine, or documentary to borrow. A few of my favorite podcasts include Myleik Teele’s “My Taught You”, Guy Raz’s “How I Built This” and Farnoosh Torabi’s “So Money”. Entrepreneurship really interests me and these podcasts cover everything from business to personal spending to marketing.
One career hack that has helped me is to stay in touch. It’s easier these days but I find that we don’t dedicate enough time to checking in on people, whether in person or via electronically. Once a week or month, send a card or call someone in your network. Try it for a year and see what happens.
7) Anything else you’d like to share with our community of Black/Latinx career professionals and side-hustlers?
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11
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