Posted on behalf of Julia Cicale '12
When I was a freshman, I had no idea that signing my name and email address on a piece of scrap paper titled “360 Magazine Listserv” would help shape my interests and skills in a bigger way than I could imagine. 360 was founded by Park Scholar alumna Lu Fong ’10, and its first issue came out in the spring of 2009, my freshman year spring semester. I had no prior experience in working for a magazine, but I had done layout for my high school yearbook, so I decided to give it a shot.
I had no idea what I was in for—late nights in Lu’s apartment (because back then, 360 had no rooms to work in, no computers to work on, and no idea how to make a magazine), teaching myself how to use Adobe InDesign with an old, borrowed copy of CS2, making plenty of mistakes, and finally, witnessing all the ups and downs of the production of a fledgling magazine.
Looking back at the first issue of 360, it’s easy to see how significantly my layout and design skills have grown over the past four years and seven issues. While I studied abroad in Singapore, I even took a layout design class to supplement my interests in learning about layout.
At the beginning of my final semester, one of the Editors in Chief of 360 came up to me and informed me that someone from The Ithacan had contacted her to find out names of some of 360’s layout staff (and since I’m essentially the only consistent one, she handed along my contact info). A few days later, I received an email asking if I’d be interested in interviewing for the position of Design Editor for The Ithacan’s Year in Review, a special, 150-page magazine released by The Ithacan at the end of every academic year.
After the interview, I was offered the position and accepted almost immediately. Sure, I had plenty of other activities on my plate this semester—AdLab (a time-intensive senior capstone course), Park Scholar selection committee, and all of my other usual activities—but I realized instantly what Year in Review could do for me that all of these other activities could not. It provided me with a professional, prestigious book that I designed 100% by myself. No one else helped with the layout, and now I have an incredible product that I can show to potential employers—because why tell them the awesome things I can do when I can show them instead?
I have 360 to thank for ultimately leading me to this position and for helping me to hone my design skills and learn that layout design is something I not only enjoy, but that I’m also pretty good at doing. I’ve learned that in order to be successful in anything, the best thing to do is just start—just get involved and do something, even if you literally have no idea what that something is.
Just jump in, and everything else will fall into place.