Elon isn’t typically known for it’s success in fashion programs. But that’s the beauty of a liberal arts education–the skills learned in the classroom and through on-campus experiences can be directly translated into any field a student is passionate about. For the past three years, Hannah McCarthy (@hmccarthy96) has worked for The Edge Magazine on campus, a lifestyle publication produced solely by students. This semester, she takes on the role as the magazine’s editor in chief, and has big plans for the publication’s impact on the Elon student body.
McCarthy, a junior from New York, knew she wanted to be involved in the magazine before she even paid her deposit for Elon.
“I saw an issue of The Edge on campus when I toured as a junior in high school,” she said. “I remember my mom picking it up and saying how cool it’d be to get involved in something like that wherever I decided to go to college. Fast forward to freshman year, and I decided to give it a try.”
McCarthy started on the fashion team, moved to Assistant Fashion editor before becoming the Style editor after returning from studying abroad in Paris, France the spring of her sophomore year. As a strategic communications and French double major, it almost seems as if she was destined for a career in fashion, and she hopes to make it happen as a public relations professional for a French fashion or beauty company based in New York. The Edge has also given her the skills necessary to start her own blog, Curated Canvas where she blogged throughout her Paris experience and also posts lifestyle articles.
The Edge was formerly the magazine of The Pendulum student newspaper at Elon. It went through a major redesign in the past two years, and has since prided itself in “punchy writing, killer photos and clean design.”
At the beginning of this school year, the news organization combined with Elon Local News to create Elon News Network. However, the Edge didn’t really seem to fit in with the new hierarchy, and separated themselves from the ENN brand and the communications school–a decision that made the fall semester more difficult in terms of retaining a staff, funding for printing and publicizing each issue. This semester, one of McCarthy’s biggest goals is to increase readership and appreciation for the magazine.
“I would love Elon’s student body to know that The Edge is meant to be a creative outlet for those who produce it and a fun escape from the craziness of school work for those who read it,” she said.
It’s not all about status for McCarthy, though. The Edge and the staff have given her hope for the industry of fashion and in communications, especially in a rapidly changing industry.
“The Edge gave me a lot of hope and encouragement to pursue my dreams, even if they do seem wild at times,” she said. “It confirmed that what I thought were just dreams could actually become a reality. I always pictured myself working in the fashion industry, but it felt entirely unattainable before coming to Elon and seeing the older girls at The Edge land huge internships and go on to secure incredible jobs.”
Past Edge staff members have worked for Mashable, InStyle Magazine and SELF magazine.
The environment at the Edge is a little different from other student media organizations. Staff members have a lot of freedom to create content that they are passionate about in an intimate environment of mutual support and respect. The opportunity for growth within the organization is easy for those who show commitment. The mix of ages on staff provides for a close knit relationship between everyone who works for the magazine.
“My favorite part is the opportunity for mentorship,” she said. “I really looked up to the older girls when I first started writing for The Edge and they provided a lot of guidance, encouragement and tough love that improved me as not only a communications student, but also as a person.”
In the past, The Edge produced a print edition every month. For now, The Edge will be producing content online at elonedge.wordpress.com and sharing it through Instagram and Twitter. McCarthy says plans are in the works for a big spring print edition and that the staff is excited to take on the semester.