In just a few years, BuzzFeed has transformed from “just another pop culture website” to a monopolizing internet cultural phenomenon; a hub for all things viral, trendy, click-able, and share-able. A mecca for millennials, BuzzFeed is one of the most sought after, challenging places to land a job. An impressive resume andsuper-witty-if-I-do-say-so-myself cover letter won’t even get you an interview. I’ll admit I’ve applied to no avail — even my Hearst editorial internships and NYU honors degree couldn’t get me a bloody phone interview. That’s why it’s particularly fascinating to read 25-year-old BuzzFeed Senior Editor Erin Chack’s story of how she, not only got in the door — but climbed the ranks — at BuzzFeed.
Tell us what you do!
I’m a Senior Editor for BuzzFeed.com. I’m the one making the lists that clog up your Facebook feed.
Did you go to college? If so, where?
Boston University. Class of 2012.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I used to type out stories on my mom’s 80s-style typewriter, and read them to my family over dinner. The internet part came later.
How did you get to where you are now? Tell us your story!
A desperate “10 Reasons BuzzFeed Should Hire Me” campaign went lowkey viral among my Facebook friends (note: This was about two years ago. We get these sorts of list-style job applications once a week these days, and it’s no longer an effective way to get hired. I have no idea why it worked for me. Good timing, I guess). I got a call for an interview, was asked to write a few posts as an audition, and was hired as a Fellow (a learning-based internship) in 2013.
Any obstacles along the way?
Sooo many unpaid internships, nine months of post-graduation unemployment, five weeks driving cross-country and back to “figure things out,” surviving the BuzzFeed fellowship, eventually getting hired as a full-time, card-carrying health-insured staff writer, and somehow not getting fired yet. I also had a brief stint with cancer in college, but that’s a long, boring story.
Who is your idol?
I’m a firm believer in the “be your own hero” philosophy. Never look up to people — look directly at them and consider yourself their equal, because if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.
What are three personal traits/qualities that helped you get to where you are?
Luck, luck, luck.
Where would you like to be in five years?
Sitting on the subway across from a stranger reading a book I wrote. And I have a really cool hair cut.
Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.
A longer way of saying “boss.”
Describe your style/fashion sense:
I found my favorite shirt in the garbage. Yes, I washed it.
Fav clothing item/accessory right now?
Definitely my trash shirt. It’s a men’s double pocket denim utility shirt. I stuck a pin in the breast that says “Bullshit Salad Club,” which is a group of people at BuzzFeed who think it’s bullshit to only eat salad for lunch. You’re just gonna be hungry in an hour if that’s all you eat!
What’s your can’t-live-without beauty product?
Moisturizing with the blood of my enemies. And mascara.
Go-to nail color?
Au naturale, usually. Clear if it’s a formal affair.
Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS inspired me. What book has inspired you?
Ok, you shouldn’t have asked me this. I just finished Christopher McDougall’s Born To Run, and I feel like a lunatic evangelist. I can’t stop shouting it from the mountain tops. If you think you hate running, you are denying WHO YOU ARE, friend.
No Girl Boss is perfect. What’s your vice?
S L E E P I N G.
Which artist/band/DJ are you really into right now?
I turned 25 a few weeks ago, and I listened to Morrissey on repeat every day for eight hours for about a month leading up to my birthday. Everyone experiences their quarter life crisis differently, I guess.
What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?
“MC’s Act Like They Don’t Know” by KRS-One is my all time favorite pump-up song. It’s an entire song about how good KRS is at rapping. I love that mindset — being unapologetic for being the absolute greatest. #confidencegoals
What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?
Just because it’s fresh in my mind: “If it feels like work, you’re working too hard.” — Eric Orton, Born To Run. He was talking about running an ultramarathon through the Mojave Desert, but I think it’s applicable to my life too.
Best advice you’ve ever received? And who gave it to you?
“Pay your taxes.” — My dad.
Advice to future Girl Bosses:
Don’t over-think it.
Do YOU know a Girl Boss? Nominate her!