Question and AnswHER

Maria Aspan-Senior Editor of Inc.

What does your job as Senior Editor of Inc. entail?Maria Aspan

I’m responsible for the Money (financial) and Made (design) sections in Inc.’s print monthly magazine, meaning Iassign and edit featuresinfographicscolumns and other shorter articles every month. Besides working with the reporters to get the words in the best possible shape, I also work with my colleagues in Inc.’s photo and art departments, who make every article look amazing.

I write features for the print magazine, as well as shorter news stories and analysis articles for Inc.com. I also edit the online articles of some Inc.com reporters and columnists, and I occasionally work with Inc.com video producers to conduct live or recorded video interviews for Inc.‘s website.

How did your previous experience prepare you for this role?

I covered banking and finance for six years during and after the financial crisis, which was a fun, fast-moving, stressful and exciting beat. I worked at Reuters and American Banker, which both gave me a lot of specialized knowledge about how the financial world works while teaching me to think about the bigger impact and context of the news I was covering. At Inc., I use that experience to tell a different, but equally exciting set of stories, about entrepreneurs and startups and the many financial questions affecting them.

What inspired you to become a journalist?

I always wanted to write for a living, and I love hearing other people’s stories and analyzing why things work (or don’t work) the way they do. My first journalism internship, at The New York Times in Paris, helped me realize that there was a way to get paid to do all of that. It also taught me not to be afraid to ask questions!

How has technology influenced your work as a journalist?

In so many ways! Many of the stories we tell at Inc. have to do, in some way, with how technology is changing business and the ways in which people start businesses. And most of my work is digital, whether it’s communicating with writers and sources via email and chats and text messages; reading and responding to breaking news via social media; or writing and editing directly into Inc.com’s software.

How can girls learn more about career paths in the media industry?

Read, read, read–and do. Read sites like GenHERation, read blogs, read Twitter, read everything by writers whose work you admire. But the best way to get a job is to do the work for the job that you want: Write the stories you’re most interested in, pitch the blogs and publications that you want to write for — and don’t give up.

9 Responses to “Question and AnswHER

  • I love these interviews. It really motivates me

  • I found it interesting how Reid commented about how “easy it [was] to self-publish a book”. I have always dreamed how fulfilling it would be to create a book and have it published, and have always wanted to be able to experience that myself.

  • I love Mona Bijoor’s idea of resilience and “the ability to hear no and turn that into a yes.” It really goes to show that persistence and determination are crucial to achieving your goals.

  • Great advice. I love to read and learn something new each day also!

  • Genna’s tips on the importance of personalizing pitches was really interesting!

  • This is very aspiring to me.I’ve always wanted girls to be able to have the best education out there (including myself ). I like how thier project is really reaching people and being notice and not just looked as a brush of the shoulder. This is Amazing

  • I love these interviews. They inspire me everyday!

  • Hi Maria, thank you for your answers. I also have an interest in journalism, and it is inspiring to see women like you being role models in the industry!

  • As a girl interested not only in Neuroscience, but also Journalism, this Question & AnswHER (I love these names by the way!) was an interesting read. I’ve always been inclined to writing, but journalism is something that personally stood out to me. I must say, I agree with Maria’s answers– and I’d like to add on to it. Rejection is key. I kept getting rejected (more like ignored) by the Huffington Post, probably because my age was too young (?) to be credible, but I can’t say for sure. After the 1st time, I thought I would give up, but people told me to persevere, and I found myself chanting the same things. “I can do it.” I finally published a post in the HuffPost Science section and have been writing ever since! My next aim? Well… Inc! 😉

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