Sydney Schmidt: Building Professional Mentorship Skills as an Editor for College Magazine

July 29, 2023

Sydney Schmidt

Meet Sydney Schmidt, Writer, Editor, Leader and Proud WLP International Politics Cohort Alum'20

Sydney describes their experience in a leadership role as an Editor at College Magazine:

"This past summer, when I began volunteering for College Magazine as a staff writer, I did not plan on ever entering a leadership position within the publication. Instead, my goals included building up a portfolio of my work, developing more experience with different types of articles and learning the fabled skill of WordPress literacy. The publication, which features weekly blog articles written by and for college students with insight on academics, internships, career and social life, provided the perfect opportunity for just that. Yet when I received the nomination from my editorial director, I found it exciting to envision myself in the role: leading my own team of writers, I could impart the knowledge my first editor shared with me, inspiring me to push my writing and editing skills further. Only one hindrance stood in my way: a justification for adding a higher commitment role to my already busy schedule. With the support of the Kimberly & Rob Humphries Scholarship, though, I gained just that.

While as a staff writer I focused solely on my own writing by working one-on-one with my editor, in my position as editor I find myself learning every day from the team of five writers that I lead. Not only do I get to exercise my editing skills more regularly, but I have learned a great deal about leadership. I provide constructive feedback, develop open lines of communication and keep the energy up as my team and I work to stay on track in our College Magazine assignments while also keeping up with our school and personal responsibilities. Additionally, reviewing articles written by talented college-age writers like myself teaches me about my own writing and new approaches to consider.

Although this role as editor, like my previous role as staff writer, is entirely remote, I feel connected to my team and my directors. Often, it feels refreshing to read an advice article for students from another school I previously knew little about, and I find the opportunity to mentor students across the country truly unique and informative. Overall, learning from and mentoring my peers nationwide enables me to connect with talented and knowledgeable individuals I otherwise would not meet.

I am grateful for the support provided by the Humphries Scholarship, as it ensures my continued ability to contribute to a regular portfolio of work and to develop crucial professional mentorship skills that I will carry with me into my career."

You can read their writing for College Magazine, as well as the writing of their talented team.