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What Newhouse NYC Learned at Refinery29

By: Kaileigh Woodruff, ADV and Sociology senior

This week our social media class, taught by Ariana Finlayson, was lucky enough to visit Refinery29 and meet Amy Emmerich, the Chief Content Officer as well as Newhouse TRF alumni Whembley Sewell and Katherine Anne Conolly. Here is what we learned from our wonderful hosts.

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Be Humble and Always Hustle:

Amy, Whembley and Katherine Anne talked about how they had to hustle when starting at Refinery29. Whembley interned at the company her senior year with the Newhouse in NYC program and was a key member of launching the Refinery29 Snapchat Discovery page. Whembley talked about having to be a team member, problem-solver and be adaptable with her internship. Her hard work paid off, and she is now spearheading the discovery channel full-time. For an alumna less than a year out from SU, Wembley is doing big things, and we were so impressed with her career!

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Have a Point-of-View:

Amy talked about her background and various positions she has held before moving to Refinery29 and all of them had a common theme: have a point-of-view. Amy talked about her earlier years of being on the road shooting television programs, working on documentary films, being at MTV U and working at Vice, and they all required her to listen and then form a POV.

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Don’t Strive for Perfection:

Refinery29 has become such a huge sensation in such a short time that it’s inevitable for there to be some growing pains. Our hosts talked about how they don’t expect themselves to be perfect or the people to around them to be perfect 100 percent of the time. Refinery29 allows their employees to have the freedom to be creative while also working towards a common goal. Refinery29 populates so many different channels on a daily basis that they’re times that things aren’t going to be perfect. It’s a fast-moving business and no one is perfect.

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Learn from Doing + Be Scrappy:

Refinery29 hasn’t always had a roadmap to follow. Instead, the company has been scrappy from time to time to get things done. This approach has obviously paid off and is almost inevitable in today’s ever evolving world. Our hosts talked about constantly learning new things to accommodate the demands of their daily work.

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From everyone at Newhouse in NYC, we can’t thank Amy, Whembley and Katherine Anne enough for welcoming us into the Refinery29 office and for spending some time with us. We learned so much. And we’ll be sure to look out for Whembley on the Refinery29 Snapchat Discover channel!

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