Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Girl Talk with Haley Goldberg

Although she doesn’t list it on her résumé, Haley Goldberg became an editor in chief in 2001. The publication, Girl Talk, was a quarterly lifestyle magazine founded by Goldberg when she was in the fourth grade.

“We would get together, assign stories to different girls, and write about the important issues — like, ‘why do boys like football?’ — and then we’d hand it out to our friends. It dissolved that summer due to a distribution issue,” says Goldberg, with a playful glint in her eye, “but we had a good four-issue run.”

Twelve years later, Goldberg is no less immersed in the magazine world — but this time, she’s taking part in girl talk as an intern for Glamour, one of the best-selling women’s magazines on newsstands.

Goldberg has spent the summer at Glamour blogging about the latest in food research, transcribing celebrity interviews and even personally delivering the August issue to the the cover stars' manager.

“I couldn’t believe I would get to work there,” says Goldberg, who still feels awe-struck each time she walks into the office in the Condé Nast building. “It was my first choice magazine, and it’s the only magazine I subscribe to.”

As a longtime reader of the publication, Goldberg was initially drawn to Glamour’s lively, relatable articles — but as an intern, she has found the magazine’s staff is just as upbeat as the content.

“Everyone loves what they do,” says Goldberg. In particular, Goldberg spoke of her admiration for Editor-at-Large Liz Brody, for whom she has transcribed interviews. “I really admire Liz, but when I think about it, I’ve learned something from everyone here.”

Goldberg’s eagerness to learn is one of her standout qualities. Her parents describe her childhood in Northville, Michigan, as an era of endless questions--Goldberg wanted to learn about everything. Beyond her ceaseless question-asking, she was a voracious reader, quickly consuming every title in the Nancy Drew series and often finishing books in a single day.

“She would actually sleep with a book or two under her pillow,” recalls her father, Shep Goldberg. “That’s how much she loved books.”

By the time she arrived at the University of Michigan, Goldberg’s literary fervor was still aflame, and she declared an English major.

At the same time, Goldberg began working for the student newspaper, The Michigan Daily. While she was first assigned to the copy desk, she soon began writing for the news, arts, and celebrity gossip sections. Her range as a journalist is extraordinary: Goldberg has covered everything from the annual University of Michigan luncheon honoring Holocaust survivors to the eulogy for Heidi Klum and Seal's marriage.

Now, Goldberg is the woman in charge of The Statement, the University of Michigan’s student magazine. In her first year as editor, she managed several themed issues for the magazine, including the magazine’s first-ever Detroit issue.

“I felt we represented the city well,” says Goldberg, noting that it was her favorite issue to work on. “With Detroit in the news even more now, it was great to highlight programs making a difference in the city.”

Next year, she hopes to create an issue themed around sex, which she likened to New York Magazine’s August issue.

But if she could write anything, Goldberg would want to write profiles.

“I think stories that let us enter the mind of another person are really fascinating. I enjoy trying to take everything about a person and turning them into an essay. It's a great challenge.”

True to form, Goldberg is a challenge to sum up into one cohesive profile. Her enthusiasm is uncontained and her accomplishments unequivocal. According to Katy Williams, her best friend from childhood, Goldberg has always stood out for her dedication and intelligence.

Williams was also part of the original Girl Talk staff, and recounts the experience fondly.

“I remember that Haley was extremely organized with how she ran the magazine, and was able to easily come up with ideas for different articles and columns,” says Williams. She adds that Goldberg may have not always aspired to be a writer, “but without a doubt she has always been one.”

Goldberg’s talent is hard to miss. In high school, she was voted Most Likely to Succeed, and her peers seem to have gotten it right: between her leadership with The Statement and her Glamour internship, Goldberg appears to be on an accomplished path. But Goldberg defines success differently.

“If I’m happy, then I feel like I’ve succeeded,” she says.

With her buoyant attitude and incredible drive, there’s no doubt that Haley Goldberg will be successful. And happy.

Written by Arielle Pardes, University of Pennsylvania, Martha Stewart Living
Edited by Ana Rocha, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Food Network Magazine

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