Hometown: Augusta, Georgia and Sevilla, Spain
Class of: 2011
Degree: B.A. in English/Communications with an emphasis in Professional and Technical Writing
Why I Chose Armstrong: “I felt like I could really make an impact at Armstrong. It’s easier to stand out here than at a larger university.”
Favorite Pirate Experience: Internship at Skirt! magazine, which turned into a full-time job.
Why I Love Armstrong: The dedicated professors, the students and the relationships.
Best Advice: “Get to know the people around you and build relationships with your teachers and your classmates. You never know what you’re going to learn by talking to people.”
The daughter of a U.S. Navy cryptologist and a Spanish-speaking mother, Armstrong alum Elena Fodera dreamed of becoming a writer for as long as she can remember.
“Writing is something I was always good at,” she says. “I’ve always been fascinated with language and why a writer chose a particular word or sentence structure.”
At Armstrong, Elena served as a popular feature and news writer for The Inkwell and was a member of the Calliope staff. Attending Armstrong encouraged this aspiring journalist to take risks she never imagined. As an undergrad, she founded a student Libertarian group, serving as the organization’s president.
“I never foresaw myself taking on a leadership role,” she says, “but being at Armstrong, having genuine support from my teachers and interacting with students with similar interests encouraged me to try new things.”
In her senior year, after applying for a number of internships at local magazines, Elena received an offer to intern at the Savannah office of Skirt!, a savvy women’s publication with a passion for style and substance. That internship quickly turned into a permanent position as associate editor of Skirt! in Savannah.
Today, this 23-year-old editor is in charge of all local content for Skirt!, including writing profiles of local individuals, compiling the monthly calendar of events, managing photographers and helping lay out each issue. She also coordinates sponsorships, attends events and represents Skirt! in the community.
“The best part of my job is that it keeps me social and outgoing,” she enthuses. “As a writer, there’s a natural tendency to be reclusive. Skirt! is high-energy. I’m always meeting interesting people who are doing inspiring things in the community.”
Elena believes the solid educational foundation she received at Armstrong as a Communications major helped prepare her for success in the fast-paced publishing world. She particularly enjoyed taking courses in technical editing, freelance writing, publication design and public relations. “Every class I took was relevant to what I’m doing now,” she reports.
In the end, Elena is thrilled to work as an editor and a writer at a successful women’s magazine. She enjoys being part of such an inspiring publication and is grateful to have landed a dream job so quickly after graduation. “Every day I go to work, I feel so lucky,” she raves. “I catch myself smiling all the way to my office.”