From New York Magazine to Furniture Designers: Alumna Micaela Lade’s Eclectic Arts Administration Career

Two weeks to go until Career Night for the Arts 2013! Every year, the Arts Council teams up with the Career Center to bring alumni with successful arts careers back to campus to give students the low down on establishing a career in the arts. Stop by and chat with them on Thursday Nov. 7th, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m in the McMullen Museum, Devlin Hall.
If you’re considering a career in the arts, you can’t miss this opportunity to talk to professionals working in publishing, film, theatre, visual arts, music, and arts administration.
We’ve been pitching questions at our alumni guests to get a quick preview of their expert insight. Today’s featured alum is Micaela Lade, who worked at New York magazine for a year before landing a job at the New York office of Phaidon Press, the art publisher based in London. Michaela worked at Phaidon for five years, before leaving in early 2012 for a job on the merchandising team at Design Within Reach, the modern furniture retailer, where she work with designers to help them bring their designs to market.
Micaela got her first job with New York magazine through mediabistro

Micaela got her first job with New York magazine through mediabistro

How did you get your first “break” with New York magazine?
I actually got my first break with New York through Mediabistro.com. I completed an internship in the marketing department of Fitness magazine during the summer before my senior year of college, but there were no positions open there when I graduated. I spent countless hours on Mediabistro during the second semester of my senior year, writing cover letters and keeping track of all the positions I applied for on an overly detailed spreadsheet. In retrospect, I wish I’d relaxed a bit more — as I now know from experience, employers in publishing typically won’t interview candidates until they are living in the same city! I ramped up my pursuit of different jobs on Mediabistro once I graduated and was back in New York, and was fortunate to find the job at New York and start there three weeks after graduation.
 
It sounds like you’ve had two careers in the arts! Was it difficult to make the transition from Phaidon to DWR? Do you feel like the creative industries share common ground?
It does feel like I’ve had two careers in the arts! It definitely felt like a big transition moving from Phaidon to DWR, but it wasn’t too difficult. I felt lucky in that I had developed a lot of transferrable skills at Phaidon which helped me adapt to my job at DWR. Although there are big differences between the two companies, there was enough common ground that I didn’t feel too uncomfortable in or unprepared for my new role. The most helpful element was that my five years at Phaidon allowed me to be in an environment where I could learn about the designers and manufacturers I would later work with at DWR. For example, Phaidon published a book on office chairs that I regularly use as a reference tool in my job at DWR. Little connections like that one helped make the transition much easier than it could have been otherwise.
What do you know now that you wish you knew in college?
There are a few things that come to mind, but the major one is the importance of networking! I knew it was important to make and nurture connections, but when I was younger I always felt uncomfortable about actually getting jobs through networking. I didn’t like the idea of being “handed” something simply by virtue of knowing the right person. But it’s honestly one of the best ways to get jobs you really want, rather than settling for something that might not be your first choice. Although I was lucky to find two jobs through postings on Mediabistro, I never would have landed my current job without knowing the right people. It’s really so important, and it’s a great way to find opportunities you might never have conceived of beforehand.
  
What’s your fondest memory of BC?
Oh, there are so many! I could never pick one, but my top memories include the dinners with my roommates in Voute our senior year, all of the art history classes I took (especially those with Professors Nahum and Bookbinder), and my senior Capstone class with Sister Mary Daniel O’Keeffe. I also have to include my year abroad in Paris! I’m not sure that really counts as a memory of BC per se, but it was a major part of my BC experience — the study abroad program, incidentally, happens to be one of the main reasons I chose to come to BC in the first place, and it was one of the best and most formative years of my life.
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