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WUD Publications Provides Professional Experience for Students

WUD Publications’ eight magazines serve as a great spring board to launch students into a professional career.

For many college students, student organization participation doesn’t always match up with their majors, or fails to help them once graduation day arrives. At the Wisconsin Union, we’re excited to redefine what it means to join a student organization—here, we want students to have the ultimate experience that they can apply to any future career or trade.

The Wisconsin Union Directorate Publications Committee works to promote and celebrate literacy on campus through leadership opportunities in publishing, editing, writing and art, through eight student-run publications:

  • The Dish, an original food blog and magazine
  • Emmie, a music magazine
  • Illumination, a literary journal
  • Moda, a fashion and lifestyle magazine
  • Sifting and Winnowing, an undergraduate journal of political science, public policy and law
  • Souvenirs, a collection of reflections and photography from UW-Madison students who have studied abroad or traveled nationally
  • UW Flash Fiction, a platform to publish short fiction online
  • JUST, an undergraduate journal showcasing excellence in science and technology research

WUD Publications provides students an opportunity to produce award-winning, professional publications (Illumination even won the 2017 Magazine Pacemaker Award by the Associated College Press).

Since its creation in 1999, WUD Publication’s bi-annual music magazine Emmie has become a launching point for dozens of successful journalists, producers, musicians and more. Emmie’s 2010-’11 editor-in-chief, Joyce Edwards, shared with us how her role at Emmie helped her to where she is today.

Q: What was your favorite part about being in Emmie?

A: My favorite part about being on Emmie Magazine was the built in community it instantly provided. Former EIC, Bob Marshall, tossed me a magazine at a Wisconsin Union welcome week event my freshman year, I went to the next meeting, and I’m still friends with everyone I’ve met through Emmie to this day. From weekly hangouts passing around new music to helping each other prep for J-School applications, Emmie was always a tight knit family.

Q: How do you think your time at Emmie prepared you for your later jobs at Yahoo/Virgin Music/Google, etc?

A: It’s kind of funny because at Google a lot of people have unexpected backgrounds. I work as a technical consultant and travel quite a bit to meet with clients and agencies and help them implement best practices. Being the EIC of Emmie exposed me to PR careers early on and I learned how to navigate tricky communication styles. I often have to talk to C-level people and de-escalate issues, and I swear that dealing with crazy punk bands and unpredictable PR commitments was the best foundation for client communication today. I learned to remain calm, flexible, and to not take things personally.

My journalism degree only helped me so far, but my tangible work (print magazines, sites I built, years of content) from Emmie is what helped me land a job with Yahoo Entertainment in LA. They wanted someone scrappy who could write—but that was only half of the gig. They also wanted someone who was really familiar with the online content space and knew how to manage CMS, customize CSS and build a webpage in an hour. I learned all of that from Emmie.

Q: Did you learn any leadership skills at Emmie that you feel help you today?

A: I learned a lot about myself and how to lead a team at Emmie, and figured it out mostly through trial and error. I had a really strong vision for Emmie—taking it from print to web—and everyone on the team had an expertise that could be tapped. I feel like the best way to lead is to approach things in a conversational way and ask for input, but within the infrastructure of a plan with a clear roadmap. Emmie was a place where we could go ahead and test things out, try out a new format, take a risk, and hopefully accomplish something really cool in the end.

Author: Ellie Herman

Ellie Herman is a senior at UW-Madison studying Journalism and Mass Communication and French. If she's not petting every dog at the Terrace, you can probably find her drinking massive amounts of coffee at Peet's in Memorial Union.

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