After Jillian Selzer ('17) graduated from UNT, she moved to New York City to work as a digital fellow for Cosmopolitan, where she began writing for 35 million unique monthly visitors. It wasn't her first foray into journalism -- she'd known since eighth grade that she was a strong writer, and as a print journalism student at Pennsylvania State, she began working at Valley Magazine. Once she relocated to Texas to study digital and print journalism at UNT's Mayborn School of Journalism, she took on remote roles as a copy editor and web editor for Cliché Magazine and as a contributor and digital director for Artist Uprising magazine.
But the Cosmopolitan experience was particularly formative. Her fellowship was a post-graduate contract upheld for six months, where she not only wrote for Cosmopolitan.com but also was involved with almost every aspect of the website and magazine. The goal of the fellowship was to gain as much experience as possible with each department which is how she discovered how much she enjoyed social media -- and became determined to find work in the field, despite the slim pickings at the time. She landed a job working as the social media coordinator for the New York City Balletand later moved to Bustle. Today, she's the senior social media editor for Makeup.com and Skincare.com under Group Nine Media.
"The fellowship was a turning point," Selzer says. "I had a right mind to make things work for social media. Social media is a main source of media now, and it is a great way to make news shareable."
Selzer knew how to make content digestible, yet eye-catching. A pitfall, she says, is that social media is a rapidly changing environment that requires you to pivot constantly and be up-to-date on trends -- something she excels at.
When Selzer discovered POPSUGAR and its project with L'Oreal USA's makeup.com and skincare.com, she realized she could have the best of both worlds creating both social media and editorial. Under Group Nine Media, the project operates as a beauty-dedicated website. Selzer applied for the job as the social media editor and earned a promotion to her current position in January 2020.
"POPSUGAR was always a site and brand I related to," says Selzer, who chose to attend UNT because the journalism program had "everything I was looking for." "Once I got promoted, we were acquired by Group Nine Media. Group Nine is about giving a voice to everyone and ensures that everyone is heard."
Selzer's connection to POPSUGAR was an appreciation for the brand's approach to its readers. She enjoys POPSUGAR's idea of treating readers as equals instead of projecting itself as a "superior source of information."
"The people who work at POPSUGAR are the same as the people who read POPSUGAR," she says. "It's relatable, real, informative and approachable. The brand ethos is aspirational, and something I've always admired from the brand."
As the senior social media editor, Selzer ensures all voices are heard by recognizing her own unconscious bias and actively combating it. She practices that ethos when recruiting influencers, sources for interviews, new brands for a social media spotlight, using diverse sources for Instagram content and featuring underrepresented people.
Selzer's time at UNT, where she worked as a volunteer tutor at the Learning Center and wrote for the North Texas Daily, also taught her the importance of inclusion. She was inspired by journalism professor Tracy Everbach who instructed her in subjects including public affairs and race, gender and the media.
"I love her," Selzer says. "She advocated for me a lot, recommended me to internships, and changed my life with her race, gender and the media class. She's a wonderful woman and educator, and I am lucky to know her."
Selzer received the hands-on experiences she was looking for in the journalism program and learned from professors "who have extensive experience and a genuine passion for the industry."