Name: Stephanie Kaplan, Windsor Hanger, and Annie Wang
Age: All 23
Location: Boston, MA
Education: Stephanie and Windsor graduated from Harvard in 2010; Annie is on leave of absence from Harvard (she would have been class of 2011)
Job title: Stephanie Kaplan – Co-founder, CEO &
Windsor Hanger – Co-founder, President & Publisher
Annie Wang – Co-founder, CPO & Creative Director
What they do: In order to land a great job, you usually need experience – but sometimes getting that experience can be more difficult than getting the job itself. Stephanie Kaplan, Windsor Hanger, and Annie Wang, three former Harvard students who shared an interest in digital media, realized that there weren’t many places where wannabe journalists could get some real writing experience under their belts. That’s when they created the online community Her Campus Media, where top student journalists contribute material on lifestyle topics for college women. They do all the behind the scenes work, including marketing, finance, digital, ad sales, and partnerships – you name it, they do it. They also recruit writers for their site. But even though it’s hard work juggling it all, it’s paid off for these three young women: HerCampus was recently named the #1 online community for college women.
How they got their gig: After recognizing a hole in the market for media targeting college women, the girls founded HerCampus while still students at Harvard University. “There was a lack of a platform for aspiring student journalists to get experience while still in school,” says Annie. So, what was a journalistic-minded girl to do? Start her own online network, of course. “We all had an interest in digital media but didn’t necessarily set out to start a company. We happened upon this opportunity and jumped on it,” says Stephanie.
Inspiring Women: In February 2012, the girls ran the One Million Collegiettes campaign to get one million “collegiettes” to visit their site that month. “We surpassed that goal with over 1.2 million visits to HerCampus.com in the month of February and were thrilled,” says Windsor.
One Goal at a Time: Even though the girls have reached impressive milestones at the age of 23, they still have much more that they want to achieve. “Every time we reach a goal, we set a new one. There is still so much more we want to do,” says Windsor.
Reading List: Summer reading lists don’t end in middle school. These girls read as much as they can to stay in the know. Their top 5 news sources are The New York Times, Tech Crunch, Mashable, AdAge, and DigiDay.
Network Connection: “We took advantage of everyone we had the opportunity to meet through school, extracurriculars, and internships and then made a point to keep in touch with them,” says Annie. The girls say that they’d love to meet Dani Levy of DailyCandy, and Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook.
Day to Day: As always, the job of an entrepreneur requires being on the ball 24/7. “There is no typical day, but we are usually at our office, hopping between our laptops, calls, and meetings, and sometimes traveling to NYC for meetings too,” the girls say. “We usually don’t spend super long hours in the office but end up working some nights and weekends too on our own since we are always reachable on our laptops/phones.”
Lean on Me: When times get tough, the girls look to each other for support. “We lean on each other to keep our energy up and get through stressful times,” says Windsor.
Tune Out: “Right now our office is obsessed with Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe – we blast it when we want to get pumped up,” says Annie.
Aim High: While it isn’t all about numbers, the girls certainly have some figures to be proud of: “Growing to a team of 3,000+ contributors at 200+ college campuses has been so rewarding for us,” says Stephanie.
The Company you Keep: There are many amazing aspects of being an entrepreneur, but some are better than others. The girls’ favorite part of their job is “getting to work with a group of talented, fun, hardworking girls who are also our best friends every day,” says Annie.
This job’s for you if: you can jump in headfirst. “Just go for it, and get started while you’re still in school if you can, and use that as a testing period before you go for it full-time,” says Windsor. “Network with anyone and everyone you can and stay up to date on industry news and happenings.”