What It's Like Working as Candy's Editor in Chief: Sam Potenciano
Have you always wondered what it's like working for a teen magazine? Or have you always wanted to work in the publishing industry after graduation? Our Editor in Chief Sam Potenciano gives you an idea of what it's like working for the country's number one teen magazine in this short interview we did with her. Take out your pens and notepads and start taking notes, Candy Girls!
1. As Candy's Editor in Chief, what are you expected to do?
"As the EIC I have to look after big picture stuff like the overall look, tone, and branding of the magazine, and make sure that everything that has to do with it is cohesive. I'm also involved in the overall editing process from conception to approval of each section."
2. What was your college course? Do you think it's necessary for someone to take a course related to the industry they want to be in after graduation?
"I realized after a year of taking up Literature that I was more interested and satisfied in creating work that was visual, so I moved to Singapore and ended up taking Fashion Communication. Going to a non-traditional art school definitely helped direct my focus, and prepared me in a lot of ways for what I eventually ended up doing. Having said that, I know more people than not who ended up pursuing jobs that have little to nothing to do with their actual course. So, yes, it helps— but don't beat yourself up if you don't know yet what you want to do. You can always change your mind and still succeed."
Don't beat yourself up if you don't know yet what you want to do. You can always change your mind and still succeed.
3. What was your first job after you graduated from college and how did you land it?
"My first job was as the Associate Fashion Editor at Candy! I saw the opening on Summit's website but it required 3 to 5 years of experience. Since I was a fresh grad I didn't think I would get it, but I sent a personal e-mail to then Candy EIC Mia Custodio, printed a portfolio of styling work from college, and bought copies of Candy at BookSale to research the style and tone and contributors. She eventually invited me for an interview which went really well, then after a few test shoots offered me the job. :)"
4. Please describe your usual work day for us.
"Usually I get to the office, answer work e-mails, look at the Candy Instagram and Candymag.com, check printouts of all our features and articles and edit them. And if we have an event for a brand we want to feature I attend those or go to certain photoshoots."
5. What's the most challenging and most rewarding part about working as Candy's EIC?
"As the Associate Fashion Editor I used to only focus on my own pages—the fashion editorials, product shoots, etc. And I couldn't imagine taking care of anything else. Now I have to look at the magazine as a whole, so I had to get used to that as the EIC. The most rewarding part is still when I get a fresh copy of the mag from the printers, and I see how all the small pages we all worked on connect to make this bigger, cohesive thing."
6. What was the most challenging situation you've been in as a professional and how did you handle it?
"Celebrity covers are always challenging because you're completely dependent on someone else's schedule—one that doesn't necessarily care whether you make your (very real) deadlines or not. So in those situations instead of falling apart when something goes wrong I focus on only what I can control and put my energy into worrying about or fixing that."
7. What are your top 3 favorite/most memorable shoots and stories for Candy?
"1) My first ever fashion editorial in 2011 which was with BJ Pascual because when I was first researching the back issues of the magazine I found that I liked his work best; 2) The March 2013 (I think) fashion ed which I shot in LA with Emman Montalvan and this beautiful model, Leore, who I see now in Troye Sivan and Bruno Mars videos; and 3) Our Kelsey Merritt cover because it was really nice to see her go from modeling in our smaller pages to the cover!"
8. Aside from working for Candy, you also do freelance work. How do you manage your time and still do projects that you want to do at the same time?
Work smart, not hard. I honestly think it's how you dedicate the time you're present in a situation.
9. What skills should an aspiring magazine editor have so they can make it, too, just like you?
"Be detail-oriented. Be polite. Be honest to your specific aesthetic and learn to adapt it to different clients and situations."
10. What's your advice to Candy Girls who also want to work for a magazine someday?
"It's never too early to start. I didn't have any real work experience when I applied, but my college portfolio was big enough for me to get my foot in the door. Do test shoots with aspiring photographers and models, write for your friends' blogs, start a zine, intern for no credit at a brand that you love... Anything that will help develop your personal eye for things. You never know how it will pay off."
Follow Sam on Instagram @sampotenciano.
Want us to interview someone from the field you're interested in? Leave a comment below and we'll try our very best to get them to share their work experiences with you. :)