Q & A:
- What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, or what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
My favorite professor was, without a doubt, Ignacio Götz. He changed my life by believing in me. When I entered college, I didn’t understand the importance of a good education when it came to helping me achieve my goals. I did not do well in high school academically, but was accepted to Hofstra through a probationary program. Professor Götz helped me realize I had something important to say, and he also helped me realize I needed a commitment to my studies to find my voice. I hunkered down that first year and never looked back.
- What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing you learned there?
I had a string of jobs for trade publications, writing about everything from restaurant equipment to bras. I didn’t like much of what I was writing about, but focused on learning the craft of journalism more than anything else. I realized then that paying your dues is critical when it comes to building a successful career. I made quite a few contacts at those publications; and covering the nitty-gritty business trade news gave me knowledge and credibility that boosted my resume when I applied to become a business reporter at bigger, more well-known publications.
- What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
I’m a labor and workplace reporter for MSNBC.com and a blogger at CareerDiva.net. I became fascinated with the world of work while covering the textile industry for Women’s Wear Daily. The treatment of workers and the hardships they faced made me passionate about labor issues. I went on to cover labor at UPI in New York and then covered the auto industry for the Wilmington News Journal, and solidified my love of writing about work and workers.
- What advice would you give current Hofstra students?
Even if you think you don’t have to, or you don’t want to, be ready to pay some dues when you’re starting out. I know that’s not the hip thing to say these days, but very few people are lucky enough to find just the right gig at just the right company out of school. And that’s OK. You have to have some crummy jobs in order to appreciate the great ones, and in order to learn how to deal with life’s eventual hard knocks. But don’t ever compromise your ethics for a paycheck. Big salaries get you a lot of junk you really don’t need, but they don’t get you happiness … seriously. In my line of work, I hear from so many people in their 40s and 50s who regret the choices they made in their careers, and often they say, they went for the money and not their passion.
- In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
- What gave you the idea to start CareerDiva.net?
My book From the Sandbox to the Corner Office was about to be published by John Wiley, and I realized that I probably needed a blog to help promote it. It quickly turned into more of a labor and workplace news site and today I get about 5,000 page views a day.
- What is the single most rewarding experience in your career thus far?
The most rewarding experiences in my career happen when I write stories – such as how difficult it is for ex-convicts and veterans to find jobs, or the challenges women still face climbing the ladder of success – and readers send me emails or call, saying that I’ve helped them by shedding light on a problem, or offering some key advice.
- How do you see your career progressing in the next few years?
I’m not sure exactly what the future will hold. I’m in talks to possibly write another book, and I’ve been looking at getting involved in doing more multi-media journalism. But who knows, maybe I’ll go to law school, or buy a food truck and start selling spanokopita on the side of the road.
Anything can happen.
Eve Tahmincioglu (B.A. ’85) writes the popular “Your Career” column for MSNBC.com and she is author of From the Sandbox to the Corner Office: Lessons Learned on the Journey to the Top. Her blog, CareerDiva.net, covers a broad range of career and labor issues, and was just named one of the “9 Job Blogs You Should Be Reading” by CareerBuilder.com. She was also named one of the top 10 tweeters on Twitter by CNN and U.S. News & World Report. She’s been a regular contributor to The New York Times, The Huffington Post, TheAtlantic.com, and Bloomburg Business Week, and her stories have appeared in Black Enterprise, Time, Working Mother, Kiplinger’s, Good Housekeeping, and Salon. She was a staff business reporter for UPI and Women’s Wear Daily in New York; the News Journal in Wilmington, DE; and the St. Petersburg Times in Tampa. She is a regular speaker at women's conferences nationally, discussing leadership and social media; and she's also appeared as a guest on a host of national shows on CNBC and NPR. In addition, she's a mentor for the Op-Ed Project, and has written op-ed pieces for PBS’ Need to Know, AOL and USA Today. She lives with her husband, Andy, their two young children, Circe and Cheiron, and dog Odysseus in Wilmington, Delaware.