Maggie started at the Globe and Mail in 2005 as a copy-editing intern on the night News desk.
She was also part of the team that launched Globe Life (the paper’s daily lifestyle section) in 2007. She worked as the production editor in the Style section for five years before moving to her current position as assistant Arts editor in the newly merged Life & Arts section in March of last year. In her current role she assigns and edits Arts stories both short and long, with a particular eye to popular culture and music.
Image source: Maggie Wrobel
Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
In grade six, I wanted to work for the United Nations. By the end of university, I was getting set to move to Africa and work for a non-profit. But I’d always loved reading and writing, and spent several years as a writer and editor at my university paper (UWO’s The Gazette). So, when I landed a summer copy-editing internship at The Globe and Mail, I jumped on it. Eight years later, here I still am.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
In the audience for Saturday Night Live‘s 43rd anniversary special.
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Don’t pretend you know what someone is talking about when you don’t. I don’t believe in ‘fake it till you make it.’ I think asking questions is important – it shows you’re curious and willing to learn. I’d pick genuine enthusiasm over bravado any day. That said: read. Read everything. And then read some more.
What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
The New York Times and New York Magazine are both leaders in our field and offer much inspiration, especially in the ways in which they’ve embraced digital content.
Newseum.org is a must-visit every morning, offering PDFs of front pages from all over the world, and always leads to much surfing.
And I admit it surprised me, but Twitter has a great rhythm for daily news, both high and low-brow.
Best interview you’ve ever had? Worst?
I had a lovely interview last year with Laura and Kate Mulleavy, the visionary sister act behind Rodarte. They were gracious, interesting and genuinely down-to-earth.
As for bad interviews, they do happen, and for many different reasons. But there’s always a way to make a story great. You just have to find it.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
When I was a young, eager up-and-comer, a colleague (now friend) once told me she noticed I nodded a lot in meetings. I thought about it, and she was right. I was trying to seem encouraging and enthusiastic, but quickly realized that having a bit of a poker face can actually be much more effective sometimes. Staying aware of your body sounds like a silly thing, but the way you are perceived – even physically – can have a huge effect on your career.
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Always, always be kind. It can be hard to put yourself into other people’s shoes, but it is essential to at least try.
What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Know who you’re pitching to and what they do. Read mastheads, stay on top of Twitter and, if you still don’t know, ASK. You’d be shocked how many people still think I’m the travel editor, a post I held for less than two months more than four years ago. (For the record, the Globe’s real travel editor is Domini Clark, who gives the world’s best advice on everything from banking to, ahem, body language in meetings.)
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
Anyone who gets me what I need on deadline becomes that day’s hero.
Short-sightedness and pasta salad.
Also: the J. Crew catalogue, BarreWorks (the only happy-making gym in the world), Moleskins, brunch and watching the tiny inflatable Raptor bounce at Raptors games.
Best place on earth?
A diner on Saturday with a stack of pancakes and a new magazine.
J.D. Salinger! I’d probably nod a lot.
I am lucky to have many. My mom is the strongest woman I know and my dad the nicest man. My friend Lori Mastronardi is an amazing wordsmith and has the incredible ability to always see the good in people and situations. I also get a lot of strength and inspiration from hip-hop, be it coming-up stories like Kendrick Lamar’s or the unapologetically upper-class rhymes on Watch the Throne.
Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
I make a mean playlist. My day would not be the same without Rdio for BlackBerry.
Pool or ocean?
Both, preferably within walking distance of each other.
Voicemail or email?
Email. Or lunch.
Theatre show or cultural event you’re most looking forward to this year?
The Arts & Crafts’ Field Trip has all the makings of a killer time. Can’t wait. (Ed. note: we agree!)