Cosmopolitan magazine veteran Kate White visits MU

The publication’s retired editor-in-chief will speak at Memorial Union on Tuesday.

Publishing powerhouse Kate White will be hitting MU’s campus this March to share her secrets to success after recently stepping down as Cosmopolitan’s editor-in-chief.

After a 14-year career with Cosmo, White stepped down from the position to write books full time and travel the country giving speeches on success. She will be giving a presentation Tuesday in Memorial Union North’s Stotler Lounge.

“She's going to talk about empowerment (of women) in the workforce, and, I'm sure, some of her personal experiences as the editor of a huge publication that focuses on women,” says Mollie Barnes, formerly of The Maneater staff and current president of the Student Unions Programming Board.

“I thought it would be a good idea to bring someone who is big in journalism, since there are a lot of journalism students at MU, and I'm also one of them,” Barnes says. “Our whole committee thought it would be a good idea.”

White plans to offer up advice to those looking to enter the magazine industry, along with general advice on success in the workforce.

“I’m going to share strategies for success that I’ve found along the way, what worked and didn’t work,” White says. “I’ll talk a lot about success, not just being successful, though, but enjoying it, too.”

White rose through the ranks of journalism quickly during her career. She worked as an editorial assistant, columnist and then editor-in-chief for Working Woman, Redbook and Cosmopolitan. On the side, in addition to being a mother, she found time to write both fiction and nonfiction books, several of which hit The New York Times Best Sellers list.

White pulls inspiration for her nonfiction thrillers from her childhood love of Nancy Drew, saying that Nancy Drew stood as a strong role model for women in a time where there were very few role models, especially in comparison to today.

“Nancy Drew was a gutsy badass girl,” White says. “I loved her so much, so I wanted to be like her.”

Her love of the edgy detective novels combined with her own personal experience as a working mother inspired her first career book: “Why Good Girls Don't Get Ahead But Gutsy Girls Do: Nine Secrets Every Career Woman Must Know.”

Barnes says she is most looking forward to hearing White’s career advice for women.

“I think a lot of women struggle with the confidence it takes to become a boss, so I think it will be interesting to hear her tricks for being a confident leader and not letting anyone bring her down,” Barnes says.

As a strong woman with a go-getter attitude, White offered up her personal key to success to preface her speech.

“Be a rule-breaker,” she says. “It’s hard when you spend a lot of time following the rules, but to separate yourself from the pack you have to be the rule breaker, the one who does things differently.”

The speech will take place from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday and is free and open to the public. There will be a book signing at 5 p.m.

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