If Erin Campagna, the Digital Director at Coulture Magazine, has learned one thing through this ‘dumpster fire’ of a year, it is resilience.
Coulture Magazine is UNC-Chapel Hill’s premier fashion and lifestyle magazine, focusing on diversity and inclusion. The publication is student-run and publishes a print edition at the end of each semester, along with multiple online articles posted every week throughout the year.
A junior at UNC, Erin Campagna, 20, was introduced to Coulture Magazine during her freshman year of college. After reading a copy of the magazine, Campagna knew she wanted to be a part of it.
“I applied for the copyediting team the summer before my sophomore year. I heard about Coulture all throughout freshman year,” said Campagna. “I got a copy of the print magazine my freshman year, and I was just wowed with the talent from the photographers, and the writers were incredible. I was blown away by the brilliance of what they were writing, and I knew I wanted to be a part of it.”
After her first year at Coulture Magazine, a leadership position as the Digital Director opened. Campagna said that without hesitation, she applied and got the position.
“At the end of sophomore year, the editors-in-chief sent out a Google form about our experience at Coulture. I indicated that I wanted a leadership position,” said Campagna. “Sterling, one of the Editors-in-Chief, reached out to me and said they had an opening for the Digital Directorship, and she thought that it would be a role I would be really good at. I applied, and I got the position.”
Campagna said she was eager to direct the Digital Team; however, she realized she needed to lower her expectations because she had to lead her team remotely.
“I was really looking forward to creating a little digital family,” said Campagna. “I don’t want Coulture to become annoying and too much of a commitment. I still want it to be something they will enjoy, especially during these difficult times. I have had to scale back on my expectations, and I hope that someday we will hopefully be able to meet and hang out together, but it is what it is, and you just gotta roll with the punches.”
Campagna is not the only director who needed to make changes. Coulture Magazine has 15 teams in total. She said the photography team experienced noticeable changes, and the print issue has felt the most impact.
“Photoshoots have been different. They’ve had to work out being safe by wearing masks, with being socially distanced during the photoshoots, and keeping within a little quarantine bubble,” said Campagna. “Anything that needs to happen in person – that has probably been the area of the print issue – has probably been most affected.”
The global COVID-19 pandemic has created an impact on students’ lives and not just academically. According to an American private nonprofit research organization, the National Bureau of Economic Research, the U.S. is officially experiencing an economic recession.
With a decline in employment, seniors are especially fearful of the job market they will soon be entering. Campagna said that despite only being a junior, she has already felt the impact. This past spring, Campagna received a summer internship opportunity at a financial non-profit in Durham, North Carolina. Unfortunately, the internship was canceled.
“I landed an internship in March, and within a week it was canceled due to the pandemic,” said Campagna.
Although the future remains a mystery during these unprecedented times, Campagna said all she can do is move forward.
“If anything good was going to come out of COVID, it is that it was going to make me more resilient,” said Campagna. “I’m not a good person when it comes to change. This year has just been one dumpster fire after another. I didn’t have most things this year on my bingo card and couldn’t have predicted anything that has happened so far. It has given me the perspective that all I can do is move forward.”