Crossover

Alumni Connections Lead to Unexpected Career Turns

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“My life completely changed, all because Colleen took a chance on a totally inexperienced 22-year-old who happened to have the work ethic, drive and well-roundedness of a Susquehanna-bred graduate.” —Leah Wyar-Romito ’00 Despite these swift changes, Wyar-Romito maintained a realistic outlook on her new job. “Because I had no education or experience in journalism, I moved forward, but in the back of my head I was giving it a ‘365-day trial.’

“I deferred my [graduate school] acceptance for a year, thinking I could go back to my original plan if things didn’t work out. But very soon I realized that being a beauty editor wasn’t just something I was going to be great at, it was something I had a passion for my entire life. So I ended up finding a career, not just a job, coming out of the gate.”

Wyar-Romito has spent the last 12 years working as an editor for national magazines. She worked at Health, under Trevisan’s direction, for nearly five years. She then moved to Self magazine for four years and Fitness for one year. “I loved fitness and really had no plans to leave that job for many years, but Cosmo is Cosmo. It’s the No. 1 young women’s magazine—a recognized worldwide brand, a total phenomenon—so I had to seize the opportunity,” she says.

Now, 12 years into her career as a magazine editor, Wyar-Romito is exactly where she wants to be—working as beauty director at Cosmopolitan magazine and giving other “super eager, weeks-away from graduating, doe-eyed girls,” like Kellie Nebiker, a shot in the fast-paced world of high-profile magazine production.

“The opportunity that Colleen gave me changed the whole course of my life,” Wyar-Romito says. “Magazines, New York City—neither one of those things were part of my plan as a college senior. But I can’t imagine my life without them now. I’ve found a fulfilling career that I’m passionate about. I love New York City and made it my home. I met my husband here. None of this would have happened without Colleen, so I’m just paying that opportunity forward.”

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