Alumni Spotlights

Northwestern helps to develop and nurture educators, activists, entertainers, journalists, doctors, and so much more. Today’s Wildcats are tomorrow’s leaders. In this Class of 2010 Alumni Spotlight series, we hope to not only show some of the amazing projects and initiatives our classmates are accomplishing through their careers and personal work, but also to revel in the pride we as a community have in how much Northwestern alumni have achieved—and how much they are changing the world. 

Emily Glazer '10
Mallory Jackson Powell '10
Sally Slater '10

Emily Glazer '10

“I fell into financial journalism with some hard work and luck,” says Emily Glazer. Through Medill alumni connections, she got a last-minute interview for an intern position at the Wall Street Journal.  “I was nervous because I didn’t know much about the financial sector,” she says. “My dad drove me into the city and I was asking him to quiz me on my knowledge of the Chinese economy!”

Emily certainly proved her value, since soon after she graduated from Northwestern she was hired as a full-time reporter at the world-renowned newspaper. Now, she covers stories about some of the biggest financial groups in the world, such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co., and writes on a range of topics including regulation, CEOs, mobile banking, asset management, and beyond. She’s covered some of the most important financial events of the past several years: the city of Detroit’s bankruptcy, the ouster of the CEO of Procter & Gamble, and the early days of Instagram and other tech startups.

Throughout her career, she’s had a chance to do some exciting reporting and write important and intriguing pieces. Emily traveled to the border of Mexico and Arizona to cover cross-border banking issues and the unintended consequences of banking regulation. She also gets to do the occasional light-hearted piece: “There was a beloved barista at the Starbucks in the JP Morgan building. One day a senior exec took notice of her and how dedicated customers were to her, and he invited her to join a JP Morgan training program to work in finance.”

Emily considers her time at Medill and Northwestern invaluable in helping her get where she is today. “In the world of journalism, you need to be talented, but sponsors and mentors help connect you to the people who can guide you and open doors,” she says. “It's funny, in my first job at the Wall Street Journal, I took over for a Medill alum, and the person that she had taken over for was also a Medill alum!”

“Yes, the beat is intense and sometimes the competition and long hours can feel overwhelming. But it is also amazing. I never imagined this is what I’d be doing,” says Emily.  “Covering issues across the globe, learning so much. And it wouldn’t have been possible without Medill and Northwestern.”

Mallory Jackson Powell '10

A graduate of the School of Communication with a minor in business development, Mallory Powell began her undergraduate education at Northwestern with the intention of pursuing a career in broadcast journalism.

“After three years of pursuing journalism, including nine  internships in TV, marketing, and broadcasting,” says Mallory, “the summer before my senior year I realized: oh my God, I don’t want to do this.” So, after graduation, Mallory ended up in advertising, working as a media planner at a few different worldwide advertising agencies. “I liked it, and I was pretty good at it,” she says, “but I wasn’t passionate about it.”

In 2012, Mallory got engaged and planned her own wedding. Mallory’s husband also attended Northwestern, so the two got married on the Northwestern campus. “We’re purple through and through,” says Mallory. “I kid you not, our wedding colors were purple and white!”

Working through the wedding planning process and meeting with people in the industry made Mallory realize that the event industry had exactly what she was looking for in a career – she could put her skills to use, but in a different way than before.

Mallory found wedding and event planning gratifying for many reasons. It allowed her to work closely with clientele and build relationships. She also had an innate entrepreneurial streak, which proved critical to her next career move. After working for an event planning company for one-and-a-half years, she transitioned to opening her own company, Chi Chic Weddings & Events. “I was ready to make the leap and work for myself,” she says. “I was ready to take on the challenge of not only handling the events, but running all of the company functions on the business side.”

Chi Chic Weddings, currently based out of the North Shore, has been open only a few months but has already achieved success. “It’s been amazing so far,” says Mallory. “Even though it was terrifying to start my own business, it has been encouraging to see it pick up as quickly as it has – we’re already seeing bookings for 2016.”

“I owe a debt of gratitude to Northwestern,” says Mallory, “not only for my education, but for the resources I was able to take advantage of that proved so important to my career.” Mallory especially values the emphasis that her career counselors and school advisors placed on networking and how to position yourself to build relationships that will lead you to be successful.

“I love my job now,” says Mallory. “I get to make an impact on one of the most important days of a person’s life.”

Sally Slater '10

Sally Slater didn't set out to be a writer. However, about a year after graduating from Northwestern, she began writing a story called "Magical PR 101" on a whim. "It was a truly terrible story loosely based on my day job with vampires and werewolves thrown in," says Sally. Eventually she abandoned that story in favor of Paladin, her debut epic fantasy novel.

Growing up, Sally had an insatiable appetite for fantasy fiction, but was disappointed at the lack of female protagonists in the genre. "Fantasy heroines can follow one of two trajectories," says Sally. "They can save the world or they can fall in love. They can’t want both. I wanted to write a fantasy novel with realistic, multi-dimensional portrayals of women with multiple goals."

The first draft of Paladin  met with initial success on Wattpad, a website for readers and writers with about 40 million users per month. Paladin  has been read over 11 million times and received more than 40,000 comments from around the world. "I’ve spoken to readers from everywhere from Norway to Israel to Qatar," she says. "And I’ve even received fan art of my characters. Interacting with such a global base of readers has been an incredible experience."

Since Paladin  has taken off on Wattpad, Sally got a publishing deal with an indie publishing company. Her novel officially debuted on May 14, 2015, and is a No. 1 bestseller on Amazon in the Teen Fantasy and Teen Sword & Sorcery categories. "Writing Paladin  has brought so many amazing opportunities into my life," says Sally. "I’ve gotten to speak on panels, chat with film producers, and engage with my readers. I plan to keep writing and sharing my stories as long as there are people who want to read them."

It was at Northwestern where Sally discovered she was meant to be a writer. She took a creative nonfiction course her senior year with Professor John Bresland, simply because it sounded like fun. After the students turned in their first essays, Professor Bresland met with each student to discuss his feedback. "I sat down for my one-on-one," recalls Sally, "and he asked me, 'So, you’re going to be a writer, right?' Dumbfounded, I shook my head—the thought had never crossed my mind. And then he told me that if I didn't find a way to write, I’d be miserable for the rest of my life."

Sally took his words to heart. "I know now that he was right," she says. "Writers have to write, and I’m a writer. I owe Professor Bresland—and Northwestern—for that."