Read the latest and greatest from Carly Romeo!
1. When did you attend UVA? What did you study?
I started in fall of 2004, and graduated in May of 2008. When I started college I thought I would be a Spanish major, but my second semester I took an Architecture School class that I loved, with professor Iliescu. I applied to transfer into the A-School and was accepted for transfer. But after a year in the A-School I changed my mind and transferred back to the College. I ended up majoring in Studies in Women and Gender.
2. What work did you do with the Women’s Center?
I was an intern for Iris Magazine, so I did lots of stuff for them. At the time, they had a staff of two (Ginger Moran and Lauren Russo), so I was doing everything from design to submission reading/editing.
3. What are you doing now?
So many things! I work with Soapbox, Inc, which is a feminist speakers’ bureau that helps colleges book speakers for events. We also put on Feminist Camp, which is a program for people who want to deepen their understanding of feminism(s). Right now, Feminist Camp takes several forms: a week-long program in NYC twice a year, a two-week program for High Schoolers in the summer, and one-day mini-camps around the country. I also have a wedding photography business and I publish a feminist wedding magazine!
4. What was your very first job and what’s something you learned from it?
My first job EVER was at an old-folks home in my hometown when I was 15; I waited tables there. What I learned there that sticks with me is that older people are way more understanding than they get credit for sometimes. Even the mean ones. My first job after college was at a non-profit that works with LGBTQ youth; sadly, the thing I learned from that job that still sticks with me is that an organization can have a feminist (or feminist-adjacent depending on your framework) mission, but not be a feminist workplace. I experienced a lot of sexism there and ended up leaving after just 5 months.
5. What’s something you learned in school/college that turned out to be useful later, in some way you didn’t expect?
This is a really hard question! I think sometime I learned from my year in the A-School is that hard work can really pay off, but you have to be willing to invest the time. Ultimately, I decided to spend the bulk of my time on other things, which is why I transferred out of the A-School. But watching my peers working for hours and hours on their projects and then seeing their amazing projects — beyond my own capabilities for sure — I realized the value of working long hours on things you care about.
6. What was your favorite memory from working with the Women’s Center?
I got to interview my now-colleague, Amy Richards, for Iris! I was super nervous and didn’t want to do it alone, so Lauren (Russo) came with me and sat with us in Starbucks. It went really well! And now, 10 years later, I work with Amy at Soapbox.
7. What do you miss most about Charlottesville?
Probably some of my favorite foods, like Bodo’s and Eppie’s (RIP Eppie’s). I live in Richmond so I can visit often!
8. Looking back, what advice would you give your former, intern-self?
I would tell myself to make sure to recognize and thank (often) the people who help(ed) guide me. An extra “thank you” never hurts and being aware of how much generosity of time and experience is given to students at UVA is a great thing to practice.
Read about when Carly and Soapbox Inc, brought Feminist Camp to Grounds.