Looking back on her time in London, alumna Meghan Donovan ’03 remembers a brightly colored Kit-Kat branded taxi. It was just one of many cool advertising tactics she discovered while living in London, which sparked a lifelong interest in marketing and communications. As well as a full-time job as a vice president of public relations, Meghan also runs Wit & Whimsy, a successful women’s lifestyle, fashion and beauty blog she founded in 2006. Wit & Whimsy has since gained a loyal following and developed an array of partnerships with notable brands such as Gap, Starbucks, Lancôme, Neutrogena and Ted Baker. Meghan’s blog has also gained significant praise in the press, receiving endorsements from some of the major names in online fashion and beauty, including MarieClaire.com, Refinery29 and Glamour.com.
When asked about the biggest challenges of her work, Meghan responded assertively, “There is a constant need to be creative and strategic, coming up with plans and ideas that are going to make an impact and a difference to the consumer.” She added that finding the time to maintain her blog and get regular communication out to her followers on all the social media channels can be a challenge. However, it is evident that Meghan’s passion for her work is what has kept her committed. Speaking about her motivation to maintain her blog in its infancy, she stated, “I realized I was proud to have created something where I had a voice and a public outlet to engage with people around the world.” Much more than just a pet project, Meghan felt she had created a platform from which to grow. Her success today shows that her commitment paid off!
For students interested in forging a career in marketing and online communications, she recommends finding the right people to speak to, using the networks that you have in place, and seeking out internships that might turn into job offers after graduation. Though a lot of hard work, it is a fun and constantly changing industry.
Meghan believes that moving to London from Chicago and joining ASL back in 1994 formed the roots of a passion for travel and discovery. “ASL played an instrumental role in my interest to travel and explore the world. My parents took every opportunity to leverage our experience as a family living abroad and show us as much as possible,” she recalls. In Grade 4, she was introduced to Paris and fell in love with the city. Since ASL, her life and career have taken her to many exciting places. In 1996, she returned to Chicago, where she finished middle and high school. She went on to complete her BA in communications at Santa Clara University in California, as well as returning to her beloved Paris to study abroad. She began her career in San Francisco, where she lived for four years before moving to her current home in Manhattan’s East Village.
Although Meghan spent only two years in London, completing Grades 4 and 5 at ASL, she has vivid memories of the lifelong friendships she developed and the teachers that inspired her. Meghan is regularly surprised to meet fellow ASL alumni in her everyday life. Not long ago she bumped into a classmate at New York’s JFK airport! She keeps in touch with her good friend and Grade 4 classmate Caroline Narich ’03. The pair have met regularly in cities across continents including Chicago, San Francisco, London and Paris. Meghan believes it is the unique types of people at ASL that foster lasting friendships.
Meghan recalls fondly how her Grade 5 teacher, Sunny Neutze (ASL 1984-86; 1989-2011), motivated her thinking: “She inspired learning, challenging the ways we looked at our studies and taught us to think outside the box.” Meghan was happy to have the opportunity to reunite with Sunny back in 2005, when she visited the School for an alumni tour. Some of her best memories from her time at ASL include the annual Halloween parade and the PCA Auction, for which she remembers helping out and designing an apron! “The way it brought together the parents and the kids made the event really special.” Meghan has three siblings, Shannon ’99, Kevin ’07 and Sean ’09, who also attended ASL for 2 years.
Check out Meghan's blog, Wit & Whimsy, here: www.witwhimsy.com