A Fordham Grad’s Success Story at a Financial Magazine


Published: Febrary 14, 2008

Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) alum Tara Kalwarski, 27, was recently promoted to assistant managing editor of Financial Week. Before her promotion, Kalwarski won the 2007 NewsBios’ “30 Under 30 Award” for her excellent work as a business journalist and the data editor of Financial Week,  a weekly newspaper that caters to high-level companies and executives nationwide. We talked to Kalwarski about her journey through her college years, internships and all the way to her early success.

The Observer: How did you come about your job at Financial Week?

Tara Kalwarski: A week after I graduated [from FCLC], I started an internship at Money Magazine. I went from being an intern to a research assistant to a research reporter to a reporter to a senior reporter and [ultimately] a special project editor. I was at Money Magazine for five years when the opportunity came at Financial Week. Financial Week was a brand new photo weekly newspaper that a former editor of mine from Money Magazine was in charge of.  Having been promoted, I enjoy editing other people’s writing and making it fit the purpose of the newspaper better.

The Observer: In what ways did Fordham play a role in your early success?

Tk: When I first came to Fordham, I was registered as a philosophy major, I don’t know why. I ended up majoring in English and minoring in mathematics, which turned out to be a great combination for what I was ultimately into, because not a lot of journalists know how to calculate.

I finished [college] in like three years and one summer. I think that if I stayed the full four years, which I totally could have done because there were a lot more classes I was interested in taking, I probably wouldn’t have gotten a job because the economic climate in 2002 wasn’t what it was the year earlier.

The Observer: Did any particular professor, club or course have a significant impact on you as a student?

TK: One of my favorite classes was a critical theory class that I took with Anne Hoffman. I liked the high level of writing demanded of her students and I liked the way she taught us to think critically. In this class, I learned a lot about thinking differently or how to approach things from a different angle. I realized it was something I wanted to do more of, and I’m working on how to do that daily at my career.

The Observer: What kind of work do you do at Financial Week as assistant managing editor?

TK: My primary responsibility is to edit the ‘special purpose’ section that we have appearing every week, which is a combination of stories geared towards a topic that interests our readers like finance, cash management, accounting, technology, real estate. [Another responsibility is] to plan ahead and have this section add something that our marketing and advertising attribute to.

The Observer: What do you consider to be the best part of your job?

TK: The people I work with. I don’t think anyone grows up saying I want to be a financial journalist. Because that doesn’t happen, you have a wide range of people from all different majors, who had all sorts of other careers, and it’s a fun group of people. Sometimes I want to leave this career and do something that is not work; I’ve been working ever since college. But, I realize I have a really good thing—I think I’ll stick with it.

The Observer: Do you have any advice to Fordham students who are interested in pursuing a journalism career?

TK: I would say that if you want to do journalism, then internships are very important. It’s terrible pay at the beginning and you are kind of at the mercy of your editors. It involves a lot of fact-checking and maybe not a lot of fun stuff, but it’s worth it. It’s worth it when you get to the point that you break a story before the Journal or before the Times.