Motivation Monday: Justin


University of Michigan
Political Science | 2008

Hometown: Westland, MI
Currently: National editor at The Daily Beast
Self-described: Passionate, intelligent, driven
Enjoys: Reading, even though I do it every day for work. History and nonfiction especially. Crazy, I know.

Ask for help even when you don’t need it.

Tell us about yourself!

I’m a first-generation college graduate who grew up in a middle-class Detroit suburb. Thanks to my parents’ expectations, it was inconceivable I would not go to college. It didn’t have to be an Ivy League school, but continuing education beyond high school was a given.

I’m a journalist, and that’s a calling not a profession. Currently I’m the National editor at The Daily Beast. Previously I worked as an editor at New York Magazine and The Atlantic.


Greatest source of inspiration

To work in journalism. I never doubted what I wanted to do.


Greatest source of support

I got where I am thanks to other people who encouraged me to keep building experience, both in the macro sense of new jobs and the micro sense of new tasks inside each job.


Favorite thing

Fun with friends and stretching beyond classes to get real-world work experience.


Least favorite thing

Classes I was forced to take that had nothing to do with my profession, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have had to take them.


Tell us about a challenge you faced in college. How did you overcome it?

The underappreciated challenge isn’t academic but social: learning to live with other people for the first time. I overcame it by dint of time and learning to express myself honestly when I didn’t like what someone was doing -- as opposed to bottling it up.


What advice would you give to your freshman-year self?

Ask for help even when you don’t need it. Seek out advice. Learn a setback, like failing a class or getting a poor grade, isn’t a failure if you’ve put an honest effort in.


What's your secret for time management and productivity?

Doing as much as I can on paper, because there’s no distraction from the Internet and it forces you to slow down.


How do you de-stress?

I’ll tell you when I figure that out.


Final thoughts?

If you care enough to ask questions or be concerned about your future, you’ve won half the battle already.

Connect with Justin