A Day in the Life of Latina Senior Editor Samantha Leal

A Day in the Life of Latina Senior Editor Samantha Leal

For our new series on Latina.com, we’re giving you an inside look into the day-to-day lives of the Latina magazine staff – what they’re reading, what they’re doing and what they’re loving right now. This week’s day in the life comes from our Senior Editor for Latina.com, Samantha Leal. Here’s a look into her day:

As the Senior Editor for Latina magazine’s website, it’s up to me to create the lineup of all the stories going up that day, as well as top-edit the content before it publishes. I also write stories (with a focus on beauty and fashion), attend meetings, interview inspiring Latinas, stylists and celebrities, work with publicists and site contributors, approve story ideas and attend preview events (where I get to see products and clothes before they hit shelves) and product launch events (where I can chat with publicists, stylists and more). It’s a lot of work – but I love it!

My day is never “typical,” but I’m in office no later than 8:30 a.m. every day, working till around 5 or 6 p.m. before heading off to an event. I probably get home around 9 p.m., when I can check my personal email, catch up on life, read or write. I'm asleep by 11:30 p.m. Because I have to hit the ground running when I get in (and know what the heck is going on in the world), I get up around 6 a.m. every morning (5 a.m. if I’m squeezing time into the gym) to look at social media, emails and websites.

After I glance at my company email, Twitter is the first thing I head to – I like to see what’s trending, what those I follow are talking about, and if anything happened while I was asleep. (The ongoing question for an online editor is generally, “Did anyone die while I was gone?” Morbid, but true.)

I love Tomas Custer’s feed (@hispanictips), which functions kind of like an RSS feed of Latino-centric stories. (Support his mission here!). I also check out WWD, Variety, Huffington Post, The Cut and Vulture (New York Magazine), People, Us Weekly, Glamour and The Atlantic. (Phew!) I’m a huge fan of Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times and always keep up on his columns and blogs. After getting ready, I check out my Tumblr page and Buzzfeed (also known as GIF utopias) and lastly, check my personal Facebook feed (to see if anyone’s posted an interesting article or video). I’m out the door by 7:45, and as I’m heading to the subway and the office, I open Instagram and open Facebook’s new interface – Paper – which is such a great design. I like to see if I missed anything on Facebook and what news articles surface on the app.

On this particular day, it’s Friday, which means it’s almost the weekend! TGIF. But Friday is always the busiest day for the online staff, because we’re busy preparing content for the weekend at the same time. While we usually write up anywhere from 10 to 15 stories a day (including short posts, features and galleries), on Fridays we’re producing about 15 to 20 pieces for the day and the weekend, as well as programming all social media posts for three days. That post on Shakira’s baby Milan? That doesn’t go up by itself!

This day is a little jumbled as well because I have quite the packed morning. Usually I’m at my desk pretty much all day, but this day is a little different, so I head into the office a little earlier than usual (getting there at 8) to do a little work before my day really begins. I send out the lineup at 8:30 before heading across the street to meet with two PR reps from Kaplow over breakfast (blueberry pancakes, yum!). We touch base about their clients and also just get our brains working over some coffee. (I’m a caffeine fiend) before I have to head a little more downtown to check out the spring products for Salma Hayek’s Nuance line sold in CVS. One of the reps also has to head there, as one of her clients is CVS, so we head down together and check out what’s new. I get to make my own bouquet of beautiful flowers and also learn about the oils in her products (did you know argan oil is one of the rarest oils in the world?!) before getting the new goodies to try out.

I run out and head downtown to work from home in my apt for an hour before I have to head to a lunch at the Mexican spot Calexico for Converse. Their latest Converse shoes and hi-tops feature graffiti elements and are perfect for spring and summer music festivals.

I run into my friends Susan and Mickey who are also there for the lunch (media is a very small industry), and we catch-up over guacamole and baja fish tacos. Delish!

We learn more about the inspiration for the shoes as well as the artist behind the cool graffiti, Queen Andrea. A native New Yorker, Andrea is definitely different from the New York norm of loving black – she’s all about color! Feels very Brazilian, no?

After lunch, I head back to the office to catch up on emails, edit stories, schedule stories and write some of my galleries (including our weekly best dressed list). On any given day, I get about 150 – 350 emails, so I have to keep on top of it, otherwise it gets very overwhelming! I respond to a couple of inquiries before honing in on everything that needs to go up for the site today and social posts, as well. I have a meeting with my boss, Dan Koday, to tie up some loose ends and get feedback on a few things. I finally head back to my desk and it’s emails, emails and more emails.

It’s 5?! I wrap up a few stories before answering more emails (it never ends!) and making sure my inbox is at least all fully read. I flag a few emails for follow-up on Monday, and then sort through packages I’ve gotten in the (regular) mail. Finally, I’m off and ready for the weekend! Monday will come soon enough.