Maria Milano, International 2001 – Head of Editorial and Content, Harrods.com
What was your best moment at City?
I had really great professors. I could have gone on and studied forever, so learning from experts in the field was a highlight. City has such a prestigious reputation, everyone knows it – and I had great work attachments as well.
What was your worst moment at City?
One time my copy got spiked by a really tough professor. She said it was riddled with clichés. I was shocked.
What’s the best thing about your job?
I love my job. Even after my maternity leave, I was really excited about coming back. It’s been the travel, the fashion shows, the people I have interviewed, the once in a lifetime, money-can’t-buy opportunities – really being in that moment is a huge highlight.
Who is your dream interview?
I got to interview Grace Coddington last year. She is formidable, very driven and a no-nonsense person – there wasn’t much fluff about her. But for the future, Michelle Obama would be the dream interview – for everything she has done. She has changed perceptions of children, politics and women.
Has being a journalist ever put you in danger?
I went on a stake-out in St. John’s Wood, north-west London just after 9/11. My editor asked me to cover that, believing that Osama bin Laden was operating from there.
What is your worst or most embarrassing work experience story?
When I worked at Maxim, I turned up on my first day and they had put a machine like a whoopee cushion next to my computer, so whenever I walked by it made those noises. It was almost a rite of passage.
Who’s your favourite journalist at the moment?
I am loving Lorraine Candy, the former editor of Elle. She always brings grit and guts to her stories. She’s started a column geared towards working mums.
What is/was your worst journalistic habit?
Approaching journalism in the wrong way when I started. I loved long, descriptive sentences – but actually, the longer I’ve been editing, the more I love to chop words out. Journalism is all about the initial angle – the sentimental stuff can come after.
If you weren’t a journalist, what would you be?
Being a journalist, you have to be a people person and connect with people. I do think about working by myself and working in the V&A archives, down in a room doing research. It would be something creative.