After having internships through several national media outlets, Greer Veon looks forward to continuing to follow her dreams and inspiring her future readers.
by MARY LYNN PATTERSON
As a child, Greer Veon fell in love with reading, a fascination she shared with her grandfather. “My Grandpa Veon and I shared a similar love for books. I enjoyed sifting through bookshelves as he gave me recommendations for stories he liked or classics I should read. Those books gave me interest in storytelling.”
Greer’s love for reading is complemented with a love for learning. Her childhood was heavily influenced by relationships and experiences in the environment her mother also grew up in. “I really look up to my mother, and to be in a place that shaped who she was and attend schools in Texarkana Arkansas School District that she attended meant a lot to me. I really loved school,” Greer reflects.
Loving and supportive teachers encouraged her creativity and interest in leadership. “I loved my time as a Lady Razorback for the volleyball and basketball teams and serving in leadership roles in Student Council. I also did several musicals where I got to try on different roles and be creative,” Greer remembers.
As Valedictorian, Arkansas High requested Greer prepare speeches for the baccalaureate and graduation ceremonies. “My dad and I spent one
night together at our kitchen table outlining ideas and revising my drafts. I thought about how much I really enjoyed that experience and wished I could write and speak about my ideas to others all the time.”
After meddling with majoring in medicine at Hendrix College, a writing course wet her appetite for the humanities. “I took a course on creative nonfiction writing with a visiting professor from NYU, and fell in love with the craft.”
A weeklong trip in sixth grade and family visits as a child left Greer fascinated with New York City, personally. She networked with her former professor who offered a list of graduate schools in the area. “Sarah Lawrence was on that list, and when I looked up the program, I remember feeling that it would be the best fit,” she explains.
Greer knew she would need to “put herself out there” to make it in the field. She and her dad always enjoyed watching “60 Minutes” together, so with her dad’s encouragement, she entered CBS News’ summer internship program in 2016. “One of the hardest things I had to do was to keep a distance from the work I was doing,” Greer shares. “The summer I was there, so much was going on in the news. My first week on the job, the shooting at Pulse Nightclub had just happened. There was also the election, and it was very intense with so many things happening in politics.”
Greer started her summer on the 3 a.m.-12 p.m. shift, working primarily with the Talent Coordinator with guest relations. “I made sure guests’ cars were on-site, picked up the guests and called cars to pick them up after segments. I also made sure they were escorted to the green room and that hair, makeup or costumes were ready throughout the morning show.”
Greer would also research information for stories, watch coverage on other networks about big events, attend daily meetings to see the show’s lineup and have the opportunity to pitch ideas. “We were constantly busy because so much was happening that summer, so you walked in many times not really knowing what might be on the to-do list that day.”
For many college students, landing one summer internship and ordering lattes for the bigwigs is enough, but Greer took a chance that led to a summer dream job. “I started reading Teen Vogue when I was 11 or 12 before reading ELLE and Vogue,” Greer explains. “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to work in a place like that.”
In her internship with ELLE, a typical day depended on what part of magazine publishing the print team was in. “If they were accumulating stories, I spent most of the day transcribing interviews for editors and freelance writers. These interviews were either with celebrities or politicians.”
Navigating the ability to make connections in her dream world was most challenging. “Once I got my bearings that first week, I started to reach out to my supervisor and started asking questions about career paths, and it really taught me a lot about the magazine industry. I even pitched a book Q&A on a debut author, Angie Kim, for her novel, “Miracle Creek,” to an editor with ELLE.com.”
Putting herself out there proved powerful for the recent graduate. Greer will serve as temporary International Coordinator for ELLE International. “I’ll work to coordinate and syndicate all U.S. content to any global issues with ELLE International. I’m excited to see a post-production side of the magazine and the work on a global scale.”
Although Greer’s experiences with “ELLE” and CBC News were amazing learning opportunities for her, these internships aren’t what brings her lasting happiness. “I’m very lucky to have had the opportunity to pursue what I love, but my relationships bring me the most happiness, especially with my family. My mother taught me what it means to be a woman with grace and strength, my father encouraged my love for learning and taught me the importance of faith, and my brother is the kindest, most loving person I know. I value spending time and investing energy into relationships. They are far more rewarding than any idea of ‘success.’”
It’s relationships and Greer’s love for people that drive her the most in life and will hopefully inspire her future readers. “I hope my future work shows my commitment to people. Through my writing, I’m always trying to understand what makes people tick, and how our joys, failures and desires combine to make us whole. As a reader, I loved writers who brought me some sort of comfort about humanity and how we all share a sense of connectedness. I really hope that my work could perhaps do that for someone, too.”