Gretchen Morgenson visits McConnell Scholars
She started out as a receptionist at Vogue magazine and has ended up as a Pulitzer-prize winning financial columnist for The New York Times.
Gretchen Morgenson, 56, is an assistant business and financial editor and columnist at the NYT and recently met with several McConnell Scholars and university honors students. She spoke of when she first learned to write — thanks to an especially inspiring freshman English teacher.
She told of how she became a broker at Dean Witter, not because she was especially interested in Wall Street but because she needed to pay her rent and thought a job in sales would pay better than her receptionist post at Vogue. Gretchenson returned to journalism at Money, then Forbes, Worth, and then back to Forbes where she blossomed under the tutelage of editor Jim Michaels.
After a foray into politics as press secretary for Steve Forbes' presidential campaign, Gretchenson eventually landed at The New York Times in 1998.
With advice such as "Roll with the punches," and "Find the one person who is going to teach you the most and listen," several McConnell Scholars said they were inspired by Morgenson's journey to success.
"This wisdom was not specific to a certain age, gender, or social class, but what I felt was universal wisdom touching on topics that people of all ages and classes deal with," said Chelsey Hall, a senior McConnell Scholar majoring in economics.
Morgenson later delivered the University of Louisville's 2010 Phi Beta Kappa Lecture.
A McConnell Scholar's Prospective: Blog entry by Chelsey Hall (Bullitt County, Class of 2011)