JOURNALISM/NEWS SERIES – This month’s spotlight series features T. Howard Foundation (THF) alumni who are not only in the business of reporting the facts and interpreting events, they’re also charged with presenting information and stories for the public to enjoy. We’re profiling alumni working in Journalism and/or News media.
Moriba Cummings (THF ‘11)
Please describe your role.
I am a commerce editor and writer at In The Know (intheknow.com), a platform under Verizon Media that’s a destination for all things millennial and Gen Z. I create shoppable content surrounding various beats and topics including tech, fashion and skincare.
What do you enjoy most about your company?
What I appreciate most about the In The Know team is the willingness and encouragement to experiment creatively and make more approachable and bright content that we would actually want to read, ourselves. I also enjoy the openness to ideas, regardless of status — everyone’s opinions are valued.
In what way did this type of work interest you and how did you get started?
I’ve always enjoyed writing — It’s all I’ve known and is the foundation of my now six-year career in media. Prior to this role, I was a senior celebrity and entertainment writer at BET.com. Shifting to more commerce-centric writing was a conscious decision and something that I wanted to further explore more actively than I did in the past. It posed more of a challenge and sense of purpose, for me.
How has your affiliation with the T. Howard Foundation influenced your career?
I tell this story all the time: The T. Howard foundation was the first stepping stone that led me to where I am today. T. Howard helped me land my very first internship at CNN during my sophomore year of college and also helped me secure my second at BET.com a year after that. Without the T. Howard Foundation, I would not have fostered those relationships and had the opportunities I’ve had to build on a craft that I’ve only dreamed of having as a young writer.
What personal attributes have been essential to your career success?
Staying persistent and encouraged have been essential in my career — both starting out and most recently, at this moment. There were moments where I felt stuck and complacent and didn’t know where I could or should go next. But taking that brief moment to live in that space and move on to find ways out of it have both helped me foster this sense of determination that I don’t think I would have developed if things were different.
If you were entering this career today, how would you prepare to facilitate entry?
If I were entering this career today, to facilitate entry, I would research everything I can about the business and what is in demand. Every industry has some element of over-saturation, so it’s easy to be overshadowed. Through this outlook and making an effort to stand out — whether it be through elements like your writing voice and style to your photography aesthetic — you’ll be hard to miss.
Do you perform your work in a cubicle, office or open workspace? Please describe what’s on your desk at this moment.
I work in an open office space — sort of newsroom style. Now that we’ve been quarantined for over a month now, I have to think more actively to remember what’s even at my desk. What I remember having is a MOFT laptop stand/riser (one of the most genius inventions), a small vase of flowers just to brighten up the space and my mood, my external monitor, to keep things organized and separate, and my trusty Beyoncé Homecoming mug, because… goals.
In one sentence please describe what work/life balance means to you.
Having a healthy work/life balance is crucial, especially for those who work in media where things can easily snowball and seem never-ending. After leaving work and getting home, I consciously put myself on a technology break for at least 45 minutes to an hour. I put my phone away, I finish a chapter of a book I’m reading, I get a glass of wine, I cook — anything but look at a screen, after doing so for eight hours of the day.
Use one word to describe how you practice self-care.
One word to describe how I practice self-care is “skincare.” I’m a bit obsessed, but it’s a great way to distract yourself from everything that’s going on around you.