Oh Boy Episode 25: Mattie Kahn
If you want to be a writer — whether you’re in school or not — listen to this episode
Mattie Kahn has written for Man Repeller for a long time. Her name was all up in that byline area well before I began. Her name was all up in other publications’ bylines, too — Refinery29, Elle.com, VanityFair.com, Into The Gloss. She was still in college, and while talent and age rarely correlate, I was impressed.
Her writing is really good, yes. Mattie has a way of breaking down the complicated and the uncomfortable and making it digestible. From politics to feminist standpoints on pop culture to GIRLS recaps (especially GIRLS recaps, depending on the amount of Marnie in a given episode) this is no easy feat. But I was mostly impressed by her drive. Despite a serious collegiate workload, she always pitched, always met her deadlines, always worked harder. Kahn once emailed me with an updated version of her story nearly four seconds after she sent draft one, during finals!, because there was an “errant comma” wedged between one of her sentences that she hadn’t caught. That’s the kind of gumption that separates you from the pack.
In this episode of Oh Boy, host Jay Buim and Elle.com news writer Mattie Kahn discuss Kahn’s career path, how her initial dream of working in fashion led her to covering the 2016 presidential election, her detour into chef whites, Britney Spears and the wonders of cold emailing. It’s an entertaining listen, but it’s also one that just might light a fire under your butt if you’ve spent all of MR’s Career Month thinking to yourself, “I should really get going on this whole ‘what do I want to do'” thing.
And remember: no one really does. So you might as well get going on something you love.