Alumni Feature: Ruby McAuliffe ’20 is Living Her Dream as an Editor in NYC

by Megan Wilhelm '23

Ever since Taylor Swift’s “Welcome to New York” came out in 2014, Ruby McAuliffe ’20 dreamed of moving to the Big Apple. Aside from her favorite singer’s pop hit, the journalist also knew she wanted to pursue a career in fashion, beauty, and commerce fashion — an industry largely based in New York City. Though it came at the cost of leaving friends, family, and familiarity behind, McAuliffe has no regrets about her cross-country move. “I am working my dream job. This is why I wanted to be here. At the same time, there are sacrifices, but my family always reminds me — in the best way possible — we don’t want you here [in California]. They want me to be out here achieving my dreams,” she said.

At only 24, McAuliffe fulfilled her dream of writing and editing for a top women’s magazine: InStyle. Now living in the fashion capital of the country, she achieved her goal with hard work, big dreams, and a lot of prayer. “I remember praying ‘God, do not open the door even the slightest amount because if you do, I am going to burst through it,” she said. And burst through it she did. After a year as a commerce writer for the New York Post, McAuliffe accepted a position at InStyle.

Having achieved so much at a young age, McAuliffe, though immensely grateful for her career thus far, is focusing on slowing down and enjoying where she’s at in life. “Before working for InStyle, I had never been in a state of life where I could just stop because there was always something to achieve: do well in high school to get to college; do well in college so you can get good internships, and get good internships so you can get a good job,” she said. “Now, my goal is to find joy in being content, slowing down, and settling in because I’ve been ‘go go go’ for so long.”

As an associate commerce fashion editor for InStyle, McAuliffe’s daily routine ranges from pitching stories, interviewing celebrities — such as Demi Moore, Jessica Alba, and Mindy Kaling — attending events, writing articles, and editing. The Upland native’s love for editing began after she took a course on the subject at Azusa Pacific University, which was a part of her journalism curriculum. After applying to APU’s student-run newspaper, ZU News, as a copy editor during her sophomore year, she worked her way up to becoming the editor-in-chief by her senior year, serving as a managing editor for ZU Magazine along the way. Along with her editing class, McAuliffe credits many of her courses at APU for equipping her in current position. “Even though I’m in an editing/writer position, there really is a whole multimedia aspect even to this one position,” she said. “You would think because I’m an editor, I just edit, but that’s not true. I really am utilizing everything I learned, from AP style to how to work with others.”

Along with valuable skills for her career, McAuliffe also credits APU for providing her with a tight-knit community of like-minded individuals. “I loved studying journalism with my best friends,” she said. “It was so fun that I was able to get really close with the people in my department, so I was enjoying both what I was studying and who I was learning it with.”

Now, as a Christian thriving in the fashion industry, McAuliffe credits both her prayer life and faith community for keeping her grounded. “Without prayer, I’m a mess. Praying helps me remember that at the end of the day, I am not in charge,” she said. “Surrounding myself with good friends has helped me evaluate what I want here in New York and what I want my life to be. They help to keep me on that path.”

Surrounded by friends who love Jesus, McAuliffe has had opportunities to shine her light with others in an industry some believe is devoid of faithful Christians. “I’ve had so many conversations in this industry about God and my faith and people coming up to me and being so interested in my faith, and I get to share it with them,” she said. As she continues writing and editing in the fashion world, McAuliffe is taking things one day at a time in the craziness of NYC, trusting God to guide her, leaning on her friends for support, and being authentically herself.

Megan Wilhelm '23 is a public relations intern in the Division of Strategic Communication and Engagement.