Tuesday, September 20, 2016

GW English Alums on the Move: Gabe Muller

Gabe Muller (GW English Minor, '13)
with Diane von Furstenberg
Gabe Muller, English Minor, Diane von Furstenberg Intimate

Okay, maybe not intimate; but Gabe's job at Atlantic Media certainly opens doors.  He talks about it with Margaret Soltan.

So, how did you go from being a humble English minor at GW to a guy who hangs out with famous fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg? 

wish I could say I regularly hang out with her, but the truth is a bit more low-key. I interviewed DVF for an immigration-themed multimedia campaign I oversaw at work. After graduating from GW in 2013, I began a fellowship with Atlantic Media — they publish The Atlantic, Quartz, and others. My job there involves conceiving and executing big editorial projects for clients. This particular campaign was done for the Carnegie Corporation of New York, a wonderful foundation that's made a lot of positive change in the world — including being a vocal proponent of immigration. Part of our campaign involved conducting interviews with famous immigrants, and, luckily for me, DVF was eager to participate! Needless to say, she was fabulous, super professional, and magnetic. Maybe one day we'll actually hang out — but I'm not holding my breath.

In what ways did your GW education prepare you for this sort of multimedia work?

I'm a proud and involved alum of The GW Hatchet. While other students had their fraternities and sports teams, I had the newspaper. I served as the web and multimedia editor at The Hatchet for a while, and that's where I really picked up my video storytelling skills. We were a hard-working team and we thrived on the tight deadlines and creative debates associated with this sort of work. Aside from The Hatchet, I also developed storytelling skills by taking lots of English classes and doing a whole lot of reading. What makes a good narrative? What does the viewer need to see to feel emotion or empathy? How does one interview flow into the other? These are questions I started asking back at GW and am still working through today.

Do you see yourself as primarily an editor, or a writer, or something else?

It's a tough question, but I'm tempted to say "something else." My day job is less about writing individual articles or editing specific videos and more about planning and executing big creative projects. But because I still love writing and editing, I try to do some work on the side. This includes freelancing articles whenever I have the time and inspiration, and, more recently, coaching other writers through their own projects. There's nothing more gratifying than helping somebody else find their writerly voice through a one-on-one professional relationship. It's intimate, trusting, and intellectually rigorous.

You've been talking about writing for The Hatchet when you were a student here.  Do you think that's good training for an English major?  Do you have any advice in general for our majors?

I raved about The Hatchet in a previous question, and I will rave about it here as well. It is a tremendous training ground. No other group on campus will discipline and hone your untethered creative energy quite like The Hatchet. Plus, it's given me a lifetime of wonderful friends. As for general advice for the English majors: Think broadly! I combined my English education with a history major and philosophy minor, and was floored by the intellectual connections I was able to uncover among the disciplines. Take courses in critical theory, in art history, in Victorian literature, in Tudor politics and watch how all the pieces come together.

Do you have any other trendy high-profile cultural outings in the works?

Yes, I'll be strutting the catwalk at New York Fashion Week in a few days. Just kidding. I'll likely be sitting on my deck, welcoming the fall with a cool beer and a couple of friends after work. That's about as high-profile as I get.

[ALUMS! Please contact Professor Margaret Soltan with your own high-profile story.  We'd love to include you as part of this blog series.]

Related Article

GW English Alums on the Move: Gabe Muller
4/ 5
Oleh

SUBSCRIBE

Enter Your Email For Update Articles..