Kate Hogan Berger

KB.jpg
In 2008, Kate joined the ranks of PEOPLE.com as an assistant editor, and three years later, she took over as PEOPLE.com's style news editor. In her current role as a staff features editor, Kate leads the features team of PEOPLE.com to communicate relevant and breaking news, including the most-read feature on the site: the daily Star Tracks.

berger.jpg
College major: Journalism and mass communication 

Profession: Features Editor, PEOPLE.com 

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of? Landing a job at PEOPLE.com. PEOPLE magazine was a place I grew up wanting to work, and being persistent — keeping in touch with editors, applying for several jobs here, monitoring the magazine and site content — is what got me here.  

What's your favorite story you've covered? Last year, I got to follow the wedding planning process of a couple that was injured in the Boston Marathon bombing. PEOPLE teamed up with TheKnot.com, who gave them a "dream wedding" at the Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina, so in the weeks leading up to the big day, the bride blogged for PEOPLE.com, and kept me updated on all the plans, and the struggles, as well. We covered the wedding itself online and in the magazine (it was my first byline in the actual pages of PEOPLE) and we've followed them since. She recently had her leg amputated — it was hurt so badly in the blast and extensive efforts to save it didn't work — just got a prosthetic, and is planning to run the Marathon this spring! It was great getting to know the two of them, and seeing them celebrate on the happiest day of their lives. Our readers really loved hearing their story, too. 

What's your workspace like? I try to keep it clean! My desk usually has a pile of recent PEOPLE magazines that I can grab to reference when needed. I have a lot of random tchotchkes I've accumulated from events over the years, too: a statue of David Beckham from when he launched his underwear line at H&M; a bottle of Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Lovers perfume; some great coffee table books from Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Kate Spade New York; and a few bizarre photos like a signed David Hasselhoff selfie. 

What's your morning routine? When I wake up I go first to my work phone (I know ...) to see if I missed anything big while I was sleeping. I also read theSkimm, the New York Times daily newsletter and the newsletter from the New York Post's Page Six (gotta get the good gossip!). I keep the "Today" show on while getting ready, since they cover a lot of the same topics we do, too. By the time I'm headed out the door around 9 a.m. (we start around 9:30 a.m. here and I'm just a quick subway ride away from the office), I'm on Twitter and Instagram to see what the stars I follow are up to, and if any of it is worth a story or photo slideshow on the site. 

What are some of your favorite spots in New York City? That's a tough question because I feel like there's always something new to see or do here! I love a restaurant called The Smith that has delicious comfort food (and not the craziest prices). I've had a few birthday parties at an East Village beer bar called Drop Off Service, which used to be a laundromat. And I love grabbing brunch at the Stanton Social, a small plates spot on the Lower East Side (good for groups!). I don't have too many go-tos, though; I like exploring the different neighborhoods here.

If you could hang out with one celebrity for a day, who would it be and why? The Ryan Goslings and Chris Hemsworths of the world aside, I'd have to say Kate Middleton. I'm totally fascinated by the whole royal family experience, and she just seems so poised and lovely — I wonder if she ever breaks character behind closed doors! Plus I'd love to score five minutes of cheek-pinching time with Prince George. And see if she'd introduce me to Prince Harry.

What's the best thing about working at People? As cheesy as it sounds, the people at PEOPLE. We have an awesome staff full of funny, creative people and our team gets along great. It really makes the long hours here much more fun. 

What's your "quick pick-me-up"? We are a little spoiled here: We have a section of the site and magazine called "Great Ideas," which has delicious food recipes, and the editors of that section share a lot of the snacks they receive with us. So most days around 3 p.m. you will probably find me hovering in one of their offices, grabbing a little sugar to get me through the afternoon. Today they had ice cream that had M&M's and potato chips inside ... I won't tell you how many spoonfuls I ate! 

What's on your nightstand? Unfortunately my work and personal phones, a piggy bank my parents sent me after I complained New York was too expensive when I first moved here (I still cash it out every few months!) and a Limoges box my grandmother (also an Alpha Phi at the Iota chapter) gave to me as a bridal shower gift that says, "Remember the Giver." It was given to her by my grandfather, and it makes me think of both of them every day.  

How do you define success? Doing what makes you happy and doing it to the best of your ability. Whether it's work, extra-curriculars, your relationships — if you're satisfied with it, that's what matters most. 

What advice do you have for collegians wanting to pursue a career in journalism or publishing? Just never give up. If I had a quarter for every time someone told me to consider a different career path in the 16 months after I graduated and was looking to land that first magazine job, well, my piggy bank would be very full! It can be a disheartening process — there are only so many jobs in this field, though with websites growing and new blogs and social media platforms launching daily the landscape is definitely changing — but if you really want to work in journalism, you're going to find a job. I moved here without one and temped for four months before getting my first assistant position, and I know of so many people who did the same before and after me. You'll have some bad days, but once you land a gig you love, it'll feel all the more satisfying.