Meet our Business Director — Carolyn Lanza

Photo by Patrick Hartman

Though it’s safe to say we’re pretty biased, Valley staff is full of so many amazing people who have so much love for Valley and the advancement of the magazine. If there’s anyone who wants the magazine to be the best it can be, it’s our business director, Carolyn Lanza.

Lanza is a senior advertising major/theatre minor, which she blames on her love of and involvement with theatre as a child. She began working on Valley’s business division the second semester of her sophomore year. She started on the ad team, where she was able to affirm her devotion to her major.

“I had really no idea what Valley was when I started, but I knew it was a really cool life and style magazine. Being on the ad team was great because I was exposed to ad sales, and it’s something that I never expected to enjoy,” says Lanza. “I’ve made such great friends and I can grow with it.”

From being on the ad team, she became ad director before holding her current position as business director. Her passion for the magazine and desire to help it reach its full potential is what drove her to want to become business director.

“I think just the idea of growing with the magazine since it’s something that I’ve dedicated a lot of time to is really important to me,” she says. “There are some aspects of different divisions that could benefit from improvements, so just based on observations I’ve made from previous semesters, I decided to bring some new ideas that I came up with during my time growing with the magazine so I could implement them when I became business director.”

Despite having many semesters with Valley to choose from, she was able to sift through the moments to pick out her proudest.

“There are so many moments that I can think of while being business director that I’ve been so very proud of, but I think my proudest would be my first semester when I was on the ad team. I had never done sales or anything before, and I just went downtown to pursue a potential client and I just did the whole spiel for them and was able to sell a full-page ad and make some money for the mag,” says Lanza. “I kinda just walked out of there like, ‘Wow, I just did that.’”

Lanza says that, despite all her love for the magazine, she would change, if she could, the perception of what it means to work for a publication.

“A lot of people assume that when you talk about being a staff member for any publication, they assume that you write for the magazine and that you’re on editorial and that you contribute articles and that type of thing. In fact there are so many other components of being a part of a magazine staff and that’s evident in Valley where we have our business division,” says Lanza. “What I would want to improve is to receive more recognition for the work that they do. They bring in revenue, they plan phenomenal events like the fashion show that just happened last Tuesday, they do amazing promotional events every month and we have our one finance director who is literally magical with numbers. She helps me with the whole process. It’s the type of backbone stuff that support the efforts by editorial because without that there wouldn’t be recognition.”

To Valley members past, present and future, Carolyn has a few words she’d like to say.

“To the past, thank you for giving me the opportunity to become a part of Valley, because it has made my Penn State experience all the better. To the present, I would like to let the business division know that the work that they do never goes unnoticed, and I admire and cherish the dedication that they have to generating awareness about Valley because they are all beautiful people who bring something unique to the staff. To the future, I would say a quote by Teddy Roosevelt: ‘Far and away, the best prize that life has to offer, is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.’ Even when there are times that it feels like the work you’re doing is mundane or insignificant, it’s not, because this magazine would not be a successful without the contribution from every single person.”

Lastly, Carolyn would like to thank the business directors from this semester for all of their hard work. “Shoutout to the business directors to Anna James, Kasey Lam, Alli Kashur, Sydney Bair and Samantha Chou. Without them the business division wouldn’t be able to function as smoothly as it has. They have been an amazing director staff to work with and I will always be there for them if they ever need me,” she says.


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