When Jordana Abraham, PAM ’11, and her two roommates started a blog in their final year at Cornell, they instantly tapped into a niche in millennial culture. The blog, called “Betches” – an irreverent, comedic commentary on fashion, food, movies, and much more – quickly went viral.
The trio, including Aleen Kuperman, CALS ’11, and Samantha Fishbein, ILR ’11, was approached by a publishing agent to write a book, “Nice is Just a Place in France,” with some of the content. By the time the book hit the New York Times bestseller list, they had expanded their blog to a website, built a massive social media following, developed their own product line, and essentially created their own media empire.
Abraham credits her Policy Analysis and Management major with giving her the insight to start on this path. “My major lets me think about things in a much more meta, all-inclusive way,” she said. A way that allows her to “weigh the pros and cons when I’m making a business decision or think outside the box.”
Whether it’s where to locate their business offices or which clients to sign with, Abraham says her education from Human Ecology taught her to think about more than just the direct result, but to evaluate where each decision will lead down the road. This insight is one small part of the bigger perspective she gained at Cornell, perspective that she recently shared with other students and alumni. In January, Abraham sat on a panel for a seminar in New York City hosted by the Human Ecology Alumni Association. At the event, “Finding Your Voice: Cornell Women in Media,” Abraham joined two other alumni to inspire women to get involved in the business of media.
“I feel a strong connection to Cornell,” Abraham said. “I was happy to be able to interact with students and people who are interested in pursuing careers in media and share my experiences.”
Betches’ future looks bright. The three cofounders are now working on writing their third book, building an ecommerce app, and expanding into podcasts and other types of media. And it does not stop there. The group is working with Comedy Central to create a new show based on Betches. Abraham says that though she and her colleagues were not business majors and have made some mistakes along the way, she appreciates her time at Cornell for teaching her a strong work ethic.
“It was helpful to go to a place with really high expectations,” Abraham said. “We need that hard working, meticulous [attitude] to make our good idea successful.”