Not many students can say that they’ve maintained a successful fashion blog throughout their college careers. Rachel Bimonte, senior journalism major, breaks the mold as she did accomplish this with her blog, entitled “Breakfast at Raes.”
She started the blog four years ago when she was a freshman, and it has been growing ever since. She covers everything from fashion and beauty to lifestyle. Recently, she published pieces including her three favorite places to shop and why, and how she perfects her top knot bun. The blog is extremely important to Bimonte, and relates to the path she is choosing to follow in the future.
Bimonte originally thought that she wanted to pursue broadcast journalism, possibly wanting to be on the news, but it was not until junior year that she took her first broadcast class and realized that she found her passion elsewhere. She was so hooked on the writing aspect of journalism already, and acknowledged that journalists have to talk to people either way.
“I love people and I love talking to them. Whether you’re on air or writing, you have to be able to do that,” she commented.
Bimonte has definitely taken interesting and rewarding classes for her major. She touched on her News 2 course, which she said was the best class she ever took here. The class met for six hours each week, and was a close knit group of ten students, which made it really special. They worked on a huge thesis project, in which Bimonte got to reach out to a RISD student who specialized in textiles, and write hers on what she loves, fashion.
“We put so much time and effort into our papers. It is a real piece of journalism that I will never forget and still be able to share,” Bimonte said.
If she had to choose her least favorite part of journalism, then it would be relying on other people to commit to interviews. Bimonte acknowledges that some people hear the word “journalism” and immediately put their guards up. She has learned that it takes a great deal of effort to make people feel at ease with talking to journalists.
“You have to make people feel comfortable with talking to you. Even though we may feel comfortable talking about it, the person we approach may not,” Bimonte said.
Many opportunities have come her way in terms of internships and steps to being recognized by employers in the future. She has interned for Rhode Island Monthly, the largest publisher of magazines and specialty publications in Rhode Island twice now, once as an Editorial Intern and then as a Digital Intern. Her main responsibility as the Editorial Intern was blogging for their website once or twice a week, and she was even featured in the print issue four times. As the Digital Intern, she got to transform the articles into social media copy.
“It was amazing working with the editors and seeing everything come together. Working as the Digital Intern, I got to see everything come full circle,” she said.
Recognition has also come along regarding Bimonte’s journalistic pursuits. Besides the attention she gets on her Instagram and fashion blog, the university has recognized her as well. In a ceremony held by the School of Humanities, Arts, and Education on May 9, Bimonte will receive the Journalism Senior of the Year Award. Her parents are coming to the awards ceremony and she expressed her excitement about being honored.
“I didn’t know about this award, but I’m definitely happy that I got it. I worked really hard the past four years,” Bimonte said.
Electronic Business is not a minor at RWU that everyone's heard of, but it's one that Bimonte has become passionate about. She knows that journalism majors have to promote themselves, and the intro level classes involving marketing and graphic design that she took for this minor have helped her to do that.
“I was really scared of web development, but now it's my favorite thing to do. I recommend that all journalism majors take this minor,” she said.
Thinking about one thing that she does very frequently, she declared that she could probably not go a day without checking Instagram. She commented that “you have to be in the know.” Instagram is the platform that she uses to promote her blog as well.
Bimonte has had experiences here that have made profound impacts on her life. One of her favorite aspects of RWU was her semester-long study abroad trip to Florence, Italy during her sophomore year. She said that this adventure really fulfilled her time here.
Friendships are another important gain that she takes away with her, as she says that the friends she has made within the journalism major are incredible. Bimonte has spent so much time with the same girls over the years, sharing passions and memories, and she expressed how thankful she is for them.
“We’re so close, and I am so grateful for the friends I’ve made in my classes. I know that I can go to them not only about school, but with anything,” she said.
Ultimately, Bimonte’s career goal is to work for a fashion magazine. She loves Cosmopolitan and Vogue, and can definitely picture herself working for a publication along those lines.
“It’s alright if fashion doesn’t come right away, as I have my blog in the meantime,” Bimonte said. “But working in that field is definitely my dream.”