The SI Swimsuit team is made up of seven women (yup, just seven) and we think it is time you got to meet the women behind the magazine. We will be doing a Q&A with six of the seven members of the team in the coming weeks as Senior Editor, Darcie Burroughs is currently on maternity leave.
Next up: Alyssa Conroy, Producer for SI Swimsuit. From securing all the photoshoot locations, to on-set production, Alyssa runs the show. Starting as a fashion closet intern 8 years ago Alyssa sure has earned her stripes here!
SI: What is your current job at SI Swimsuit?
AC: I am currently the Producer at SI Swimsuit. I started as an intern in the fashion closet, then became an Editorial Assistant, Editorial Coordinator and now this. I do not know how to describe my job, we all do a bunch of everything and get our hands into so many different parts of the business. My main responsibility is planning all of the shoots from start to finish, that is the best way to sum it up.
SI: Where did you go to college and what was your major?
AC: I went to Fairfield University in CT and double majored in Politics and International Studies, with a minor in Sociology. I had the intention of going to law school but decided not to. My parents were not too pleased at the time but, hey, it worked out!
SI: What internships did you have that helped land your job?
AC: I was a collegiate swimmer and decided Senior year that I wanted to get some real world experience. So, I quit swimming (sorry, Mom) and somehow landed an internship at Vanity Fair in their fashion closet. It was a real life Devil Wears Prada experience. I wanted to quit every single day, but I stuck it out (thanks, Mom) and it was the first thing MJ noticed on my resume.
SI: How long have you been at SI Swimsuit?
AC: Almost 8 years now which is just wild, I’ve truly grown up at this job.
SI: How did you get your job at SI Swimsuit?
AC: I applied everywhere. I was home from college and got a call from HR at Time Inc (RIP). They wanted me to come in for an interview for an internship position at SI Swimsuit. I first interviewed with Janine Berey and then MJ Day. Come to find out MJ and I grew up in nearby towns, both were swimmers, beach lifeguards a few beaches away from each other, both Political Science majors, etc. I got a call about three days later while working on the beach on the lifeguard stand and the rest is history.
SI: What is a day at the office like for you?
AC: Currently, I coordinate all of the shoots from start to finish. From researching destinations, to pitching destinations, to coordinating the shoot calendar, to handling all of the pre-shoot logistics, to executing shoots on the ground...that's what I do in the CliffsNotes version. Every single day is something new which keeps it exciting. Each shoot poses its own hurdles and they're each so logistically different. From flights, to visas, to permits, to models and crew every shoot is an individual puzzle that is fun to figure out. I also work very closely with our incredible location Executive Producer - Cindi Blair at Cindi Blair Productions on a daily basis. She comes in a month or two before each shoot, fine tunes every single thing and makes sure it is all buttoned up and ready to go...she is the Master of production and I have learned so much from her. She is our saving grace and the ABSOLUTE BEST at what she does.
SI: What is the best part of the job?
AC: The friends I have made and the places I have gotten to travel. I met one of my best friends at SI Swimsuit, Jo Giunta. She will be in my wedding one day which is funny because when we first started working together we did not get along.
SI: What has been your favorite SI Swimsuit location?
AC: I have two...that's allowed right? Kenya was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. It truly was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I will be forever grateful for, it was a true "pinch me this is my job" moment. Also, Turks & Caicos for the 2016 issue. Being there to watch Ashley Graham shoot her history making cover was something I will never forget.
SI: Dream shoot location?
AC: France, Japan, Morocco, Portugal, Greece, Botswana. Honestly, anywhere...I have such a travel bug. My wishlist of countries for the 2021 issue is about 34 long...I can dream.
SI: Favorite archive SI Swimsuit cover?
AC: Elle Macpherson, 1986, hands-down.
SI: What are your travel must-haves?
AC: My Eagle Creek luggage, that is it. Oh, wait, I lied and my Sunday Riley serum because I am now 30 and 10+ hours a day in the sun = wrinkles.
SI: What are some of your favorite swim brands?
SI: What advice would you give to someone who would like to work at SI?
AC: It truly is a dream job, but it's not as glamorous as one would think. We like to use the phrase "the ugly side of pretty". The shoot days are early and long. We are up anywhere from 3-4AM and shooting until around 6-7PM. You have to be adaptable, work your butt off and be open to helping out in so many different ways.