Honors Student Spotlight: Taya Coates

Taya Coates sits on a picnic bench wearing a white dressMajor(s): Fashion Merchandising and Mass Communications
Rank: Junior

Meet Taya Coates! Taya is a Junior Honors student who is majoring in Fashion Merchandising and Mass Communications. She also serves as the executive editor-in-chief of the student-run Honors online magazine, Le Monde. Below Taya discusses why she chose to become na Honors student, what it's been like serving as Le Monde's editor and what she hopes to do after graduation!

Why did you choose to be an Honors student?

I applied to Honors because I wanted to be a part of a rigorous academic community with like-minded individuals. In high school, I bonded with my classmates in my honors classes and wished to create a similar collegiate experience. The Honors community has exceeded my expectations from the very day I moved into the dorm. I am truly blown away by the ways each of us wants to impact the world and am so grateful to be among such positive and passionate people.

What has being involved with Le Monde given you in a professional sense?

Serving as the Editor-In-Chief of Le Monde has been one of the highlights of my college career. I am truly grateful to be challenged as an editor, writer and leader. I wish to serve as the lead editor of my own publication one day, so this has been an amazing opportunity to experience what my dream job would be like. Best of all, I get to give back to the Honors community while contributing to the publication where I published some of my first collegiate articles.

What is your favorite thing about working with Le Monde and the Honors College?

It is hard to pick a favorite thing about working with Le Monde. I appreciate having a platform to share my experience as an Honors student, especially as a female student of color in the program. I also enjoy being able to provide that platform for others to share their stories. Most of all, I love getting to work with our amazing group of talented writers. I am always learning something new from their work and I’m so proud of what we do as a team. I cannot wait for the entire VCU community to see what amazing talent lies within the Honors community as Le Monde continues to flourish in the years to come.

I love getting to work with our amazing group of talented writers. I am always learning something new from their work and I’m so proud of what we do as a team.

What would you like to do after graduating?

I am majoring in Fashion Merchandising and Mass Communications to pursue a career in fashion journalism after graduation. Fashion journalism appeals to me more than any other beat because the art form is an ever-changing reflection of the world we live in. What we choose to buy and wear connects to culture, politics, and even our sense of self. With my work, I wish to combine the lightheartedness of features with the impressive research of investigative reporting to bring awareness to the important issues in the multi-billion-dollar industry.

What advice do you have for younger or prospective students?

My advice for younger and prospective students is to set your goals high. There are so many opportunities out there to make your college experience whatever you want it to be. Whether it's something related to your major, your clubs, a hobby or all of the above, find something that you can start your freshman year and watch it bloom into a lasting legacy upon your graduation.

Anything else you would like to add?

Applying for Honors was one of the best decisions I’ve made at VCU. The first year of the program really helped me stay on track with my work ethic, make great connections and pinpoint what I wanted to accomplish within my years here.