Navigating a Career in Times of Change

Lewis, on a business trip for HEC, enjoys the coast of Brittany in Saint-Pierre-Quiberon, France.

By Ann GIll (M.A., ’76)

Monique Antonette Lewis in Paris, the Arc de Triomphe in the background.

Recent graduates have dealt with many workplace changes; among the most profound are those print journalists face. Monique Antonette Lewis (B.A., ’04) has navigated the dramatically changing journalism landscape successfully, landing in the southwestern suburbs of Paris.

She worked at the Rocky Mountain Collegian while a student and did internships, including at the Greeley Tribune. After graduation, she worked for two years at The Daily Times in Salisbury, Md., as a local government and education reporter. One of her articles, “Be a Leader, Not a Follower,” won second place at the MDDC Press Association Awards.

Her next stop was the Press & Sun-Bulletin in Binghamton, N.Y., where she did a seven-month stint before she was laid off. She looked for a job for several months, but most newspapers were cutting back on staff. Finally, a newspaper offered to fly her out for an interview, but the next day it was hit with a hiring freeze. In tears, she called former professor Jim Landers, who advised her to look at another area of journalism. She did, and Mergermarket hired her as a reporter in New York City. Mergermarket is a business-to-business publication that covers mergers and acquisitions.

Lewis at Mergermarket, where she served as assistant editor for New York City and the Americas sector editor for technology, media, and telecommunications.

Literature had always been a love of hers, so Lewis also enrolled in a low-residency MFA program at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., completing the degree while at Mergermarket. In 2013, she founded At The Inkwell, a reading series held at KGB Bar in New York City, which is a well-known venue for literary readings. Today the series also is in Seattle, Denver, and San Francisco.

A revised career plan began to take shape. While at CSU, Lewis had studied abroad in Vienna and always planned to go back, so she took a trip to Europe, including Paris. When she returned home, she realized she was done with New York and needed to relocate – to Paris. She had met with some editors at the French version of the Associated Press while there, and although they had positions at their English desk, their employees needed to be fluent in French. She returned to the United States and signed up for night classes in French. She also met with an immigration attorney.

In 2018, Lewis’ essay about loving her natural hair as an African-American woman, “How You Came to Love Me,” was published in this anthology, My Body, My Words.

In 2018, Monique Antonette Lewis took a leap of faith and moved to Paris. She interviewed for a number of positions. She was hired in early 2019 at Hautes Études Commerciales de Paris (HEC Paris), a top-ranked business school that has campuses in several countries. Its MBA program has an international student body, so courses and communications are in English. She is the communications program manager, in charge of the internal communication strategy for HEC’s MBA program, from writing speeches and letters for the dean and directors to managing content on the Intranet.

Lewis reports that she “loves making a difference and seeing the impact my writing makes,” and she “loves helping students.” She also “loves having an office with windows.” Clearly this CSU alumna, who grew up in Denver and navigated the changing and challenging waters of contemporary print journalism, is thrilled with her new job and her new spot on the planet.