Wired for Success
October 25, 2017
Ruby Goldberg BA ’15
On a warm summer morning, Ruby Goldberg walks with her dog in San Francisco’s sprawling South of Market neighborhood and enters the West Coast office of Wired magazine. Pops of color catch her eye in the modern warehouse space, which features high ceilings designed to evoke circuit boards. At her shared desk in the open office, she grabs the phone and begins arranging photo shoots for an upcoming issue: one in Houston with astronaut Scott Kelly and a second in New York with the Bronx-bred comedy duo Desus and Mero.
“Attention to detail is crucial,” says Goldberg, who was recently promoted to associate photo editor. “When setting up a photo shoot, I work closely with the editorial department—hiring prop stylists, hair and makeup artists, and wardrobe consultants. I love discovering talented photographers, especially ones who haven’t yet shot for a big editorial news magazine.”
Goldberg, who joined Wired as a photo researcher in 2015, has also started creating illustrations for the print and online editions. She’s humbled by the opportunities that have come her way and proud of the publication’s far-reaching approach to content. “We don’t just talk about gadgets,” she says. “We focus on how emerging technologies affect culture, the economy, and politics. Last year, we published a special issue with President Obama as a guest editor.”
A native San Franciscan, Goldberg chose Lewis & Clark because of its strong international affairs program. Once on campus, she quickly gained respect for her peers. “My classmates were some of the smartest people I’ve ever met,” she says. “They were intuitive and inquisitive, with ideas that were interesting and thought provoking.” Eager for work experience, she interned at McSweeney’s, a nonprofit publishing house in San Francisco, at the end of her first year. Later, as a junior, she secured an independent internship at the New Yorker magazine.
“My internships, especially at the magazine, were pivotal to my professional career,” she says. “At the New Yorker, I worked with a team of smart, talented women who allowed me to write content and shoot images for the website.”
Inspired by her time in New York, Goldberg found her stride in two photography classes during her senior year. Under the tutelage of Joel Fisher, assistant professor of art and studio head of photography, and Dru Donovan, instructor in art, she gained the confidence to pursue photography in a professional capacity. Her father is also a professional photographer.
Goldberg thrived in a history course taught by Assistant Professor Reiko Hillyer. “We met weekly to talk about social justice and the history of mass incarceration.” But it was her senior international affairs project that made Goldberg dig deep and establish a strong work ethic. “I wrote about the nature of asymmetric warfare and analyzed the territorial, monetary, and propagandistic successes of ISIS,” she says. “My advisor, Heather Smith-Cannoy, talked me through the process, starting from square one with original research. It was intense and wonderful.”
After a postgraduation road trip with two friends, Goldberg returned to San Francisco, unsure of her next move. “On a whim, I applied for a contract job as a photo researcher at Wired,” she says. Her instincts paid off.
When she’s not working, Goldberg loves to read. She also keeps up on social justice issues. And she usually has one of her two cameras close at hand to practice her craft: a digital Sony RX100 and an analog Contax GT3.
“Attending Lewis & Clark was a privilege,” she says. “Learning to push my boundaries and clearly verbalize my ideas have proved invaluable in my career.”
—by Pattie Pace