Olivia (Sielaff) Bardella

Years attended Franciscan: 2011-2015

Major: Philosophy

Minor: Communication Arts

Positions with the Troubadour: Editor-in-Chief Fall 2014 – Spring 2015, Assistant Editor Spring 2014, Copy Editor Fall 2013

Franciscan graduate Olivia Bardella looks back fondly at her time at Franciscan. She happily recalls her time as a sister in Fiat Sancte Familiae household, her semester abroad in Austria, meeting the man who would eventually become her husband and developing her skills as a writer at the Troubadour.

“Working for the Troub,” she said, “I gained most of my experience (in journalism).”

Spending half her junior year as copy editor and half as assistant editor, Olivia was given the option of becoming editor-in-chief of the Troubadour as a senior. Although initially hesitant to take on the responsibility, she credits the paper’s adviser, Dr. Wayne Lewis, with convincing her to take the opportunity.

“Dr. Lewis was very encouraging,” she remembered.

Although Olivia started off as a communications major, she ended up graduating in 2015 with a degree in philosophy and a minor in communications.

Olivia moved back into her family home in Maryland, where she worked part-time writing for a toy store’s blog and got an internship with a regional magazine. There, she did research and wrote feature stories and restaurant reviews. It was during this internship that Olivia discovered how much she loved working for magazines, as her prior experience was only in news.

Magazines are “more personal and more focused,” explained Olivia. Their topics are narrow in scope and often focus on particular regions. “I get to know … the place where I’m writing and the people I’m writing about,” she said. The personal aspect of this type of writing is her favorite, and it was what convinced her that her future was in freelance magazine writing.

Olivia got married in 2016 and moved to North Carolina with her husband, who is in the military. She got a job writing for another regional magazine and today is still a freelance writer. The Bardellas also welcomed home a baby girl in December, and when she’s not writing or taking care of her daughter, Olivia still enjoys reading and crafting.

Looking back at her time at the Troubadour, Olivia appreciates everything that it taught her. “It really gave me the confidence to do interviews,” she gave as an example. Writing for deadlines was also an important lesson.

“Just keep writing,” Olivia advises current Troubadour writers who aspire to the same career. “Keep finding different outlets, keep getting better.”

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