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Maria Popova
Maria Popova

Maria Popova

Brain Pickings

Brooklyn, NY USA

"The most important thing that a person can decide-that should dictate what they do in life-is what matters in the world and why."

Career Roadmap

Maria's work combines: Journalism, Writing, and Learning / Being Challenged

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Day In The Life


I’m a reader, writer, interestingness hunter-gatherer, and curious mind at large.

Skills & Education

Here's the path I took:

  • High School

  • Bachelor's Degree

    Speech Communication and Rhetoric

    University of Pennsylvania

Life & Career Milestones

My path in life has been direct

  • 1.

    Grew up in Bulgaria; saw the end of communism and the rise of a new democracy.

  • 2.

    Watched as new classes emerged; was fascinated by people starting to define themselves by the wealth and "things" they accumulated.

  • 3.

    Went to college at the University of Pennsylvania to study this capitalist phenomenon.

  • 4.

    Majored in consumer psychology and worked in the campus newspaper's marketing department.

  • 5.

    Found that she was much more interested in the materials she was reading in the library than she was in the actual field of marketing.

  • 6.

    Didn't enjoy college, but says the silver lining was realizing she didn't want to be someone who simply went through life hitting certain benchmarks of "success."

  • 7.

    She'd started an email newsletter for her friends and coworkers that was essentially a record of the various ideas that piqued her interest.

  • 8.

    As more and more people started to read and enjoy her work, she realized she needed to make this publication "the centerpiece of her life."