That desire for a challenge is why she moved over as publisher of Time Inc.'s Health this past May to become president of Petersen Youth Group, overseeing Teen, All About You and nine other special-interest publications in the group, such as Teen's AstroGuide and Teen's Great Looks.
Not that she didn't consider Health a challenge. She joined Health as an account manager in 1989 when the title was still in its start-up phase and Time Inc. owned only 50%.
"I had a very fast learning curve at Health because I got to do things early on that I might not have been able to somewhere else," she says.
She worked her way up to New York manager to associate advertising director to associate publisher before being named publisher in 1995.
But in the Petersen position, the 35-year-old Ms. Wilkins has not only sales and marketing reporting to her but also editorial. She is responsible for the brand-building of the entire group.
"This is a much different job because I'm overseeing an entire division," explains Ms. Wilkins. It also allows her to move into the teen marketplace, which had long sparked her interest.
Planner at Ingalls
Ms. Wilkins started her career in 1985 as a media planner with Ingalls Quinn & Johnson, a Boston ad agency. She then moved to the Sunday Magazine Network and later McCall's as an account manager, before joining Health.
While this latest opportunity is keeping her awake at night, Ms. Wilkins doesn't see it as the end of the road.
"I'm not done yet," she quips.
One dream is to someday launch a new title, from start to finish, although she notes she can do that in this current position. Since she arrived, All About You has been given its own sales staff as well as a redesign. Teen has also undergone a redesign and relaunch. She already has a title on the drawing board, a test of a special-interest publication, Teen Sport.