an open letter to men who don’t like make-up

Great thoughts from my friend, Lucille! I go plenty of days without makeup, but I do find that I have much more energy when I am wearing makeup. I always feel refreshed, polished and full of life! Let girls live how they want to live ( . . . with healthy choices, that is!)

lucywin

Hi. Let’s talk.

One morning, while scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I saw that an acquaintance of mine recently changed her profile picture. In said photo, she was rocking a red lippie and winged eyeliner.

But what really caught my attention was the rude comment someone made about her make-up and how she was wearing “so much”.

“I like wearing make-up!” she quipped.

To which he sarcastically replied, “I wonder why.”

This really irked me.

Women who regularly wear it are deemed  “high maintenance” or “vain”.

“You’re too pretty to wear make-up.”

“She looks like a whore.”

“The natural look is best.”

“I like a girl who is confident enough in her own beauty that she doesn’t HAVE to wear make-up.”

And yet, if women leave the house without make-up, the same people who previously claimed that “modest is hottest” are saying things like:

“They’re hideous!”

“They must not take…

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Small Wins

Every month (actually, every day) is a new adventure when you’re 23 and adjusting to a new city + state. I am officially in my first holiday season outside of Florida, and I can certainly feel the difference . . . all I need to do is step outside *grabs big black coat.*

While I tend to look at the “big picture”, I have had many small wins this past month. Below are some that just make me seem so “twenty-something” . . . which I proudly am.

  • Holidays: Halloween + Thanksgiving

IMG_0103Cady Heron identified Halloween as the one time of year where a girl can dress like a total slut and nobody can say anything about it. I took it has the one time of year where you can convince your boyfriend to dress up like a 90s Nickelodeon character. However, I plan on finding excuses for us to wear these outfits multiple times.

For Thanksgiving, I was welcomed to Matt’s grandparent’s house in Long Island, since a trip to Florida was $700+. It was so lovely, and after a nice at-home Thanksgiving dinner, we enjoyed other meals at the Golden Reef Diner, where David met Carolee, and cue the music: “everybody knows their names.” Seriously. I highly recommend their waffles, omelets, gelato, B&W cookies, everything . . .

  • Food: Taking “dorm food” to a whole new level.

I am a very serious #foodie. I also recently got invited to be a featured foodie on the new My Fab 5 food-ranking app, so you know I’ve made it. Below are a few good eats I explored this month, inspired by my dorm favorites! My true friends know to never touch food that we order until I get the perfect picture.

IMG_0267Groceries: I forever miss Publix, but in Boston Trader Joe’s is definitely where it’s at. If you’re looking for gourmet dishes that only require a microwave (aren’t we all?), get their Risotto or the 4-cheese Farfalle. Feel free to reach out if you need more Trader Joe’s recommendations . . . I have plenty to share.

#creationaday: Just look at that hashtag on Instagram, but have some Chobani on hand before you do. Chobani is the best, and after going to the Chobani Bar in SoHo last month, I decided to make my own! Just grab some yogurt + your favorite nuts & fruit. I also always encourage Cookie Butter and/or Nutella.

ramenRAMEN: Matt’s Aunt introduced us to the magical world of Ramen this weekend. Forget the 12-pack you can buy for a $1 and splurge on some real ramen. We hit up the famous Ippudo – after waiting in a line out the door just to put our name in and wait another 45 minutes (there is a bar conveniently inside and next door to pass time.) Whatever city you are in – get on Yelp, and get on this bandwagon.

  • Entertainment: Must-sees.

I know how hard it is to spend $10-$15 on a movie when they all come on RedBox for $1 eventually, but there are some really, really good movies that are worth seeing now. I recently enjoyed Mockingjay Part 1, Interstellar, and Theory of Everything. Next on the list are Hobbit & Into the Woods! You win this time, movie industry.

IMG_0463Lastly, seeing the new off-Broadway comedy, Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man, really topped off this month. I got discount tickets through work and I am so glad I heard about it! This is as hysterical as the title suggests, and very interactive (be prepared if you sit within the first five rows.) Matt and I were laughing the whole time – and may never look at a juicer the same way again. I’ll leave it up to your imagination, and I encourage you to see it if you’re in New York!

 

 

I can’t believe tomorrow is December already. I’m excited to head home to Florida for two weeks and get some rest & relaxation! Bring it on, winter!

What ’22’ Felt Like

22.1I turned 23 this month, which means my days of rocking out to Taylor Swift’s 22 are (kind of – sort of – not really) over. I decided to not focus on making my birth ‘day’ such a big deal, and instead focus on celebrating another year of life. On a side note, my birthday was wonderfully spent having breakfast and dinner with Matt, and spending the day at the job I love.

Here are 22 life moments that happened during my 22nd year. This is what 22 felt like.

 

1. I stayed involved
Piggy-backing off my Senior with No Senioritis post, I was very, very involved my senior year in college. I was Vice President of Communications for my sorority, a USF Ambassador, a Her Campus USF writer (& look at me now!), among maintaining a 3.54 GPA. I don’t take any of my busy days for granted, and I honestly miss running around campus – sometimes literally – with a packed agenda.

2. And had two awesome on-campus jobs
I was blessed to end my college experience with two very rewarding jobs. One was as the Community Manager (role of on RA) to my sorority house. Living in my own, FREE, room in the house was a dream — but came with many responsibilities. It actually caused me a lot of stress, but mainly because I care so much about my organization I put 110% into everything from a taco night to fire, health & safety checks. I also worked as the Marketing Assistant for Wellness USF. I met & worked so many amazing people who were powerhouses of passion. Promoting USF services & events + being healthy – win/win!

3. I graduated college
This year I graduated from the University of South Florida Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Mass Communications – Public Relations and minor in Leadership Studies. I am a proud alumna of my university, with a lifetime membership to prove it!

4. I became an alumna of Alpha Omicron Pi
With that, I also became an alumna of my sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi. I have made a promise to remain loyal to my fraternity, and will forever do that. ALAM ❤ Can’t wait to get more involved with the Boston Alumnae Chapter!

5. I was recognized for good works
I am not one to boast about awards, but they did play a big role in my 22nd year. I spoke at the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors Annual Meeting with Ginny Carroll from Circle of Sisterhood, received the AOII Shannon Walsh award from my chapter, and also received a Legacy Award from the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life. #blessed

6. I completed a year (and counting!) with a man that I love.
Matt & I are happily approaching our 2nd year (on Jan. 11!) and I am so thankful for him. He is my best friend and has been there for all my ups and downs. So glad we’re on this Boston journey together!

7. I stayed home
Many graduates fear moving back home after graduation. However, moving home for 3 months this summer was the best decision I could have made in May. Family rules.

8. I went back to summer camp
I will never forget summer 2014! Going back to being a counselor at Next Stop Broadway was a dream. I had the perfect summer with lifelong friends and good vibes. Love my NSB fam, always!

9. I got a job!
OBVIOUSLY a huge deal in my 22nd year! I graduated in May and worked hard to land a job by June! It is clear to see that I am incredibly happy at Her Campus Media.

10. I moved to a new state
I am in love with Florida, and I realize how much after I moved. BUT, Boston is so wonderful and I never regret the move. I am so excited for seasons (wish me luck in winter), and a plethora of good times ahead.

11. I never took family for granted
Every year that I get older, I get more attached to my family. I love how much you begin to understand them, and also how much they are always right.

12. I made new friends
Shoutout to all the new friends I made this year! Some are back in Florida and a good majority are here in Boston! Cue Michael Buble’s “Just Haven’t Met You Yet” as an ode to all the friends I will make while 23.

13. . . . And kept old friends
Having friends who were still your friend during that most awkward stage of life are true. My lifelong friends know who they are and I am so happy I got to see most of you this summer! Love you always. Thanks for the best #tbt photos.

14. I balanced being healthy + treating myself
I am a true #foodie and am an advocate for eating what you want. I’ve been too focused on strict diets in past years, and this year I feel that I did a solid job of finding a balance. Work Hard, *GO OUT TO EAT* Hard!

15. I was reminded that every day is a gift
Unfortunately, there have been to many lives cut short this past year. I know that is true in so many of our lives. Two beautiful girls from my high school were killed by a wrong-way driver, and so were 4 amazing fraternity men from USF not much longer. This is not okay. Don’t ever take a day for granted. Also, don’t drink and drive — it’s really not cool.

16. I moved in to my own apartment and I pay my own rent
I lived on campus all 4 years of college. With that, it is so exciting being in my first apartment! Paying my first bills were exciting . . . until I looked at my bank statement. Also, the goal of making your room look like an IKEA showroom is very addicting.

17. I got stressed out
Being involved, job searching, interviewing, etc. certainly created a lot of stress in my 22nd year! I had Matt by my side continuously telling me, “Babe, everything always works out.” He is always right when he says that, and I will aim for significantly less stress this year!

18. And I stopped letting stress get in the way (successful work in progress)
I have a great life to live, and these past few months have really inspired me to remember that. At least stressed spelled backwards is desserts . . .

19. I said thank you
It would be awesome if I could find out exactly how many times I said thank you this year, since I had so much to be thankful for! It is so important to spread that little act of kindness.

20. I made unforgettable memories
From staying up until 4 a.m. talking on the AOII house couch to buying a new Mac Book Pro with my savings, I had so many memories! I am glad I am one to take plenty of pictures — I had so much fun going through my FB albums from this past year to help inspire this post.

21. I laughed and I cried
And sometimes a combination of the two. This was certainly a very emotional year, and you can imagine how rough the 4 hour drive, alone, moving home from Tampa was. Thanks to everyone who made me laugh to offset the bad days!

22. Through all the ups and downs, I believed in myself
Lastly, I am where I am now at 23 because I believed in myself at 22.

10440850_10152054582991364_7167754490856185729_n

5 Things I Learned After Moving to a New State

Greetings from Boston! I am officially a settled in Bostonian, and I have learned so much this month. I will start by saying that moving to a state is not easy — but it definitely serves as a great opportunity to learn about yourself and the world around you. September has treated me very well, and I’m glad I found the time to get this post in. My goal is to post at least once a month!

There is the age-old question, “What did you learn in school today?” Well, here is what I learned moving to a new state this month:

10713976_10152260845561364_4639764118192997706_o1. You will learn by making mistakes that co$t you.

It is easily known that moving states is a financial commitment, but finding the best deals takes some time. I moved here and thought loading $20 on my CharlieCard for the T (train for all my non-bostonian friends), would last me forever. It lasted about a week, and I can’t wait until October 1 to invest in the monthly pass. Another fun adventure I had was taking a $40 Uber to WATERTOWN, MA just to pick up a package. I had put the package for signature delivery, with the chances of me or my roommate being home very slim (which I would like to add that my roommate was home, but our garden level apartment can be hard to spot). I digress. In new surroundings, take the time to ask around before making impulse decisions! AND if you have never downloaded Uber or LYFT… you should + use my promo codes for a free ride with each!

UBER: daniellek84 — LYFT: DANIELLE416650

10658844_10152260836996364_5486116463053396782_o2. Familiar faces are a #blessing.

I give major credit to those who move states without knowing a soul! I had a very easy transition since one of my best friends, Becca, has lived in Boston for over a year and knows the ropes. Who else would house your two large suitcases because your apartment isn’t move-in ready yet? And of course, my wonderful boyfriend has been in Boston since June and has seriously been my rock! He has helped me with all the stressors and I am so thankful to take this journey with him. This is an open invite to all my friends to please visit me (So glad I got to see my forever bestie, Carlie, in the Twerkus again!)

3. It’s really hard to not talk about your state . . . all the time.

I am such a proud Floridian and it really shows. I find myself constantly talking about Florida, checking the weather in Florida, and telling people that I am from Florida. I always noticed other people in college consistently talking about their home states and now I totally get it. It’s a way for me to keep Florida in my heart. And I can’t wait to kayak without the fear of an alligator attack. Side note: One of my Lyft drivers told me, “I can tell you’re from Florida, you have a different kind of beauty.” That’s good to know — keep it sunny, FL!

4. When you’re #workhappy, you are really, really happy.

I love my job. Her Campus Media is absolutely incredible and the women I work with are so driven and inspiring. I have truly found my niche in sales and can’t wait to see where it takes me. I got to experience an amazing getaway in the Berkshires for the office retreat! I am so thankful to have already made the trip to the mountains — we went hiking, apple picking, and cider tasting. In one week I was able to retreat in the mountains, hear Simon Sinek, Malcolm Gladwell, and Martha Stewart speak at #INBOUND14, then enjoy an evening with my Matt and my work ladies for the #HCTurns5 Birthday Bash!

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5. Take things one day at a time.

This is a new mentality for me. I have always been notorious for stressing about 100 things at once. I came to the realization that I worried about things not going right, way before necessary to do so. Honestly, going to the serene mountains put everything into perspective. You can be so stressed over the littlest things, and maybe you make a few mistakes here and there, but the world keeps spinning. Don’t let Thursday ruin your Friday. Moving to a new state, or starting any new chapter, comes with a lot of “could have, would have, should have” moments, but you can’t let them control you. Life is beautiful and I am truly blessed.1502263_10152260820686364_6064866970963215157_o

I find it most appropriate to end this post with a huge huge huge THANK YOU to my mom, dad, and sister back home. Also to my friends who have been there for me throughout the process. BONUS: My roommate is awesome, helpful, and selfless (she is an AOII, after all!)

Moving On Up – Literally

Today is my last full day as a Floridian. Tomorrow I will be a Bostonian.

IMG_7359With today being my last day, I am reflecting on how thankful I am for everything – especially these past three months. I have had one of the best summers ever and I spent it at home! Working at the summer camp I grew up at was the best decision I could have made. It was the ultimate mental detox from being such an involved student, and it is an amazing experience to spend time with friends you have basically known your whole life.

Seriously though – major shout out to my Next Stop Broadway family. They give me so much life and this summer had me laughing every day because they just get it. From needing to use a “phone bucket” to peel my 12/13-year-old campers off their phones to Wednesday dress up days, I loved every minute of it. P.S. to all reading – I got “Best Counselor of the Year” with fellow rockstar Daniel Kies which really was the icing on the cake! I have so much love for all of you.

IMG_7498Also, I really missed my family, so these three months were highly cherished. Now, I’m about to embark on a journey that will make me miss them even more. Moving to Boston is not easy, but somehow at this moment I have all my suitcases (only 2.5 . . . ) packed and three boxes ready to be shipped. I am looking forward to this next step in my life, and I am filled with so many emotions.

Boston will be amazing, I will have my wonderful boyfriend by my side as he begins grad school at Northeastern, one of my best friends Becca as a neighbor, and I will be rooming with a fellow AOII alumna! PLUS, my co-workers are all so fabulous and I can’t wait to contribute to the glory that is Her Campus.

To my loving family who I know is reading this: Thank you from every bit of my heart. You put up with me this summer, helped me prepare for this move, and taught me so much (as you always have). Thank you for being you. There are no words to describe how thankful I am. I had a wonderful family BBQ to say farewell, and passed down my Barbies and American Girl, which was a clear sign of “growing up.”

BFF Since Pre-KThis summer reminded me to cherish lifelong friends. My friends and sisters from college are amazing, but there is nothing like lifelong friends who just get you. Friends who remember your AOL Hometown Page and away messages, and who wrote in your Hello Kitty Friends File. I have so many amazing friends in my life that I can talk to once every five months yet we never grow apart. You all know who you are!

I can’t say it enough – I have so many emotions right now. I am nervous, excited, proud, determined, scared, and so ready all at the same time. I’m coming for you Boston with my fancy new haircut (but I will miss Publix dearly).

All my love from Florida,

Danielle

My 22-Year-Old Perspective on Robin Williams’ Passing

Note: This post is all my opinion. I prefer to write instead of repeating the same thoughts in my mind until they do not make sense. You may relate, or you may not, but I felt the need to express. Also, it is pretty lengthy.

recut-robin-williams-1951-2014I was on a walk with my mom Monday night, just having a casual conversation. We started talking about wishes, and I joked and said, – relating solely to The Genie in Aladdin – “What would you wish for? Remember one of the rules is you can’t bring back people from the dead!” Less than a half a mile later, I took a quick look at my Facebook newsfeed and stopped in my track. “OH MY GOD” was all I could say, mouth-dropped, holding out my phone to my mom for her to see the multiple statuses that appeared saying “RIP Robin Williams.”

It is crazy how much social media is the first news source. When we see a flood of updates about a tragedy, there is that split-second before we fully process it and research more details that we don’t believe it to be true. To top it off, there are so many things going on in the world right now that just honestly suck. The first thing I hoped to see as I scrolled down was “Robin Williams Death Hoax”, but unfortunately this is no hoax. Hearing the cause of death did not make it any easier to process.

MorkandMindy1I know mental health is among the most sensitive of topics, and I am honest about not being fully educated on it. I do believe it needs to be taken more seriously and I do see progress in the near future. To me, Robin Williams did not die from “apparent suicide”, he died from severe depression. It is simply sad for my generation who grew up to his movies/are jealous of our parents for getting to tune in to Mork & Mindy. My dad has a signed picture of him in his office.

Another thing that contributed to my weird feelings was visiting IMDB.com (International Movie Database) and seeing a date for “Died”. I am oddly obsessed with this site . . . the IMDB app is among my top five most used apps. After every movie I watch or even just think of, I head to IMDB and stalk the actors/actresses and their past roles. I love the excitement of realizing where you’ve seen the actor/actress before. I recently did this with Robin Williams during Yad Vashem (Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust), as I thought of his brilliant performance in Jakob the Liar. I also reflected on him earlier in the summer during the Tony Awards’ Aladdin performance. It is all just so sad.

10389349_10152170371381364_1592089743497635891_nI feel weird. And I know that millions and millions of others feel weird too. We can only keep questioning how someone so full of humor and life could feel so alone. I am also praying for strength toward his family, friends, loved ones, and those who were privileged enough to work with him. *Also, I want anyone reading this to know that they are loved and appreciated. Please seek help if you need someone to talk to, as we ALL need some times.

I will continue to watch his movies, clips of interviews, TV episodes, and much more. The hardest movies to get through will be What Dreams May Come and Dead Poets Society. Honestly, I think even Flubber would be hard to get through.

RIP Robin Williams. This is my story of being upset about your loss. It is also the beginning of a story to whole-heartedly appreciating your work, and making sure my kids some day hate all the bullies in Jack and feel hope in hospitals because of Patch Adams. I do feel as if I lost a friend as well. I came upon this screen-shotted tweet reply that says a lot where he thanks a fan for sending him love, what a feeling.

 

RobinTweet

 

#RIPRobinWilliams

 

 

Confidence: A Valuable, Marketable Skill

Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 10.29.33 PMAs a recent – and employed – graduate, I know both the excitement and stress that comes with being a graduate and entering the workforce.

The continuing (and often scary) process of graduates looking to enter the workforce has inspired Webucator, an online learning company with customized intstructor-led training services, to launch the “Most Marketable Skill Campaign” in honor of the class of 2014. I am honored that Webucator invited me to be a part of the campaign, asking me to share what I feel is a valuable, marketable, skill.

As I brainstormed this question, the skill that I realized helped me the most to achieve success is confidence.

Confidence does not translate to “feeling comfortable in a bikini at the beach” – confidence is about believing in your power to succeed.

There is a popular quote that says, “You can’t love someone until you love yourself.” Following that, I’m sure that every employer thinks, “You can’t hire people who wouldn’t themselves.”  Whether you held five internships during college or worked a full-time job while taking night classes to pay for tuition – be confident in how you spent your time and what you learned. Here are three simple ways to be confident and sell your confidence in the job market.

1. Know your strengths7765f8ef3dca721038674ee9083ca37f
Besides for answering the common interview question – “What are your strengths?” – these are very important to know. By knowing your strengths, you will find yourself naturally incorporating them in to any conversation.

I highly suggest taking the StrengthsQuest assessment. This assessment is Gallup approved and changed my life. There are 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder themes (strengths) an individual can have, and you learn your top five! You can buy the book here, which begins by reminding you to focus on using your strengths instead of focusing on improving your weaknesses.

My top five strengths are WOO (winning others over), Positivity, Maximizer, Communication, and Strategic. The book explains all strengths in detail, including key careers and other types of people you should work with.

In interviews, I tell stories of using these strengths. I promise that if you know your strengths, you will naturally exude a contagious, positive energy (which is extra valuable in a phone interview).

7163213fde9369bb854fe32f199133fd2. Discover your “WHY”

There is a great TED Talk called How Great Leaders Inspire Action by Simon Sinek. Check out this video if you have not yet or if you need a refresher! Sinek illustrates the idea that people do not buy in to what you do, they buy into why you do it. To successfully sell your why, you should begin by applying for jobs at companies that share your similar values. Also, identify which areas in each company you would dedicate yourself to whole-heartedly.

Here is a mini test:
Which personal pitch would sound best in an interview?

a) “I have had 3 internships in digital marketing, I love social media, and I just graduated from the University of South Florida.”

b) “I am fascinated with brands and am passionate about helping them achieve their full potential within their target markets. I also have had 3 internships in digital marketing, love social media, and recently graduated from the University of South Florida.”

Hopefully you chose b – because I have used that before and am currently hired for my first post-grad job in a company I am highly dedicated to. Know your why: Self reflect on past experiences and identify which experiences brought out the best in you.

80b6687750bd6a92234baf109185fbc0-13. Do your research!

The more you know about a company and a job, the more you know where you fit in (and the more you can sell to an employer that you fit in!)

Doing your research is the most important task to do before any job interview – and you should begin the moment you submit a job application. True life: Last year, I applied for a job at an advertising agency and was surprised with a phone call the next day that turned in to a mini interview. I had not done my research yet and had to wing it – not suggested.

You are very marketable when you know about the company, job, and those interviewing you (LinkedIn does wonders). In one of my early post-grad job interviews, I had looked up an interviewer on LinkedIn. Since LinkedIn will call-out this activity, my interviewer knew. She told me, “I noticed that you checked out my LinkedIn, that is one of the best things you can do for an interview, so great job!”

During an interview, you should be able to say with confidence, “I read that article about a recent community service project your office did – employee activism is something I am looking for in a company.” That is much more marketable than asking, “does your office do any community service work?” Remember: avoid asking questions that can easily be found on the internet, and even more so the company website.

I am confident that you can be marketable with confidence! I would love to hear your thoughts on this skill – especially success stories. What do you see as a marketable skill?

BONUS: If you want to sharpen up your Microsoft skills, check out Webucator’s latest course offerings in Microsoft Office.

Back-to-Back Travels

10456265_10152101840241364_9096411878994879464_n“Travel. The only thing you buy that makes you richer.” 

Excited to be back on the blog after two amazing weekend travels! Working 8-4, M-F, and traveling on the weekends has kept me very busy and inspired.

Last summer, Matt visited me in NYC for Fourth of July weekend, so I did the same this year in what will soon be both of our homes – Boston! We had a wonderful weekend of exploring, and of course . . . food. I am so blessed that our paths in life have led us both to Boston. I truly love the city (and Matt).

Following that trip, I attended my second Her Campus Intercollegiette Conference, #HerConference. However, this time I was part of the National Team! I can not stress enough how much this trip solidified that I made the best decision to start my career at Her Campus Media. I made instant friends and am counting down the days until I begin work. Fellow September-starter Liana and I got to work the Social Currency booth. There were amazing raffles from sponsors including Intel, Luna Bar (they gave away a semesters worth of Luna Bars to two lucky winners), Chloe + Isabel, VS PINK, and so much more. Collegiettes had a great time tagging our sponsors on social media to receive raffle tickets, and I had a blast working that crowd!

Speakers at the conference included Carley Roney, Co-founder and Chief Content Officer of XO Group (formely known as The Knot), and Susan Kaufman, Editor-in-Chief of People StyleWatch among many other notable women in the editorial, blogging, marketing, and digital worlds.

My career is going to be surrounded by empowering women, and my heart is full of passion to sell Her Campus to the world. I had a blast celebrating success with my future co-workers and reflecting on how thankful I am for all opportunities.

10534506_10152114705591364_6857306435054518229_nAlso in New York, I got to see my cousin, Gillian, who is the recently appointed VP of Consumer at Weber Shandwick New York! While in the same building, I visited my Golin girls from last summer (and walked out with this perfect Instagram notebook).

My next flight will be a one-way ticket to Boston, where I will be roommates with a fellow AOII alumna. In the mean time, I am LOVING my time at Next Stop Broadway, making new memories with lifelong friends. HUGE PLUG for my best friend Carlie Craig who works for and is on tour with YouTube Sensation Todrick Hall, so proud of you starring in Twerk Du Soleil! Check her out as ‘Rebecca’, the hysterical IM5 stalker in Todrick Hall’s #BandCamp, and on Instagram as the hilarious @IM54U4Ever9290_10152121240431364_1476153999113395496_n

I had a lot to catch up on, hope everyone is having a great summer as well!

 

HCXO,
Danielle

 

A ‘Collegiette’ Dream Come True

Next week makes 2 MONTHS (awkward, last edit said weeks, guess I am adjusting..) since graduation! I have received notice that my diploma on the way – and I am on my way, too.


Being home for the summer has given me plenty of time to self-reflect. I view my personal brand to be very healthy – physically and mentally. So, what have I been up to? Well, I am five days away from completing the 30-day Ab Challenge, have been a consistent YouFit member, traded spaghetti for spaghetti squash, and finally finished both seasons of House of Cards (never getting involved in congress). The break has been great but I am looking forward to beginning my camp counselor position next week.

Oh, and I’ve accepted the perfect post-grad opportunity! -drum roll please-

unnamed-1In September I will be a new resident of Boston, joining the National Team at Hercampus.com as the Sales Assistant for Her Campus Media! “Her Campus is the #1 online and offline community for college women.” It also serves as a college marketing firm – helping brands enter the college market. I love college . . . I love brands . . . win. Also, I am forever a ‘collegiette.’

I will have many exciting roles, one being to increase knowledge of Her Campus Media within the marketing and advertising industry. By conducting PR outreach, networking, and attending industry events, I will make sure to be a real ROCKSTAR.

Rockstar. I heard this word many times during the interview process and it is spot on. This is a fast-paced growing company founded by three inspiring Harvard students while they were undergraduates. They need rockstars to keep growing – so let’s get the show started!

Here is my quick tidbit of job search advice for all my other recent graduates:

  • Be patient (I know it is hard to stop refreshing your email every two minutes)
  • Know yourself and what you value
  • Know your options
  • Explore
  • Be brave
  • Trust your instincts

See you in September, Boston! (OK I’m visiting Matt for 4th of July Weekend first…)

HCXO,
Danielle

Re: Fears of a New Graduate

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“But first . . .”

I recently read a great Levo League article, Fears of a New Graduate, that is spot on. Fears discussed in the article: Living up to your own expectations, no longer being in a place where learning is an ostensible goal, and a job with no definite end point.

After reading this article I had such a sense of relief knowing I was not the only one with these fears (I don’t why I ever thought I was). I feel that you enter college thinking it is so unstructured – you have all of this new freedom, you get to pick your class times, etc. However, I look back and miss how structured it actually was. I miss the little habitual moments like starting a new semester, scoring the last seat in a class, or my favorite of planning out what leadership position(s) to pursue next.

My dad jokes and says that I spent the past four years in “bubble wrap”. USF was a microcosm of the real world for me. I took on that university with so much passion and drive, joining organizations and taking on opportunities that allowed me to develop both socially and professionally. I never lived off campus; I went right from the first-year dorm to my sorority house, which by the way, was among the best decisions I made in college. You have your whole life to live in an apartment or house.

Here are two fears I have come across this first post-graduate month, and my advice. I hope many of you reading can relate!

1. Taking time off.

A sad reality of graduating is that there are no more winter, spring, or summer breaks. As I neared my graduation, I took that into consideration and had this question running through my mind: “Can I take the time off, or do I have get a job right away to stay competitive in my industry?” I am not sure if there is any right or wrong answer, because I’ve learned that either path can lead to success. I spent last summer in New York City – but not on vacation as much as it felt like one some times. I had a very fast-paced PR internship that kept me on my feet (sometimes literally). Since I started college, I always had a full plate.

Advice: Do not make decisions out of fear. Do what is best for yourself physically, mentally, and financially. I am still partially afraid of having a ‘break’ in my resume, but this three-month break before I move up north will end up being very good for me. I came across acceptances to opportunities this summer away from home, but timing and logistics led me to believe I need this. I will be working at the performing arts center I grew up at with lifelong friends by my side, while staying on track with my fitness and career goals. Looking for a job will be another full-time job – if you take time off, stay proactive!

2. Regretting every decision.

There is the cliché advice to “live life with no regrets!” but as a new graduate, you feel like you are playing the game of LIFE and you question every move. “What if I would have just moved away the week after graduation?”, “What if I do not really want that first job I get?”, “What if I applied to graduate school instead?”

Advice: Make decisions based on what you know. Okay, confession – that is word-for-word my mom’s advice to me during this time. She has said that to me repeatedly and now I find it true. My junior year, I almost did not apply to my New York internship on time because I was in the midst of running for chapter president of my sorority. I thought, “what if I get president? I won’t want to leave Tampa this summer.” I quickly realized that was a silly reason to not apply, and I am so thankful the New York internship door was the one that opened.  I promise you that everything works out in the end, and regretting a decision you can not take back will drive you insane and stop you from moving forward. As a graduate, you have a college degree which makes you very qualified to make decisions.