23 Things I Realized at 23

Now in my first month of being 24 ~happy belated birthday to me~,  I can’t help but think about all that I realized in my 23rd year. I realized that most clichés are true (and clichés for a reason), and that life … Continue reading

5 Things that are Priceless in your 20s (and beyond)

Making $20s in your 20s (and beyond!) can be challenging. You can find an awesome job and make awesome money (and soak up your awesomeness…) but you have to prioritize. This month, I was fortunate to monitor a panel, with … Continue reading

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!




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…)