5 Things I Wish I Knew Before My Internship

Adulting is hard, but you don’t have to go into it unprepared. Internships are basically a trial run of the real world. Getting the position is difficult, but making the most of the internship can be even harder. These are some things I’ve learned from my eight weeks in an office as an intern.

1—Dress well; feel good. Every office has a different atmosphere and different expectations when it comes to attire. It doesn’t hurt to ask someone before starting the job, but it’s usually safe to wear business casual for the first couple of days. Use these days to observe what everyone else is wearing before you go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. However, business casual doesn’t have to mean boring. Add something fun to your outfit to make you actually want to get out of bed in the morning. Shoes with a bit of shine will help you embody the spirit that many employers expect from their interns. If you feel confident, your work and attitude will show it, and your coworkers will notice.

2—Explore the area. Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who lives fifteen minutes from the office, but the rest of us are commuters. Commuting is painful. There’s no denying it, so you may as well make it worth the trip. Whether it’s taking the long way to work or just taking your lunch break outside, take advantage of what’s outside the office. Finding cute coffee shops is just an added bonus!

3—Save, save, save! If you hit the jackpot with a paid internship, the biggest challenge is not spending all of your hard-earned money. Adulting is hard, and you should be able to have something to show for your hard work. The easiest way to save is to bring your coffee and lunch from home. If you are tempted to try all of the local spots, limit yourself to buying lunch only once a week as a reward.

4—Networking is key. Making as many connections as possible will be extremely beneficial in the long run. These are the people who can either vouch for you to be asked back by the company or can provide you with more connections for other opportunities. Ask people in and out of your department if they have time to sit with you for twenty minutes. You can chat with them about what they do, their past experiences, and their current advice over coffee.

5—Learn as much as possible. This goes without saying, but beyond getting to add another notch to your resume, you should actually be learning from this experience. Many people don’t have the opportunity that you have right now, so soak in the experience. Ask questions, sit in on every meeting, journal everything; these are all things that will benefit you in the long run, regardless of where you end up.

What are some of your tips for making the most of an internship? Let us know in the comments below.

6 Tips to Help You Nail a Phone Interview

Phone interviewers may seem easier, but there are actually hidden tricks that will make you stand out. From start to finish, these are the six moves you can make to nail your phone interview!

1—The companyResearching the company shows you actually care about the position. Go to the company’s website and write down their mission, vision, and anything you think is noteworthy. Since you will be on the phone, you can take notes for any questions and give the answers to them throughout the Interview.

2—The interviewerFind out information about the interviewer. The easiest starting place is LinkedIn. I would search the name and the company to see who shows up. If the position title does not match, try a general Google search to find the proper spelling of your interviewer’s name. Once you find him or her, write down the degree they earned and anything interesting about their work history. I discovered that one of my former interviewers switched from theater to sales, while another former interviewer was in fashion with a brief stint in the oil and gas industry. If you find any current accolades, commend them for their success!

3—Your outfitGo over your notes and fix anything that could trip you up during the interview, then find a business professional outfit that makes you feel confident. Although the interviewer will never see you, dressing up will place your brain into a professional mentality.

4—Stand upAs soon as your phone rings, stand up and smile. Standing will help you sound better over the phone. The smiling will help you sound more cheerful when you say “Hello [Name], how are you today?” Keep standing throughout the interview in order to keep a proper and confident posture. 

5—Your questionsMake sure you ask the questions you wrote down earlier. Did you want to congratulate the company on a new move, acquisition, or award? At the end of your interview, ask the interviewer if he/she thinks you are a good fit for the team, company, or position. This will give your interviewer the chance to mention any concerns or say you would be a great fit!

6—Thank youAfter your interview has ended, send a thank you through email or mail. Mention that you enjoyed learning more about the position and that you look forward to hearing from him/her. If you didn’t ask in the interview, ask now about when you should hear back regarding the position. End it with a simple thank you or sincerely along with your professional email signature.

Do you have any interview tips? Show us on social media by tagging @CFashionista on Instagram!

3 Ways to Style One Versatile Piece

This summer was one of growth for myself both personally and professionally. I didn’t plan for more than just simply splashing in the waves with my friends I hadn’t seen since Christmas.

This past semester, I studied abroad in Prague, and the experiences I lived there will be ones I never forget. However, after four months, I couldn’t wait to be home in Florida soaking up the sun central Europe had just begun to see. That’s when everything changed: I got an email congratulating me on landing my dream internship… in New York City. I knew I would be back in the fall for my senior year, which is partly why this summer was so important, and now it was being stripped away. Flash forward two months: summer is almost over and I have spent it learning so much about my craft and meeting people who will shape my future. Sometimes, the unexpected things in life end up being the most important or best moments, and I do not regret any of them this summer.

However, with only a couple of days to pack up my entire summer wardrobe and 50 pounds to limit it to… let’s just say Kate from Lizzie McGuire would be judging me so hard as I have definitely been an outfit repeater. So, with limited options and a little creativity, here are five outfits that use one piece to take you stylish in and out of the office.

Culottes are completely in right now, but why not get double duty from them in jumpsuit form? Wear them with some cute slides and a crossbody for an effortless weekend look or dress them up heels and a clutch for a night on the town. I opted to go a step further and found three ways to make my culotte jumpsuit completely unrecognizable but completely fashionable.

1—For the office. Pair with a white, embellished button-down shirt (no jewelry, thank you), a sharp blazer, and kitten heels. Smart, sneaky, and stylish!

2—For the weekend. Wear your favorite lived-in embellished T-shirt with a small knot tucked in for brunch with friends.

3—For a night on the town. Tuck the top of the jumpsuit down and wear an off-the-shoulder black velvet top to add a luxe factor. Belted with a crystal-beaded sash, it’s the perfect outfit for the perfect night out.

What ways do you repurpose pieces in your closet? Share your looks with us on Instagram, and don’t forget to tag @Cfashionista!


How Career Networking Can Help You Get Your Foot in the Door

Getting your foot in the door for the dream job you want can be extremely difficult. However, there is one thing that can help accomplish this goal. It’s called networking. I am sure you have heard many people tell you to “network,” and it sounds like a broken record. However, it cannot be emphasized enough. Knowing people and having connections is essential. No matter what industry you are going into, I can almost guarantee that these tips will help you network for your future career.

1—Be involved. Being involved on campus opens doors, so immerse yourself in as many activities as possible, and join a club (or two). Fill your planner with dates of events put on by these organizations. Attend these events and see what you can learn from them. A lot of organizations bring in guest speakers, so listen to what they have to say and bring a cute notebook, some pens, and take notes on their advice.

2—Get a LinkedIn. Seriously, make an account. One tip I have is to keep a USB drive of the work that you have done so you can show off everything that you’ve accomplished. Now go and show off the awesome things you have done!

3—Actually use LinkedIn. It’s one thing to make a LinkedIn, but it is another to use it. Establish connections with anyone and everyone you know. The more connections you have on LinkedIn, the more likely an employer is to have a connection to you. Do not be afraid to use this platform to connect with those in your dream job. You could even message them and say that you are a current student and are wondering how they got to their position in their career. People love talking about themselves, so do not be afraid to ask. The worst they could do is not respond!

4—Be polite to everyone you meet. Be polite to everyone when you are networking to get that dream job. You never know who you meet, or who they might know. They just might know the CEO of the company where you have been dreaming of working for years. Plus, you never know who could be around while you are living life. So, always be polite.

5—Believe in yourself. You have accomplishments, you are smart, you are beautiful inside and out, and, most importantly, you got this, you just have to work for it. If you have confidence in yourself working hard for your dreams will be more meaningful. Trust your instincts and believe in yourself. Keep your chin up or the crown slips. Believe in yourself. If you’re reading this, know that I believe in you!

What other tips do you have for career networking? Be sure to comment your tips below!

Workplace Fashion for Any 20-Something

If you are in your 20s, you know that adhering to a dress code in the workplace is difficult when you are also trying to stay on trend. It is important to be aware of the dress code of any job, but it is especially imperative for a 20-something who has just entered the first step of their career.

I work in a corporate office of a fashion retail company, therefore trends are important. However, there are some looks that are just simply not office-appropriate. But, have no fear, there are many stylish and trendy outfits that do make the professional cut! Below are my three office-wear staples that have been tried and true for yours truly.

The Outfit Saver: The Blazer

Everyone should own a blazer, period. It is a foolproof staple to any wardrobe! Most options depend on personal preference, as any blazer coincides with a workplace dress code. Try a structured blazer with slight shoulder pads for a more formal look. For a casual look, opt for an oversized boyfriend blazer in a crêpe fabric.

The Perfect Skirt

I am all for wearing pants, trousers, jeans—you name it! But, choosing the right skirt for a professional setting is where most go wrong. The ideal workplace skirt should be a fabric that fits you but is not too tight (you do not want to risk a rip or split!). You may opt for a skirt that falls below the knee; however, if you are looking for a skirt that falls above the knee, always aim for about two to three inches above the knee. (Note: You do not always have to wear a pencil skirt, switch it up and try the one linked above!)

Comfortable Shoes

Shoes can make or break an outfit. When I hear “work shoes,” I think sensible. Your shoes should be as comfortable as possible, especially for an eight hour work day! If you commute and have a long route before arriving at work, wear shoes you can easily walk around in such as sneakers, oxfords, or flats. Bring a pair of shoes of your choice to change into upon arrival. When it comes to heels, they should be no higher than about 3 inches for most occupations, although some jobs are more flexible. I recommend platforms for any job because of the pressure being exhausted on your feet throughout the day. If you are unsure about how to match your shoe to your outfit, grab a neutral or go for a pop of color!

A blazer, the right skirt, and chic shoes are guaranteed to make you shine in any workplace! There is always room to explore no matter what job you have or job you are working towards. Use these three pieces as a guide to creating your very own, unique office style. Although workplaces have dress codes, you are still an individual and can always express that with each outfit you slay!

What are your office wardrobe must-haves? Comment below!

How to Ace Your Interview and Snag the Job

Summer is coming to a close but applying to fall internships are on the rise. Have no fear! I have a few tips and tricks for how to get the job.  At the end of the day, that’s the goal, right? Here are some ways to be extra confident going into your interviews.

1—Interview appearance. Interviews are all about first impressions and believe it or not your outfit says a lot about you, so dress to impress. Make sure you look put together. My go to is a blazer, colored blouse,  trousers and a nude heel. First impressions are prominent not only in interviews but in life in general! So leave your mark and do it in style.

2—Do a background check! Before going into any interview, do a background check. Use those incredible internet skills. Get a better idea of what you are actually applying for and see what the company is all about. This will give you some talking points if needed and will help with having questions prepared ahead of time.

3—Practice the tough questions. Typical tough interview questions include: What makes you different from everyone else who wants this job? Tell me a little about yourself? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What salary do you think you deserve? Where do you see yourself in five years?

Now here are only a few tough questions. Don’t stress these questions.  Think about a couple of these questions before your interview and think about how you’d like to answer them. My best advice is to not over-rehearse. You still want your answer authentic, so if you over practice it will sound over-practiced.

4—Always ask at least one question at the end of your interview. There is always that moment at the end of the interview when the interviewer asks you if you have any questions and, if you’re like me, most times my questions do not come up until later, after going over the interview in my head. So, asking a question at the end is essential if you want to really get a step ahead. Asking at least one question in your interview or having one prepared can show promise and real interest. It displays that you weren’t just bobbing your head. If you’re like me and can’t think of questions on the spot, try to have two or three prepared before you go in.

5—As cheesy as this sounds, be yourself. Whatever you are applying whether it be an internship or your future dream job, they want to hire you, not a person you morphed yourself to be for the job. Be confident and take a deep breath because you’re awesome, own it. As nervous as you may get, it’s just a conversation. Just remember to stay positive and relax. Show your personality and prove why you are qualified for the job, it’ll turn out great.

Share with us the cool internships you get after using some of these tips with us @Cfashionista.

3 Business Casual Outfits You Should Try Now

With the fall season approaching, August is the perfect time to stock up on back-to-school clothing. While I absolutely love fall fashion, I also have to think about business appropriate outfits that I need to purchase as well. As a business student and an ambassador for my school, I often have to attend professional events, presentations, and network outings where dressing business proper is mandatory. Over the past two years, I would always stick to the same outfit combination of a black skirt, a black blazer, and a blouse. This year, however, my goal is to get the job done in style. With this article, I’m sharing my recent picks for three business casual outfits that I put together for my upcoming Macy’s Magnates Conference.

1—Classy and elegant.

For my first outfit, I went with a simple but classy look. I paired patterned pencil skirt and a high-neck white blouse. A pencil skirt is definitely a must-have for a business wardrobe of any woman; it’s feminine, elegant, and can be paired with many tops that are different colors and textures. Instead of wearing a regular black pencil skirt, I chose this tartan black and white one; it makes the outfit more interesting while still remaining appropriate. This combo is perfect desk-side or even for an interview. Just make sure to wear a black blazer.

2—Fun and edgy.

The second outfit is definitely a more fun one and can be useful for hot summer days. For this look, I wore black pleated Bermuda shorts with a simple white blouse. This combo can be worn anywhere from class to networking dinners. Paired with a bright red blazer, this outfit definitely makes a statement. As long as it’s done in a sophisticated way, don’t be afraid to add some color to your business wardrobe—it’s a power move that can get you noticed.

3—Simple and trendy.

This last outfit is definitely the most relaxed one out of the three: dark wash skinny jeans, a tan blazer, and a patterned blouse. This combination is very casual, yet business appropriate and can be worn for an in-class presentation or a meeting for one of your extracurricular activities on campus. My favorite brown leather watch completes the look.

When it comes to dressing business appropriate, don’t forget to show a glimpse of your personal style. Being yourself is the most important thing you can do to feel confident and empowered at any event. Don’t stick to just wearing all black (unless you’re required to) and add different colors and patterns to your career wardrobe. However, do keep in mind that the looks I talked about in this article are more suited for business casual events and not business professional. When it comes to professional attire, stick to a more conservative look with dark, solid colors and keep it simple.

How do you style your favorite business casual looks? Show us on social media and tag @Cfashionista!

The Value of Self-Promotion on Social Media

There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t see “link in bio” at least once in someone’s Instagram caption. Our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feeds are filled with links, promotions, and content. Some tend to find this very annoying, and it can be at times. But it’s also so important that users take part in self-promotion over social media.

First off, your social media is your life to the outside world—specifically potential employers that are looking to see what kind of person you are in the online space. While everyone tells you that it’s important to be mindful of what you post, it’s also important to utilize self-promotion. This may seem self-centered or narcissistic, but how will others know about your work if you’re not putting it out there? Promoting articles, blog posts, collaborations, etc. via Instagram and Facebook is how I drive traffic to these pieces of content. People would have to find my content organically without social media. This is difficult to do when you have a small following in a space filled with content.

This self-promotion also shows that you are proud of your work. It’s a kind of digital confidence. Knowing that there’s a bigger audience to share my work with keeps me focused on perfecting everything I put out there. Even if I’m not directly promoting a piece, people can still find my work through the websites I produce for, so that means everything has to be the best it can be.

How to Shamelessly Self-Promote

To create the perfect self-promotional post, it’s important to be very selective in your photo choice. What image is the most interesting or relatable to your audience and story? If they like the photo, chances are they’re more likely to click on your link. After choosing your winning image, create a concise caption that encapsulates your content in a sentence or two. Hashtags are helpful to reach people outside of your followers—consider adding these in a comment instead of the main caption. This keeps your main post clean and free of distraction.

Pick a time of day when most people will be scrolling through social media. Early morning, lunchtime, and the evening always seem to garner the most attention. If this is a piece of work that you want a lot of people to see, try promoting it a few times over the span of a week. Be sure to change up your photo and caption so your feed isn’t filled with the same content.

Now, go ahead and start self-promoting. You never know who will see your work next and like it, like a potential employer.

So how do you self-promote on social media? Let us know in the comments below!

Professional Wear Is No Excuse to Be Boring

Professional dress tends to have a negative connotation. The thought of having to wear a boring button-down shirt, black slacks, and black shoes torments the mind of many people. This usually reminds them of their old high school days in which uniform was part of their wardrobe. However, professional clothes do not have to be boring at all! On the contrary, it is the perfect opportunity to present yourself as a personal brand and to reveal your individuality.

This is how you can rock your work clothes.

1—Challenge the norm. Instead of tucking your whole shirt inside your pants, tuck in half. This trend gives you the chance to wear a comfortable oversize shirt to work while looking effortless and flattering.

2—Add color to your look. Adding color will definitely give your outfit a touch of joy and femininity. For example, wear lipstick or accessories in the color of your choice. Don’t forget that a manicure can stand out against dark colored pants!

3—Wear your favorite staples. Just because you’re going to work doesn’t mean you have to wear black boring flats. If your favorite type of shoe is crisscrossed, patterned, pointed, heeled (you name it), wear them! Just don’t go too crazy. Wearing transparent booties won’t please your manager too much.

4—Go natural. When I say this, I don’t mean don’t wear makeup—wear it if you love it! I usually hear people say that straight hair is more professional because it is organized and serious. However, if you have natural curls rock them to work! It is a way of reflecting your individuality and just being yourself.

The next time you’re required to wear business attire, don’t get despondent. Business attire does not equal boring. You can tweak a normal business or interview outfit by following the suggestions above.

Do you know other ways to personalize a boring professional outfit? Let me know in the comments below!

How to Help Your Local Shopping Centers Stay Afloat

Most of you reading this already know that there’s a certain joy that comes from shopping. Never mind the mountains of money you owe on your credit card, that stinging feeling can easily be soothed by the comfort of your new Adidas shoes. Your tears can be wiped away by that new, unnecessary tissue box dispenser with the cool artsy carvings on it. Now, where would you be had that local mall with the fun stores not been a short 20-minute drive away? You would be at home, shoeless with a boring tissue box, probably awaiting an online order that is soon to disappoint. Little do you know how much of a negative impact all your online shopping does to these brick and mortar businesses you love so much.

Don’t get me wrong, I, just like any other person, enjoy my casual Saturday morning online browsing. Buying things online is easy and effortless. But more times than not, my purchase doesn’t turn out the way it looked online, takes forever to ship to my house, and I have the pain of trying to ship the item back just to start the entire process all over again.

While you may think returns are harmless, returning an online item in stores can harm the neglected business. Return after return adds up for a store, pushing its sales down and making it responsible for selling the item that was never a part of the original stock. If for some reason no one else wanted the item, the store profits become negative. Small things like this (on top of online markets) take away from business and hurt some of our favorite stores—resulting in less merchandise and eventual shutdown.

Can you imagine a life without shopping centers where you bought everything online? It’s a nightmare if you ask me. We also cannot forget the other fun aspects that aren’t fulfilled from a computer screen. Shopping centers allow you to meet up with friends, experience fine dining, get a little extra exercise, and most importantly, take the items home that same day. These little ingredients are all part of what makes avid shoppers come back for more.

So, the next time you are shopping online, check to see if the item you want can be bought at a store nearby. If so, use your day off to get out there, socialize, and support your local businesses before it’s too late!

How important are shopping centers to you? Tell me what you think in the comments below.