5 Skills Every College Student Should Master Before Graduating

Before you know it, your four years in college will pass by and you’ll be wondering where the time went. I’m currently a junior in college, which means I’m halfway done—but it also means I’ll be in the real world soon! Graduating from college is both exciting and full of uncertainty. Luckily, there are five skills every college student can master that will help you in life and your future career.

PHOTO: Ali Bell

1—Time management

College is filled with endless distractions, and it’s easy to waste time on social media. Procrastination is every college student’s worst enemy when it comes to completing that long to-do list. If you’re easily distracted, turn off your phone and use a temporary website blocker to eliminate the temptation to procrastinate. Be sure to use a planner to help you stay on top of your assignments as staying organized will help you manage your time effectively.


A lot of college students hate doing group projects in class, but it’s important to learn about collaboration before you enter the workforce. Teamwork teaches you to listen to other people’s ideas, respect the opinions of others, and use persuasion to develop ideas. A company is stronger when individuals work together as a team.

PHOTO: Julia Michael


College is the best time to connect with people of different backgrounds and learn about different perspectives. Getting involved in the community helps you become a more empathetic person. Being empathetic decreases the risk of conflict in the workplace and helps employees work together; bosses who are empathetic are proven to be more successful.

4—Public speaking 

Public speaking is a lot of people’s greatest fear, but it’s a valuable skill to learn if you want to advance in your career. Whether you pitch an idea to your boss or lead a company presentation, public speaking will get you where you want to go. Most jobs require lots of interactions with people, so learning how to effectively communicate is important both in your personal and professional life. Don’t forget that your outfit also communicates who you are as a person and a professional, so don’t forget to dress appropriately and make a good impression.

PHOTO: Lex Kelly


College is the best time to start networking. Go to career fairs, maintain good relationships with your professors, and be sure to create a LinkedIn account to show your accomplishments and keep in touch with your connections. Don’t forget to connect with your peers as well, especially if they are in the same industry as you. College fashionista has given me the opportunity to connect with Style Gurus around the world who have a passion for fashion; we all inspire each other, and this community gives me a taste of what the fashion industry will be like in the future.

What skills have you utilized in an internship or job? Let us know in the comments below. 

Why Interning in a New City Alone Is So Important

Every college student knows the stressful feeling of searching for a summer internship. From revamping your resume to perfecting your cover letter, to finding a listing for a potential employer that you like, the entire process requires hard work, determination, and a ton of faith in yourself.

 PHOTO: Jordyn Wissert

Then, you finally get an interview which leads to the wonderful moment when you open the email that has a job offer in it.  However, now you have to figure out housing and roommates if your internship is somewhere other than your hometown.

Working in the journalism industry, especially in the fashion or beauty side, it is more likely than not that your internship won’t be right next door to your university or hometown.

This exact process is what happened to me this summer and, fortunately, I was able to spend my summer interning about 500 miles away in New York City. However, I moved there and started working at my internship, despite only knowing two other people in the entire city.

Besides moving to college two years ago, I had never really left home without a family member or friend by my side, so starting over in the biggest city in America for a summer was something that terrified and excited me since I confirmed my trip February of last year.

I can’t say it wasn’t hard or that I didn’t get lonely at times, but I can say the creativity, the fast paced work life, the scenery, and the incredible amount of opportunity in New York overshadowed a lot of the little bad moments with a ton of experiences that have shaped who I am today.

 PHOTO: Kelly Rogowski

One of my favorite aspects was seeing the incredible fashion, obviously. The trendy summer slides, statement earrings, off-the-shoulder tops, and everything in between made it hard for me to think about returning to normal suburban life.

Going into this internship, I wanted to reassure myself that living in New York City was the path I wanted to go down post-graduation. So I made a conscious effort to push my own social boundaries and talk to other interns and experience the city itself, whether it was with one of the two people I knew or alone.

This mindset allowed me to really dive into my internship and focus on being the best public relations intern I could be. It was really interesting how much work excited me and how little distractions I had when all that was required of me was going to work and experiencing New York.

Overall, I left New York knowing that the work culture there was exactly what I wanted, that the city was what made me feel so inspired, and that public relations fascinated me. Having the opportunity to experience New York in this way made me understand how important it is for a young professional to push themselves outside of their comfort zone, and take the opportunities that force them to grow and gain confidence.

Have you had a life-changing experience like this? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Additional photo by Jordyn Wissert.

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.

5 Things I Learned From Ballet

From the first day when we enter school we need to watch out for so many dangers: there are the critical eyes of the other students, there is our tendency to compare ourselves to our peers, and there is our unbalanced confidence which can chase us every day (not to mention studying, grades, and exams). In my opinion, we all need a special support, a magical weapon, which can help us out on those doubtful days: ‘Can I do this?’ ‘Am I good enough?’ ‘Why is everyone else better than me?’ These criticizing voices can’t stop us from constantly creating ourselves. My magical weapon to be more self-aware was ballet.


I have always seen this genre as a sweet mixture between sport and art, which trains and delights at the same time. I’ve always wanted to become a ballerina, but since I started too late I have never got the chance to be a professional dancer. I don’t regret it. I wouldn’t want to neglect my mind and build a career based only on my physical abilities. It’s still my hobby, my form of meditation, and my way of developing. Ballet taught me to see life from a new perspective:

1—Dancing taught me that there are some points in life when you are on your own, and nobody can help you. There is only you and your body as your instrument, and you can only find strength in practice. This is the territory where cheating is simply impossible.

2—Persistence. You need to do the same pirouette for a thousand times before you perfect it. Even then, you will find that there is still someone who does it better than you. So what? You try it one more time. And one more time. And in the end, when you finally succeed you will feel a sweet relief and effervescent energy: you did it!

3—It’s not as easy as it seems. Behind those airy movements, there is a lot of strength involved. When you see a ballerina performing she seems like a finished article, you would love to be in her place, she is not even dancing, she’s flying.   What you can’t see are those endless hours next to the barre, the aching pain in her feet, and the never-ceasing concentration.

4—With hard work, you will get rewarded, and I’m not talking about a pendant. You will get the applause, the satisfying feeling. Creating is something that you can be proud of. You didn’t only watch series, you have a passion, you have a hobby and more importantly something that gives you confidence and definitely a more toned and flexible body.

5—You can do anything! Ballet is so multi-faceted. It can be a graceful levitation and a whimsical game with a rock-chic air at the same time. There are endless possibilities in choreography, the only boundary is your imagination.

What is your favorite sport? Tell us in the comment section.

Here Are My 3 Go-To Looks for Working at an Internship

So you landed the internship. You’re so excited for what challenges lie ahead, but one of the most difficult struggles is often overlooked: what to wear! How can you show your style and personality while still being professional?

One of the most convenient outfits for a day at the office is a jumpsuit. These can easily be styled with any kind of heel, and are a great option for days when you hit the snooze one too many times. Jumpsuits come in so many colors and styles, making it an essential staple in your professional closet. My shoes are Steve Madden and my jumpsuit is from Forever 21.

Another amazing staple in your professional closet is colored dress pants. I’ve purchased so many colored pairs of pants like these from Forever 21 so I can mix and match them with anything in my closet. While my striped pants have a thicker fabric, and may not be great for a hot summer day, there are many cuts of dress pants like these that are more breathable and practical for summer weather. I styled this look with a basic black purse and black heels. My shoes are Steve Madden and my top is another great staple piece in my wardrobe from Charlotte Russe.

The black skirt and dress shirt combo is a classic for a professional wardrobe. You can give the look a little bit of flare with a fun button-down shirt and purse. In my case, I don’t have a purse that gives the look the pop of color, but I highly recommend purchasing a red or pink bag to wear with this sometimes bland combo. All pieces in this look are from Forever 21!

As for makeup, a bold lip goes a long way. I love wearing a berry red lip with minimal eye makeup. This look is another great time-saver in the morning. I strongly believe in the “less is more” concept, but your makeup routine is completely dependent upon your personality, so don’t be afraid to experiment and wear looks that make you feel confident on the job!

Ultimately, your confidence and hustle will be the best accessories to your professional internship style. Hopefully these looks inspire you to dig deeper into your wardrobe and experiment with new professional looks!

How do you dress for success? Let us know in the comments!

“The Intern Diaries”—Check Out These Major Lessons Learned While Interning

The summer is nearly over. I cannot believe that we are already getting back into the swing of school, studying, and the semester system. And while we head into this new school year refreshed, we also bring with us a a thing or two we picked up this summer—and we’re not talking about clothing for once.

Throughout your internship, you gained knowledge, lessons, and skills that will be vital not only to your future career, but your success in the classroom as well. Now at the end of your summer internship journey, it is time to start reflecting and seeing how much you have grown since the start of the season.

To wrap up our “Intern Diaries” series, we thought we would ask our star interns too see what they thought of their summers and the major lessons they learned.

Maddy Haller, Social Media Intern at College Fashionista HQ

“It was a bittersweet end to my internship at CollegeFashionista. I learned so much about the digital business spectrum, social media, event planning, and marketing. It was such a privilege to be there during The CF Clubhouse and see the behind-the-scenes of everything. Looking back, I definitely wish I knew how fast it would go by. While I did make a great connection with the CF team, I feel I should’ve taken advantage of networking more throughout the office. For anyone doing an internship in the future, make every second count. Take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself to grow and learn.”

(photo via @maddyhaller)

Kalynn Smith, Digital Marketing Intern at L Brands for Victoria’s Secret

“[I’m] so sad the summer has come to an end. My biggest take away this summer has been to not be afraid to speak up. It is easy to be intimidated and afraid that your ideas may be rejected, but you never know if you never try, right? By putting yourself out there you will learn and grow in bigger and better ways. My advice to someone starting their first internship would be to not put your head down into your work 24/7. Get your day job done and then start exploring what the business has to offer. Make connections, learn about other roles, and find your passion. Don’t get discouraged if you’re first internship isn’t your dream job. Take advantage of every opportunity and it will come!”

(photo via @kalynnelizabeth_)

Val Veak, Digital Marketing Team Intern at Nike

“Growing up can be extremely scary and part of growing up is getting experience for your future job aka internships. I didn’t know what to expect when I first started my internship this summer and of course I was super anxious, but I learned so much and would not trade this summer for anything. First of all, I realized that I was lacking in my knowledge of marketing, but just remember that it is perfectly fine not to know everything. For people starting an internship, please don’t stress and compare yourself to other experienced workers there. That was something I always did, and it made me feel inadequate, but just know they have more experience and you can learn so much from the people at your work place, so instead use it to your benefit! You should always make sure you understand the assignments given to you, I always repeated the tasks so I made sure everything was clear on my end. Just know that it is normal to be completely confused during your first internship, but as the weeks go by, I promise that things will get better. I am so glad I was able to have this opportunity because not only did I grow professionally, but I really matured as a person and became more independent. While at some internships, some of the things you do may seem unimportant or mundane, just know you are helping out and take advantage of the setting you are at and the people surrounding you. Apply to as many internships as possible because you never know what amazing opportunities are out there!”

(photo via @valveak)

Brisa Gomez, PR Intern at DoSomething.Org

“This summer I learned so much about myself. My biggest advice for incoming interns is to not be afraid to speak up and share your ideas or ask questions. Be curious and take initiative, it’ll help you get ahead and learn so many things! It’s also important to believe in yourself and give yourself credit for the things you accomplish. Celebrate your successes and let it propel you to accomplish any other goals you might have. Remember that it all starts with you and how you decide to take things on.”

(photo via @brisaamarr)

Hannah Bullion, Social Strategy and Innovation Intern at Refinery29

“Interning this summer really made me realize how passionate I am about digital media, specifically for women. I learned so much about the company and about best practices on social. But I also learned a lot about myself as a professional… Don’t be afraid to ask questions, even when you think they’re stupid or “silly.” I made this mistake a few times in the beginning and realized everything would be so much easier if I just spoke up and asked the question. Asking questions proves you’re invested in continual learning. Also, don’t overwhelm yourself! If you feel like you have too much on your plate, let your supervisor know. It’s always better to submit high quality worker slower rather than sloppy work faster. On that note, double check ALL your emails you’re sending and check for typos/clarity. There is NOTHING worse than getting an email back saying there was a typo or a misunderstanding.”

(photo via @hannahbullion)

Sahana Holla, Technical and Research Summer Analyst in Finance

“The idea of the summer being over is quite hard for me to grasp right now because it definitely flew by me in a heartbeat. I can honestly say though, upon reflection, that I had the most wonderful and crazy ten weeks of my life and it hurts to know that it is time to start hitting the good old books again. What strikes me the most is the ability for us to learn such a wealth of information and skills in such a short amount of time. Through undying support and efforts of my amazing colleagues, I was able to hone my skills, add value, and genuinely foster some lifelong relationships. Most importantly, I was given the chance to make memories that will stick with me forever. Always be eager to learn, always be ready to take advantage of any opportunity, and never forget that what you are doing is worth it and contributes to something greater. Every internship is a learning experience and every intern has a purpose, so go out there and reap the benefits of every single thing you can!”

(photo via @holla4sahana)

Valerie Cammack, Marketing Intern at Nisolo

“I learned so much this summer as a marketing intern for Nisolo. It was incredible to see how everyone in the startup environment takes on so much responsibility. I walked away from the internship feeling like I had a much better understanding of how to be an effective team player and I became more comfortable with taking on new responsibilities. My advice to anyone going into their first internship is that it is so important to have an open mind. Never few any task as too small. Chances are your supervisor(s) are having you do it for a reason! Be a sponge; there is so much to learn!”

(photo via @valeriecammack)

I hope these final reflections and the Intern Diaries series helped you all gain some insights into the intern world! Go forth and prosper, fellow interns, and let’s enjoy this next year!

What did you learn in your internship? Let us know in the comments below!

We Can’t Help But Love This Trend That Takes Friendship Bracelets To The Next Level

If I had to choose the most valuable thing that I’ve learned from the two plus years that I’ve been interning with CollegeFashionista it wouldn’t be how to frame a street style photo or the key to increased Instagram followers. After all, these are skills that I could’ve picked up anywhere. The greatest asset that I’ve gained from my experience with CF, however, is the knowledge that common experiences, challenges, and interests can bring even the most distant people together. Sounds cliché right? “CollegeFashionista connected me with my best friends” sounds like a tagline written by a mediocre marketing team; but, in all honesty, some of the most important people in my life wouldn’t be there without the help of CollegeFashionista.

So what does this have to do with tattoos? Well, it just so happens that sparking new friendships isn’t all that interning at CollegeFashionista can lead to. In this case, it also caused these four former interns (hint: one of them is me) to get matching ink, and yes, I mean the permanent kind. So here goes:

Tattoos by @jason_tat2 at Black Fish Tattoo (39 W. 32nd St. #1205, New York, NY) 

Emily Ciavatta (@emilyciavattaa) and I met about a year ago when we were both marketing interns at the CollegeFashionista offices. Despite being from totally different backgrounds and having completely opposite personalities, we clicked pretty much right away. We both ended up back in NYC interning this summer and basically made a pact to do as many spontaneous things as possible. We had planned this big, eventful Saturday one week and had an open time slot that needed to be filled, so naturally, tattoos popped into both of our minds. Deciding to get a tattoo isn’t the hard part, it’s figuring out what to actually get that can be tricky.

We ended up getting matching champagne cork tattoos. I have this weird thing about champagne corks. I always save them. Since champagne is usually a celebratory drink, it seems fitting to try and remember the event at which you are drinking it. When we were trying to think up tattoos to get, corks seemed fitting. The corks turned out so cute and we’ll always have CollegeFashionista to thank for bringing us together and celebrate our friendship forever.

Tattoos by Juan Ortega at Mischief Tattoo (329 6th Ave. New York, NY) 

“Cece and I met while interning together at the CollegeFashionista offices last fall. We didn’t talk much at first. But then one day, we were sent on an errand together and after an hour in, we were ranting about our boy problems. From then on, we’ve been super close. We were sitting at work together on a Friday, deciding what our plans for the night should be but weren’t sure what to do. Cece brought up getting matching tattoos—super spur of the moment—and she chose the design and everything. We walked into Mischief near West 4th and got them.” – Megan Sharp (@n_agem)

“I’ve always loved the look of small, simple tattoos, and that’s something that Megan and I always bonded over. We decided one day that we’d get matching ones just for fun. We were working together one Friday and just thought of the idea to both get the word ‘doll’ on the backs of our necks. So, that same day we went and got them done. I love all my little tattoos because they each have their own meaning. Megan is one of my dearest friends, she’s my doll for life.” – Cece Giglio (@cecegiglio)

Would you ever get matching tattoos with a friend? Share your thoughts (or photos of your matching ink!) in the comments below. 

What You Should Do Before the School Year Begins

Working diligently on projects and internships, vacationing with family and friends, sleeping in past noon, and dedicating every moment of free time to meet your goals and do what you love is what summer is all about. Shifting gears from this relaxed vibe to a degree of restlessness as a full-time student is no easy task. I have met up with rising junior Azeezat Siyanbola, a pre-med student at Barnard College, for a short question and answer session to share her experiences and tips for a fruitful new school year. As we talk, she tells me how she sets goals, channels motivation, and spends her free time.

Nehad Abdelgadir: In order to have a productive and successful school year, what do you do during the last stretch of summer? 

Azeezat Siyanbola: Thinking about the upcoming school year usually makes me nervous, so I don’t bother to open that bottle of energy until a week or so before school starts. I’ve now realized that I need to create better habits. I now plan ahead by writing down a list of goals to stay organized.  I’ve even started thinking about next summer. Not because I’m planning 100 ways to have fun in the sun, but I am pushing to have an even more productive summer than this one. This entails starting to look for summer internships or research programs and planning out the steps I have to take towards submitting applications early spring, which is closer than it appears.

NA: What do you believe all students should do before the school year begins? Why?

AS: Students should enjoy every last bit of summer. If you are unable to travel then explore your city by doing things you may not normally do. This summer, I checked out cool food joints in NYC. The school year could be physically, mentally, and emotionally stressful, so rest up and enjoy as much as you can!

NA: Is there any easy way to re-adjust your sleep schedule?

AS: There isn’t an easy way to readjust a sleep schedule. Aside from the fact that I took more naps than I usually did during the school year, my sleep schedule did not change much. It won’t be an easy transition, and might be painful the first week, but hey—what can you do?

NA: How do you get back to school motivation?

AS: My motivation tends to be short lived, but as a rising junior conscious of time, things changed. My fear of senior year being around the corner works as my motivation. I have an image of a life that I wish to attain and live in and that image is what I tap into when my motivation rush plummets.

NA: Is there anything else you would like to share?

AS: Mental health and health in general—take care of it. Take your days. Even extroverts need a day in.

How do you prepare mentally and physically during the last few weeks of summer? Let us know in the comments!

How to Dress for Success at Your Dream Internship

If I had a dollar for every time I heard the word “internship” over the past three years, I’d be able to pay off all my loans within a month after graduation! Every college student knows that depending on your major of choice, that is essential to get real-world experience before you graduate. As a marketing major, I’m interested in more than just marketing itself. I would love to try advertising, public relations, or social media. This summer, I was lucky enough to intern with the top advertising and marketing agency in Rochester, NY in their public relations department! This is how I dressed for success during my time there.

Walking into the beautifully renovated building on my first day, I felt out of place. The building was beyond modern and filled with MacKenzie-Childs art. Everyone looked effortlessly chic and stylish compared to my black pants and blazer. I was extremely envious of how easy the women made walking in three-inch heels look. After my first day, I went home to prepare for day two and I decided to get some inspiration from my closet. All I could think about was how cool and modern the office was and how business relaxed everyone looked. I decided to try and dress less business professional, and instead, went for a more business casual style.

For my outfit, I wore a pair of pink chino pants with a flowy blouse and light brown booties. I immediately felt like I fit in and like my outfit wasn’t forced, unlike my first day. In the public relations team, there’s a lot of moving going on with running from client meetings to team meetings, so it’s key to stay comfortable with what you’re wearing. My chino pants allowed myself to walk up and down their stairs without having to flash the teams below, while the flow of my blouse made me feel light and like I was floating through the office. I love heels, but when it comes to walking up two flights of stairs every day, I began to appreciate my booties because they are so comfortable.

What is your go to style for your internship? Let me know by commenting below!

How I Landed My Dream Internship

By pursuing a creative career I have had to work harder than most of my peers in order to differentiate myself. While challenging, it has been so genuinely fun and worthwhile—mostly because I landed my ideal internship with the visual display team at Anthropologie! So here are three very basic tips for any Fashionista who is pursuing a creative career.

Get Involved

I can’t stress this enough—clubs, internships, and extracurricular organizations are your best friend. I am part of an academic society, a student director of an art gallery in downtown Raleigh, as well as being the director of photography for an annual fashion show on campus! Colleges offer so many opportunities to explore outside of your major, meet like-minded people, and network with industry professionals. All of my experiences have given me the kind of professional skills that you can only get by putting yourself out there and getting involved!

Try New Things

College is one of the few times in your young adult years that you will have resources to step outside your comfort zone. If you have the opportunity to study abroad and take classes outside your major, do it. Want to learn a new technique? Ask a professor or skilled peer for a little private session! I am a fibers and fashion student, and when I took a shine to woodworking, the pros in the college’s wood shop were more than happy to help me. I’m so glad I stepped outside of my comfort zone for that because being able to use power tools is a huge reason why I got my internship!

Be Well Rounded

In life, and with creative careers especially, you never want to be a one trick pony. If you are interested in technical fashion design, be sure you are familiar with couture techniques as well. If you are interested in digital photography, try your hand at film sometime! Be a creative student with a killer GPA, because as important as your portfolio is, understanding the ins and outs of written communication is essential as well.

You may be confused as to why I have busted my buns to cover my carefully curated outfit with a paint-splattered apron and sketchbook in hand day after day, but I couldn’t be happier. I have loved Anthropologie since I was following my mom around the store as a child. In the past few years, it became very clear to me that I wanted to bring my creative energy and skills to the fashion industry, and what better way to do that than to build the displays and curate the environment of one of the most enchanting retail spaces in the industry? I work hard in school and creative endeavors, put myself out there, and build connections with people to afford myself opportunities with my dream company—and you can too!

Are you a Fashionista doing something rad with your summer? Show us on social media and be sure to tag @CFashionista!