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interning 101

I’ve previously talked about how important my internship experiences were—I learned so much, and in addition to beefing up my resume, the jobs themselves were invaluable.

I got my first internship after my first year of college, when I still thought I was going to major in Art History. I emailed a local gallery in my hometown essentially offering to be their intern/provide free labor, and they took me on one day a week. Looking back, this was not a valuable use of my time—this position isn’t even listed on my resume because aside from being irrelevant to my career field, I didn’t learn or do much.

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One of the biggest things I’ve learned from my experience as an intern is that the quality of your experience largely depends on your supervisor—how willing are they to give you work? Are they going to teach you how to do new things? Will they trust you to do more than stick stamps on 400 postcards? Regardless, from my various internship experiences I’ve picked up several tips and learned a few unspoken rules that all interns should follow.

Take notes.

If a co-worker asks if you can help them with something, write down what they’re asking you. Try to ask all of your questions while they’re showing you how to do something or giving you instructions for a task so you’re not emailing them from the Duane Reade to confirm what size bottle of liquigel Advil they want. This is especially important if you have an editorial internship—why would you ever not have a pen and notepad in your hands at all times?!

That being said, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

I’ve always naturally been a bit introverted and shy, but I can guarantee that your boss would rather you ask five questions and do a perfect job than ask no questions and make five mistakes.

Be confident.

If you wrote a cover letter, had an interview (or two or three), and did an edit test or some equivalent to prove your worth, you deserve to be there. It’s kind of crazy how many people are fighting for the same unpaid internship, so when you get that offer you should feel pretty proud of yourself and know that you have a right to be there, and your boss clearly thinks highly enough of you to want to see you everyday.

Be on time.

I think this goes without saying.

Ask for what you want.

At the end of my final college internship, I didn’t want to leave. I spoke with my boss about the possibility of getting a real, grown-up job there, but unfortunately, the timing just wasn’t right. Even though I didn’t get what I asked for, I expressed how much I loved working there and I think it strengthened my relationships with my supervisors and coworkers long after I left.

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the most important thing i learned in college

In my last year of college, I took intro to journalism. Yep, INTRO to Journalism just a few months before I graduated. (Sidebar: The class was mostly seniors, so I guess it’s common to save specific concentration courses for the final semesters…once all the rigorous liberal arts curriculum has been completed.) I loved this course, and it reminded why I chose my Communications/Journalism major–why after years of people telling me what a great writer I am, I put two and two together and decided to pursue something I was actually good at. A big reason why I enjoyed this class so much was the very down-to-earth professor I had. She was a Fordham alum, who started teaching after working in news radio for a while, but was still young enough to be fun and approachable.

Since the class was mostly seniors, our final session was reserved for an advice session from our professor. She gave a lot of useful advice, but one thing really stuck out to me: the pace of our lives. Until now, everyone’s lives moved at the same pace. All of my friends and I started high school at the same time. We started getting jobs and babysitting at the same time. We took driver’s ed and got our licenses at the same time. We graduated in four years, bound for college straightaway. Even though we ventured far away from one another, we all graduated on time and many of us even studied abroad the same semester. In essence, the timing of our lives lined up perfectly.

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But now, my professor said, there’s no longer a set path–things are going to start happening at a different pace for everyone. People will get married a year after graduation, or ten years after, or never. Other people will start having babies, or buying cars and houses, or move to Prague to teach English. The point is that just because someone else does one or all of these things before you, it doesn’t mean that you’re behind, or that you’re missing something or living your life wrong.

This realization was super significant for me. I always feel frantic when my friends start new relationships or get new jobs because I feel like I skipped a step, like I missed a class and now I won’t do as well on the final exam. It’s hard to sign into Facebook and see photos from someone’s bridal shower, or posts of someone else’s fancy new apartment, or hear about yet another person’s promotion at work. Just because it’s not happening to you, doesn’t mean that you’re falling behind in life (at least according to Professor J.). I’m a big believer in following my gut, and I’m also a big believer in putting my happiness first. Everything else will come when the time’s right.

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confidence = major 🔑

For most of my life, I’ve been forgettable–and I’ve been good at it. Remember that scene in “The Princess Diaries” when someone literally sits on Anne Hathaway/Mia Thermopolis because they didn’t even notice she was there? That should give you an idea of how I felt up until a few years ago. In high school I was drafted as “shy” and “quiet,” two adjectives I would never assign to my current self. My freshman year of college I would go to parties and bars and meet lots of different people–but when I waved to them the next day, I’d be greeted with a lack of recognition.

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I feel that I’ve become more assertive over the past two years, with a tremendous change when I studied abroad. Amsterdam means SO much to me, and my growth in independence is one of the reasons why. I learned more about myself in five months of living there than the past three years of college. I did things I wanted, when I wanted. I made friends with the guy who freed my bike after I broke the padlock’s key…so the next time it happened, he volunteered to help once more. I dyed my hair blonde. I biked miles and miles. I looked at art. I ate lots of stroopwafels. I started drinking beer. I started liking beer. I constantly, consistently was in awe of the city’s beauty. One year later, I’m still not sure how it’s possible for a place to be so stunning.

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This past year, I’ve started being more confident in my career goals and skills. I learned to work on a team–on a professional level. I learned how to say no. I started asking for what I want. And now that a brand new, unplanned, simultaneously terrifying/exhilarating chapter of my life is beginning, I’m excited to continue growing.

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graduation as told by kardashian gifs

College has been great. Approaching my final weeks at Fordham has been incredibly bittersweet…I’ve grown so much in college, and the past four years have shaped me in ways I never could’ve imagined–and I can’t even count the number of incredible opportunities I’ve been given. At the same time, I feel ready to take the next step. Over the past year I’ve become more confident and self-assured, and feel like my career is headed in a great direction. I’ve been SO lucky to get to work in a field that I’m passionate about, all while living in the best city in the world.

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Unfortunately, I keep having flashbacks to the final weeks of my senior year in high school, and I’ve come to the conclusion that senioritis in college is 10x worse. In high school, I didn’t really have an excuse for slacking on studying since there weren’t many distractions in my small hometown. Now, I’m in the most distracting place on earth! Happy hour, shopping, events, (tinder) dating, and work are really killing my barely existent scholarly vibe. All in all, I’m sad this chapter of my life is coming to a close…it’s been a better four years than I could have ever imagined. On a lighter note, I thought I’d share some #KardashianReactions that reflect my feelings towards college graduation!

1. Denial. Lol, yeah, whatever they’re not gonna let me graduate. I don’t even know what a 401k is.

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2. Anger. Cap and gown??? Class ring?? Senior ball? My parents are cutting me off???? BYEEE.

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3. Bargaining. There could be some perks. No more homework? I’m cool with that. And hello, salary. How do I get an expense account?

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4. Fear. I need a job! I need to find a new apartment! I can’t wear yoga pants everyday anymore!!

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5. Acceptance. Real world, I am READY FOR YOU!

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Kardashian family gifs c/o GIPHY

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spring cleaning, wallet-style

Spring is finally here! (Knock on wood). It’s almost time to swap out my 8,000 pairs of boots for their open-toe counterparts, swear off hot coffee until October, and retire my (faux) fur coat until next season. Spring is also a great time for…cleaning! Especially cleaning up your finances, now that the holidays are long gone and spring break trips have been paid for. As a college student rapidly approaching graduation, I’ve definitely started feeling pressure to be frugal until I get a job squared away. In the meantime, here are some of my tips for keeping your wallet as full as possible!

1. Turn off auto-reload on your Starbucks card. It sounds brutal, I know, but when things like spending are set to autopilot they become super easy to ignore. Make the most of your Starbucks membership and take advantage of their frequent promotions. My office has a decent coffee machine, so I’ve officially run out of excuses for spending $5 on a latte.

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2. Clean out your closet. Spring is a great time to get rid of shoes, clothes, purses, etc. since you’re probably already swapping winter wear for springtime clothing in your closet. My favorite place to get rid of stuff is eBay, but I’ve heard great things about sites like Tradesy and Poshmark. You can literally post stuff for sale through your iPhone, and drop it in a mailbox once it sells. I’m the laziest person ever and eBay gets my approval for the easiest way to make money.

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3. Cancel any & all magazine subscriptions. As someone who works in the magazine/digital publishing industry, this is a bit painful, but I can’t remember the last time I had a magazine subscription, let alone time to read one. Transition yourself into online content, which is way more fun to read anyway, and take advantage of student access on sites like the New York Times. If you’re a magazine aficionado, or travel a lot and find yourself spending $5 a pop on mags at the airport, definitely look into Texture, an amazing app that has the digital version of (basically) every magazine, every month. It’s $10/month, but could totally be worth it.

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4. Make your credit card work for you. I get the most points back on my credit card for groceries, so that’s primarily what I swipe that baby for. Large credit card companies always have great promotions going on…I know I’ve gotten cash back for registering my Amex in programs like Small Business Saturday and Restaurant Week. If you’re traveling, definitely look into hotel add-on offers, deals on car rentals, and flight promotions. Companies like Credit Card Insider have tons of information on how to get the most out of your credit cards!

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What are your suggestions for financial spring cleaning? I’d love to hear!

All gifs from giphy. 

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congrad-ulations, your future is still uncertain

Midterms are approaching, and I still feel like this semester hasn’t even started. I only have class two days a week, and am taking just three courses, so the majority of my non-free time is no longer spent in a classroom. Instead, it’s spent in an office. I’m super grateful to have the opportunity to intern at a popular publication, but it’s definitely made me feel that my college experience has ended a little early.

Going to a university in a major city is an unconventional college choice to begin with. While Fordham’s campus has all the perks of a quintessentially beautiful, ivy-covered college, and even a couple of nearby student-only bars, the past four years have not been a conventional college experience. I am in no way sad about this: I intentionally chose a school that didn’t have Greek life, stadium-sized lecture halls, or a small-town location. Instead, I have multiple semesters of professional experience, close relationships with faculty members, and a total adjustment to living and navigating NYC. (And I had a pretty great time while doing it.)

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Since it’s my last semester, I’ve started hunting for full time jobs, realizing that in just a few months, I’ll have to make another huge decision. Do I stay in New York? Should I take a job I’m passionate about, even though the salary is lower? Should I move in with my parents and save money? If you feel this way too, I’m sorry, because I literally have no advice to give you. I was low-key hoping that my blog would have been paying my bills by now, but I guess I’ll have to hold out a little longer.

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stages of winter break

1. Overwhelming joy

Finals are over! Christmas presents! Home cooked meals! No homework! Did I mention that exams are over?

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2. Sleep

Time to catch up on all the sleep you lost pulling those all-nighters studying partying. Hello, 1pm wake ups.

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3. Coziness

Home is just cozy. Idk if it’s daily hugs from my mom or snuggling up with Netflix.

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4. Boredom

Once you go to lunch with your friends, hit the mall, and take down the Christmas decorations, there’s not much to do.

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5. More boredom…

Yep. This is why I went to school in NYC.

6. Mixed feelings

Wanting to go back to school but not wanting the work & stress that comes with a new semester.

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7. Excitement

Somehow, you forget about how much work school is, and just wanna be back on campus. Cheers to senior year!

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Follow new york is my boyfriend on Instagram.

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