5 Things I've Learned From Working In Corporate
College Life |  Source: L. Smith, Shutterstock

5 Things I've Learned From Working In Corporate

It's not like "Beauty and the Briefcase".

At the beginning of the summer, I was ecstatic to have two part-time internships at established companies. I felt like I would be the next Andrea Sachs. I loved thinking about decorating my desk, strutting into the office with a Starbucks in hand and getting those biweekly direct deposits.

Four weeks later, and I'm looking forward to the end of my internships, because I'll have time to be a nineteen year old college student during the summer--free of a forty-hour work week commitment. With that said, I'm grateful for the experience. I've learned a lot, made mistakes and discovered some aspects of what I do and don't want as a career.

If you're interning this summer, you can probably relate to these five things I determined from working in corporate:

It's not as glamorous as it appears on television.

Movies and TV shows have the tendency of making the office environment seem very appealing and enticing with hot men and women, classy outfits and exciting drama. However, I've quickly realized that this image distorts reality (like many things on screens do these days). Eight hour days are not my definition of "fun". Unpaid 30-minute lunches are a high luxury. Most days, I'd rather be rocking my classic college look. And no, I've never heard of any steamy office hook ups.

It really is all about money.

I never understood how important money is to people and companies until I worked a job in corporate. Numbers are super valuable, and I'm not talking about the low ones in my bank account. Revenue, profit, debt, etc. are what's on people's minds constantly in corporate. Nearly every decision made in any company happens with money at the center of attention. It doesn't seem right, but I suppose that's just how it is for businesses to thrive and people to make a living. I don't think anyone has the power to change that.

You can't escape the hierarchy or cliques.

You may have tricked yourself into thinking that middle school, high school and even college cliques would magically disappear post-college graduation. I hate to break the news that they won't. In corporate, I've concluded that most workers in each department stick to themselves; there's not a lot of integration among company workers on the whole. Plus, the sense of hierarchy is palpable in the office. People talk to higher-ups differently than they do to those below them or equal to them. Someone from senior management who treats people working under them with respect is one of the best things you can find in a working professional. I wish we could find them more frequently.

Interns don't have much say.

I agree that you get out of it what you put into it when it comes to internships, but I also think that corporate companies over all don't care too much about what interns have to say. They say they want fresh voices and innovation, yet simultaneously don't want to change their ways or take risks. It's been rewarding seeing some of my ideas implemented, but, at the same time, it's also disappointing, because I want to contribute more and feel like I'm incapable of that.

There's no rush.

Working in corporate gives me a smack in the face as to this is what I will most likely be doing for 40 years plus after college. That terrifies me. We're in a world that tells kids to not grow up too fast, but to also do things to prepare them for the "real world". I honestly think squeezing lemonade and waiting tables prepped me almost as much as working in corporate has. I may take a break from it next summer and do something more fun and exciting, for there will be countless office days in the further future. Enjoy being a student while you can!

Everyone's different. You may discover you love working in corporate and that it's your dream. You may find a company that treats their employees very well. As for me, I'm starting to brainstorm freelance opportunities and earning money through genuine passions of mine that don't involve a stuffy corporate environment.

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Advice on Getting an Internship for People With No Connections

You suck, but it's OK!

There is no sugar coating it: getting the right internship is just as important as going to college at this point. While it can be stressful, it is more than possible to score yourself an internship.

A year ago, being a girl from small-town Indiana, I would have told you finding an internship in an industry almost foreign to my state would be impossible. Now, I've been to New York City for one and am on my way back this summer for not one, but two more internships. Here's some pro advice on doing what you think can't be done from someone who's been there.

1.Attend every career fair.
I know so many people who have gotten amazing internships from career fairs. While they can sometimes seem like a hassle, they are so worth it if you're serious about your future. Prepare a resume and research information on the companies you want to hit while you're there.

They'll be impressed that you know your shit; and if they feel like they're important to you, you'll become more important to them. While seeing a list of big companies can be intimidating and the "why would they want someone like me" mentality is an easy one to pick up on, there is a reason they're coming to your school: They're looking for people like you.

2. Figure out where alumni work.
This can be really helpful simply because people like to hire other people from their alma mater. While, of course, you have to have the credentials, school pride holds a lot of weight in the job market. Universities often have a list of alumni at big companies somewhere on their website, but if you don't find what you're looking for there, use the LinkedIn search options or visit your career center.

3. Search company websites.
Scroll to the bottom of the page and companies will typically have a career section. This is a good place to find out if the company is hiring interns or at least a good place to find an email and a name to contact with inquiries.

4. Find exact names and emails.
While this can sometime be extremely difficult, finding a way to contact a real person (not just jobs@whatever.com) is extremely helpful and important. A lot of times these won't be right on the careers page, but there are ways to find who you're looking for. Sometimes it takes serious investigation of the company's website; and sometimes it takes a little cyber-stalking.

I've gotten emails from searching names of people I know who work there and the name of the company. Sometimes they have their email out on other social and professional platforms. This works especially well for magazine internships. Search the internet and try to find the email format of the company you want to apply for, ie. firstname@companyname.com. The next step is as simple as finding the names of people in the department you want to work for (in a magazine check out the masthead towards the front) plug the name into the email format, and send away.

Search the internet and try to find the email format of the company you want to apply for, ie. firstname@companyname.com. Next step is as simple as finding the names of people in the department you want to work for (in a magazine check out the masthead towards the front) plug the name into the email format and send away.

5. Find websites that post internships.
While I can't tell you specific sites for all industries, for those of you looking for fashion or editorial internships, check out freefashioninternships.com (where I scored my first internship). These kinds of websites post who's looking for what kind of intern, as well as either information to send your resume to or an application right there you can fill out.

6. Ask around.
You'd be surprised how many potential connections are around you. Maybe one of your dad's coworkers knows someone, or maybe a friend of a family friend works for the company where you're trying to intern. Spread the word and see what happens.

7. Talk to professors.
A lot of professors actually worked in the industry their classes center on. Their prior field experience can help you a lot. Make a point to become friends with your professors and attend their office hours. Eventually, you may find yourself in a position to ask if they could help you out a little on your internship hunt. Most likely, they'll be more than happy to do it.

8. Get involved.
This is a great way to meet people with similar interests, who then may have helpful connections. Whether it's writing for a website like FlockU or joining an on campus club. Even people your own age may have connections they're willing to share.

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College Life |  Source: news.central.edu

City Hacks: How to Network as an Intern

Don't be afraid to put yourself out there!

So, you've scored a summer internship, congrats! Now that you have that taken care of, the next step is to learn from this new experience and hopefully build on it by forming a professional network. I know that seems like a daunting task, but it can be fun! Here are some steps to getting yourself out there and expanding on your network!

1. Believe it or not, getting the job is the easiest part about internships. The next few months will require a lot of time, hard work and people skills. I've found that a lot of interns find it difficult to switch gears from their school person to their professional person.

In other words, they're not sure where the boundaries lay in an office dynamic. This can become especially difficult when you're trying to create a mentor-student relationship with a co-worker.

To be honest, there are no set boundaries; in fact, each office environment will have its own dynamic. So, it is important to remember that you are there to learn from your co-workers. Following your boss's lead is sometimes the safest way for an intern to be sure they have not misspoken.

2. Additionally, the change of course from school to work can be jarring for interns because for the first time, your superiors aren't there to watch your every move or to tell you what to do every second of the day- hell, they have their own work to do!

I know it seems weird, but in the real world, no one really has the answers. You'll start to see that in order for you to succeed in your career, sometimes you have to take the initiative and approach your boss with an idea or solution. Sometimes inexperience is the most valuable asset an intern can bring to the boardroom table!

3. Be yourself. As an intern, you might find it easier to come into work and just do the assignments you have been given. Even though that shows great work ethic, it probably won't get you noticed or leave your employers with a lasting impression of you.

Next time you feel like hiding behind your cubicle divider and eating lunch by yourself, push yourself to go to the employee lunchroom and have lunch with a co-worker. Even if you ask one person a week, that's still one more person that will remember your face than before. Just get yourself out there, I promise it's not as scary as you think!

4. Once you have become acclimated to your new environment, the real networking can begin. Most offices have events you can attend or office activities you can participate in.

These events and opportunities are indispensable for interns because they allow you to meet people in other departments that you wouldn't run into on a daily basis. Moreover, they allow you to learn more about the career you are interested in and the types of people that inhabit that field.

5. The next step in building your network is to sign up for conferences in your area that appeal to you. One of the best pieces of advice I have received thus far, is to challenge yourself to meet at least three new contacts at these conferences. You can even make it a game to meet more people than you did at the previous conference or event that you attended.

6. Another great way to expand your professional network is to join organizations that interest you. For example, if you are interested in writing, joining a writing organization will allow you to meet in that industry in your area. Who knows, one of them could end up being your future mentor or boss!

7. As you begin to grow your network and meet people that impact you, it is important to enrich those relationships. It is not enough to just make that initial acquaintance, you have to foster each relationship as you would any other one. Reaching out to a contact to see what they are up to or let them know what you are doing is a great way to keep the lines of communication open.

8. Once your network begins to grow, you will start to notice that the contacts you meet will begin to introduce you to people they think you will have commonalities with. Or they may just introduce you because they think that relationship could help advance your career or help you learn something about the industry you are interested in that you may have not previously known.

Just like anything else worthwhile, building a professional network takes time and energy. Don't get frustrated if you do not receive the response you want while networking. Just like most things, networking is a trial and error activity. You'll start to learn what works for you personally which will make your #networkinggame that much stronger!

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College Life |  Source: L. Smith, Shutterstock

When Fear Of Alcoholism Ruins The Party

Recognizing you have a problem ... before there's a problem.

My mom has been an alcoholic for as long as I can remember. Currently, she's sixty years old, and I'm twenty-one. Now is the most socially acceptable time for me to drink, and I'm already realizing that I have a problem.

Moderation doesn't always come easily to me. One drink turns into two, which snowballs into six. I'm a pleasant drunk, so my friends have no reason to call me out. I haven't royally fucked up by getting a DUI or anything like that, but my inability to pace myself has recently become a red flag. It's possible that alcohol and I are a bad mix.

Heavy drinking is sort of like smoking cigarettes. It looks cool when you're young and attractive, but as you age, the negative effects on your health can sully any inkling of glamour. When it comes to alcohol addiction, we often don't recognize the problem until it's too late. I don't want to wait until I destroy my liver before realizing there's a problem. Despite what movies, TV, ads, music, and college culture itself have said about people my age, I am not invincible. So what is a college student with a love of partying and a family history of alcoholism to do?


Source: CollegeMagazine

Get over the fear of socializing while sober. When you're sober and you walk into a room full of drunk people, you may feel obligated to start chugging drinks. I've convinced myself that I can't function in these settings without a few drinks, but that's just not true. If you allow those first few minutes of awkwardness to pass, letting your sober self get settled in, you may actually enjoy yourself more than if you were drunk. I've tried this out a couple times and found that sober me is just as fun as drunk me. Not to talk down alcohol, but you don't need it to have a good time around drunk people. In fact, sober you is more perceptive of your friends' debauchery, so be sure to take plenty of pics!

College life and heavy drinking seem to go hand-in-hand. But when an individual with a family history of alcoholism lives in a culture that over-normalizes drinking, there may be a problem. Just because something works for other people your age, doesn't mean it's right for you. Time will tell how I'll manage my problems with alcohol. I'm seeking counseling to get advice on how to deal with this, and I would encourage any one else in my situation to do so as well. If I learn to pace myself, that's great, but I think it's best for me to stop drinking altogether.

When it comes to any lifestyle choice, do what's right for you. Understand your risk factors before they become a problem. Have as much fun as you can while also taking care of yourself.

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College Life |  Source: L. Smith, Shutterstock

Handy Tips For Big Girls In The Big Apple

Tips for the Empire State Of Mind

As a lifelong Philadelphian, street smarts, a natural appreciation for grid planned cities (please explain to me why anyone would lay out streets any way besides perpendicular?), and a general laxness about jaywalking were already well engrained in me by the time I arrived in New York City for the summer. However, as much as I love my hometown, the two square miles that encompass the whole of downtown Philly can't begin to prepare a person for the monstrosity that is Manhattan. Through my morning commutes alongside herds of interns motivated by their new resume additions, Subway rides to the West Village in a quest to fill my Instagram with more aesthetic desserts than acceptable for any white girl, and river to river runs to justify said quest, I have picked up on those few little tips that one can only learn from experience, and I am here to share them with you today! Sorry boys, but these tricks and tips to city livin' are just for the ladies who have their own special place in NYC's heart.

What's so wonderful about tip #1 is that you don't have to even be looking for this piece of advice in order to receive it! This one goes out to all of us gals with resting bitch face, or really any resting face at all.

Tip #1: "Smile More"
As the saying goes, New York is full of the happiest and most friendly people on earth, so sporting a natural ear to ear grin is pretty much expected for all of her great inhabitants... err great female inhabitants. Ladies, you're much prettier when you're smiling, and when getting from point A to point B we all know the end goal is to exude prettiness to our surroundings! So turn that frown upside-down, because if you don't, chances are the man who resides at Lafayette and 3rd will remind you to.

Manhattan is an island that is ever evolving. The skyline is forever being added to and once unvisited streets are constantly turning into retail and residential hot spots. But all of this growing up and out couldn't be done without the hard work of New York City's construction crews that line many a busy street and intersection. This next tip ensures that this great city can continue to flourish without limitation.

Tip #2: Don't be a distraction
As women, we've learned by now from years in our school systems that our bodies are vehicles of great distraction. Breasts, buttocks, thighs, heads, shoulders, knees, and yes, toes, constantly put our male counterparts at risk of diversion. Many morning commutes have taken me along sidewalks lined on either side with those hard working men whose poor heads cannot help but follow the pitter pat of my sandals on the cement. With New York temperatures breaking records it can be natural to want to indulge oneself in breezy sun dresses or skirts for work, but from experience I can confidently say that a floor length bathrobe and wide brimmed sun hat are the best ways to ensure that New York continues to prosper as an urban hub.

The most frustrating time to spend a summer in New York has got to be the months just shy of your 21st birthday... or so I thought. While the local club and bar scene are notorious sticklers for fakes, the dating scene is open to all!

Tip #3: You're never too young to have fun!
In NYC you're always meeting new people, and lucky enough, this often won't require any effort at all on your behalf! As a woman of the city, take a train, walk a block, or spend a few minutes on a park bench and a young man is soon to introduce himself before you know it! As someone who personally doesn't usually engage in activities with men who approach me, I wouldn't want to waste a minute of their time, and thereby resort to politely informing these suitors that I am of the ripe age of 16 before the conversation escalates too far. While in other cities this line has disappointed and scared of new male companions, you'll be surprised and pleased to learn that in New York my announcement has yet to fend off any new friends! Sixteen shmixteen, I still have tits, right!

This last piece of advice is one that I hope women everywhere can carry with them on their journeys through life, for it is love that makes the world go round.

Tip #4: Open your heart to love
Too many times I've watched on as women are approached, talked to, or applauded for their beauty by men who are met with harsh exclamations to "leave them alone" or "fuck off." Wounded as they are, these young men clearly have been raised to never give up, and give their tactics another go with the next female to walk by. But these high spirits can't be sustained forever, and it's time for us women to open our hearts to love. We can be better than the generations before us who rarely boast love stories about how they met their significant other when he yelled " Nice ass, sweetie!" That can be your love story! It's time to get over our self -loathing and finally allow ourselves to swoon when gifted with the compliments we truly deserve!

I hope you take these words of wisdom to heart and always remember that New York City is a place to be your prettiest, most reserved, most loving self!

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College Life |  Source: N. Leeper, Shutterstock

The Struggles Of The Grammar Nerd

Take a look it's in a book.

1. When someone uses the wrong form of your/you're.

2. Or the wrong form of they're/there/their.

3. When someone doesn't use the Oxford comma.

4. When you post something on social media/send a text and accidentally misspell something or use incorrect grammar.

5. When you really want to correct your friend's grammar but you also don't want to be that person.

6. When people speak in text lingo.

7. When someone doesn't use proper punctuation.

8. When your friends always ask you to proofread their papers...

9. When someone uses a double negative...

10. When someone doesn't know the difference between affect and effect.

11. When someone doesn't use an apostrophe when signifying that something is possessive.

12. Or, when someone uses an apostrophe to make a word plural.

13. When you're listening to a song and the singer uses incorrect grammar.

14. And finally, when somebody tells you that you're a grammar nerd.

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