How to Network as a College Student

Hello all! It has been a hot minute since I’ve posted on my blog. I’m not going to lie.. My motivation slumped, and a lot of life happened to me these past few months. Currently, I’m back in college and in full swing (Lord, help), but I’m ready to be back in your news feed.

To begin, there has been a puzzling question that has been on my mind for some time now. If you know me, you know that I am extremely eager to learn new things. So, my question is how do you break into the PR industry (or any industry you are working in) as a college student?

Believe me when I say this, I’ve Googled this, Pinterest-ed it, Youtube-ed, Read books and articles, Podcast-ed it and just about everything else. I made myself a LinkedIn account, follow about 10-15 new people/companies on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat)  every day, and read articles written from professionals. Here’s my problem that many of you might have in common with me: How do I break into the industry if I’m from a small town and don’t live in a major city? This question has been TAUNTING me. I feel that I have been doing all the right things..so where are my results at?  So far, I’ve connected with professionals on many platforms and I stalk their pages religiously, but it is hard to meet them because I don’t live in their city. Like I said, I’m eager and hungry to learn more.

Even though I haven’t gotten my big break, I have thought of 4 tips on how to network and learn more about your industry and what you want from life.

1). Find a job in the industry you want. Any job.  I recently got hired as a Stylist at Francesca’s Boutique. I love fashion, but truthfully never thought I’d work retail, but I’m learning a lot about production, sales, and what it means to work for a corporation. Even though I may never meet the CEO at least I know the retail side of the Fashion industry.

2). As a college student join clubs that you may have an interest in. On my campus at Western Michigan University there are over 300 RSO’s (registered student organizations) and I’m currently a member of M.O.D.A which stand for Merchandising Opportunities and Design Association. One reason why I enjoy it is that I’m with other students who love fashion just as much as me. Again, I was hesitant at first, but I went for it. I may not have met career changing professionals, but there have been a few speakers who are big names in the fashion industry and hearing their stories are so inspiring. Also, weekly M.O.D.A meetings is a good break from my academics.

3). Follow as many people as you can that are in your industry on social media. Okay, maybe not EVERYONE. But, search for people and companies by looking at their pages and seeing if you have something in common. Do they like fashion? Are they from a big city? Do they love sweets like me? Are they in my field? I ask these questions and when I do find new accounts to follow I follow them on EVERYTHING. Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn. I mean, what if I got called for an interview and I already knew more about their company than they thought (impressive, am I right?)

4). Be hopeful! I’m from a small town and I don’t go to school in a major city..and I forgot to mention, I’m a poor college student. So, at times I feel disappointed and behind. Some days I feel that I already need to have 5 internships and a 4.75 GPA. Then I float back into reality and remember that working hard is a process, and good things take time.

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Networking doesn’t always mean face-to-face interactions. For me, networking means learning about new people and companies in your industry and following them on social media, because I LOVE the power of social media (the positive one, of course). Networking also means trying new things and figuring out what I want in life. And of course, networking is an on going process, so you do have to stay hopeful. Truthfully, I’m no expert. I’m just a really driven young millennial who is extremely passionate. Now, I want to ask you..What tips do you have to expand your network? Anyone else work in the PR industry?

 

 

 

 

 

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3 things New Yorkers Taught me about Fashion

It is a hands down agreement that the women of New York City are always stylish. Their looks are polished, and uniquely tailored to the ladies of the city.

My most recent trip to the City made my heart explode. My obsession with personal style was overwhelmed with the heat, unique prints, and latest trends as seen on the street. Half of my trip was spent staring at the ladies of the city. Either I was sitting in the car of a subway heading uptown, or walking across the street on 5th Ave. Here, are 3 lessons that New Yorkers taught me about fashion.

 

 

Stop matching. Just make it “go”. So many outfits didn’t even match. They just..went. Colors, patterns, cuts, layers – you name it. Even the most polished women wore pieces that complimented each other, but didn’t necessarily match shades. It made me rethink about my personal wardrobe, and how I can switch up patterns and colors a lot more than I thought. I once saw a women whose outfit didn’t match. Not a single bit, but it went. My mouth, dropped..like how could you do that and have it look bomb. A skirt, a sweater, a choker, knee highs, a vest..how. you go, girl.

(I would’ve taken a photo, but staring at her for 10 minutes on the subway was creepy enough.)

 

 

No matter the time of day or temperature outside, hair is always on point. Between the heat and humidity my hair was ready for bed at around 6pm. The frizz was impossible for me to keep up with. Perhaps, I didn’t bring the right products in accordance to the temp. Needless to say, New Yorkers know how to make hair look well-groomed. For brunch, for errands, for cocktail hour, for late night parties. Perfect loose curls, and voluminous pony’s were bouncing in the streets all night long. My hair, couldn’t disagree more with the weather.

 

Black is always an option. Whether it’s a pair of platform sandals, the elegance of a little black dress, black butterfly sunshades, or 2.55 Chanel bag- there was no doubt, that black is the answer. New Yorkers wear black, because it issexy, and suitable for any occasion. I’ve seen to many women/men make this look edgy, chic, sexy, and simple look their own. A symbol of power, or elegance, and of luxury. What better way for a New Yorker to describe their city with their outfit?

 

It’s true, New Yorkers can basically wear whatever the hell they want, and no one will judge them. The most creative, innovative, and powerful people live in this chaotic city. New Yorkers break fashion trends, they invent them, they redefine the rules. So, next time you’re looking for an outfit to wear, but feel like you have nothing..remember what a New Yorker would say to you, black is ALWAYS a good idea, mix those patterns and colors up for some summer funk..and always, make sure that your hair looks good.

 

xoxo,

Sabryna

 

 

 

 

How to be a Friend Worth Keeping

There are many different types of friendships we all have. Whether it’s romantic, an acquaintance, a best friend, and even a toxic friendship it affects our personal lives more than we think. At a young age, my mother constantly reminded me of the importance of making friends, and like any little girl I wanted as many as I could possibly fit my arms around. However, growing up I realized that it is more important to have positive and encouraging friends than to have friends that prove your “social status”.

Supportive friends are seriously way better for your health, believe me. It saved me a lot of unwanted drama, gossip, and negative influences. I can’t tell you that it’s been only laughs and blue skies for my entire life, because it hasn’t.

Unfortunately, we all have had toxic friendships, and they are seriously not fun to deal with. A toxic friendship is different for everyone, but from my personal experience it meant that I worried about them 24/7, and that their negativity actually influenced my happiness.

A friend who makes you unhappy? Yes, it’s possible. Through these experiences, I’ve practiced the most important parts about being a better friend, and this is how you can be one too.

Show that you actually do care about their life. 

It’s easy to talk about on the surface topics, but don’t forget that we all have interpersonal struggles too, and it feels good when a friend asks me how I actually am. It helps me to get some of the anxiety out of my head.

Be positive to be around. 

Seriously, being around someone who is constantly negative influences me to look at the negative aspects of life. Part of being a positive friend is magnifying their strengths, saying that bad days don’t last forever, boys come and go, and a B is not the worst grade in the world.

Be supportive, and encouraging.

I think it’s an amazing feeling being that friend who encourages someone to better their life, because they feel supported to do so. Giving and receiving compliments makes us smile, so why not make your friend smile too? Encouragement goes a long way, especially when you have friends that are shy and insecure. Sometimes, they won’t vocalize that they feel encouraged, but they probably gained a new sense of confidence.

Show your true self, and be vulnerable.

Creating an environment where it’s okay to show your deepest emotions, and most life changing stories actually makes us feel like we can open up more. Trusting a friend to take you as you are can be difficult, but once you show them they can be themselves, it really does create an intimate bond.

Stay in touch even if you get busy

I’ve been the friend who lost touch with friends, because of my crazy work schedule, but I’ve also been the friend who lost a friend because of the lack of communication. Even if you’re swamped with work, take a second to send a text, and say hi..it does go a long ways. Putting the effort in to show that you care shows a lot about your character, and by doing this it can rekindle a friendship.

 

There’s a ton of tips out there for being a better friend, but I think these are my most important tips based on personal experiences. Finding a group of friends who challenge you, inspire and encourage you is so important for a healthy friendships. Having friends like this are worth keeping, so why not try to be the friend you’d want to have around?

 

 

 

 

 

Why it’s Important to have Goals

I can probably make a giant list of why it’s important to have goals, but today, I’m going to focus on one really important reason. Having goals makes me feel happy!

Recently, I’ve thought about happiness and self-esteem. These two go hand in hand, wouldn’t you agree? If you’re not happy, your self-esteem is most likely low, vise versa. No matter if I’m having a bad day about my body image or if it’s a bad day in general, I forget that there’s way more to self-esteem than solely focusing on body image. I’m not always the most confident person, and sometimes I would consider myself an introvert. But, when I’m asked about both personal and career goals, I feel my face brighten, because I’m always so happy to talk about it. I can literally talk about my short and long term goals  for hours, and I normally get so excited that I forget to slow down when speaking. My sisters have always laughed at me when I talk about something exciting, because without recognizing I begin to speak really fast and end up mumbling, because I forget to enunciate my words.

It’s important to have clear and specific goals, because we can allow ourselves to be interested in whatever the goal may be, and without noticing it makes us happy to know the possibility of accomplishing them. I’ll admit, I’m a pretty self-cautious person. Most people are. But, when talking about my goals I am definitely not self-cautious, and this is something to be happy about!

Have you ever been asked about your goals, and proceeded to talk about them so passionately that you didn’t even worry what someone else thought? It’s a pretty dang good feeling, isn’t it.

So, I’ve been thinking..

What if a way to re-build self-esteem is to focus on the types of feelings we get when speaking about goals? And a good way to do this is to take mental notes of what your body language is saying, how your emotions are, and how it makes you feel to talk about them. What if, the more we positively and passionately we talked about our goals the more self-esteem we create for ourselves. Sure, it may only be one outlet of positive self-esteem, but that’s a big step for someone who has struggled with it. Once we get familiar with these positive feelings again, it will become contagious, and perhaps, we can continue strive to think more positively.

And sometimes, small steps like this take a lot of courage to do, but it is totally possible and WORTH it to love who you are.

A Weekend in the Windy City

Chicago appeals to me more and more after every visit. Whether it’s the clean streets, breathtaking sky line, or the way Lake Michigan hugs the city. I can’t help but fall more in love with the city life.

Coming from a small town, and traveling to larger cities brings a rush of excitement. I’m always up for finding new restaurants to eat at, coffee shops to sip latte’s at, and stores to shop at! There’s just SO much to do here. Luckily, my boyfriend and I are fortunate to have friends who live around Lincoln Park area. This neighborhood is perfect in every way, and I’m obsessed.

We did everything my little feet could do in 3 days. Eating at Chicago’s most famous pizzeria, tasting a variety of macaroons at my favorite cafe, visiting tourist attractions, and everything in between. Here’s a couple of shots that I’m excited to share with you all..

The one thing that makes me feel so alive in the city is the inspiration I get when I visit. There’s so much life in the streets of Chicago, and it’s incredibly contagious.

I feel like anything can happen in Chicago.. Maybe, it’s because of the bold architecture, or Chicago traffic at 5pm, or maybe, it’s the smell of Lake Michigan mixing with hot dogs.. I’m not sure, but I cannot wait for my next visit to the Windy City.

 

An Honest Conversation About Priorities and Relationships

Whatever type of relationship it is, ignore it. What’s more important to you, your relationship or career?  In theory, we like to believe that priorities are simple, even obvious, but they are not.

Wow, this was a challenging question that I had to answer. I somehow felt like the antagonist to my relationship. Am I not paying enough attention to him? Am I toxic to him? I’m finally so content and joyful there’s no way I could handle another heartbreak. It seemed like a downward spiral of anxiety and negative thoughts.

At a very young age I’ve had to work for almost anything that I wanted. My father’s work ethic was basically ingrained in my genes, but if you know me you would know that I set large goals for myself. I’m a neat-freak. I literally think about my career every five minutes. I want to do this, or that, or want to do all three! Sometimes, I forget to slow down.

Being near the end of my first year of college I have realized the exact path I want to be on (how many Freshmen can say that?) By the age of 23 I hope to live in Chicago in a tiny studio apartment in The Loop with my small pup, a boyfriend whose heart is bigger than life, and with a job in Public Relations. I know I have to be honest with myself that life doesn’t always go as planned. But come on, I’m an ambitious woman.

What are my top priorities? I’ve recently feel that if I don’t put my relationships first than I’m a bad girlfriend. But no, this is definitely not true. Women should not feel pressured to put their significant other before themselves. I once read a quote that said, “A lover does not discourage their growth. A lover says, ‘I see who you are today, I cannot wait to see who you become tomorrow”.

This is so freeing for me and should be to all the women who put their significant other in the center of their world. They are not the sun, you are! I am working hard to become a better me, for me before I can be anybody else’s. Shouldn’t it be important to make yourself happy first. That’s not selfish, that’s telling the world that you see your own worth.

I learned that even though I want my career to be my number one, I cannot ignore my boyfriend. But rather, find a balance between my priorities. It’s all about balancing priorities. It seems simple, but I’m learning it’s not. I want to give myself  the best possible life that I can, but I remember that my boyfriend has helped me see my worth, and because of that I feel even more encouraged to pursue my dreams at the age of 18. How freaking lucky of me to have somebody who is okay with my larger than life vision for the future and who supports that and better yet, encourages that.

Many of my friends care more about their relationship than college. To me, college is basically the beginning of my career. Why not have two jobs and an internship in one summer? That sounds like the best summer to me, just getting as close as possible to my career. Even thinking about that I have to remind myself that balance is key.

Balance with my career, family, boyfriend, friends, myself. I cannot feel guilty for the order of my priorities. Even though each priority may not have equal time spent on them, it doesn’t make them any less significant. I’m learning that I can dominate my career while still caring about my relationships with others.

What are some of your top priorities?

 

 

Old Soul; 18 Year Old Body

Urban Dictionary:  A spiritual person whom is wise beyond their years; people of strong emotional stability.

I know what you’re thinking that I shouldn’t Google search urban dictionaries slang definitions, but I’m not panicked because no word in that sentence related to “gray hair” “wrinkles” and “bad style”. Do I resemble an old person? Is my personality of someone from the mid-1800’s? God, I hope not.

My boyfriend’s brother told me the other night at dinner that I have an old soul. I paused, looked at him and laughed a little because I was unsure of that compliment. He backed it up by saying “well you’re not like most 18-year-old girls, and you are really mature and have a good outlook on life”. I smiled again but nervously said thank you. I’m not sure if I believe in coincidences or not, but a week earlier a friend also referred to me as an old soul.

what the heck does this even mean.

I have put way more thought into this new self discovery more than I imagined. But if we’re being honest here then I guess I do gravitate towards the intellectual side of life and from a young age I have been interested in things not appropriate for my age group. In the seventh grade, That’s So Raven was a hit. I enjoyed watching her comical attitude, but I paid close attention to the moral of each episode. Even though I was an original Disney fanatic, I was always more interested in the intellectual side of story lines of these shows. These pursuits have been more meaningful to me as years go on.

If you are a friend of mine today I think it’s fair to say that I’m a very emotional person who feels feelings on many levels. I tend to think a lot.. about everything. Possibly over think many scenarios or weigh all of my options. But I always thought this was just in my nature to care deeply about others and put more on my shoulders.

With more understanding of what this all means. I think being called an old soul makes me more unique than others my age. I try not to get lost in the superficial details, but like to look at the big picture. When having lunch dates with my girlfriends we normally do a routine of drama, gossip, and updates on our lives. Here and there we talk about current events, but I find myself feeling out of sync with the conversations at times because I think and ask in-depth questions about topics. Most of the time they laugh and say “why are you thinking about that?” or the classic, “see this is what I mean, you think so deep about things we can’t follow”.

The term “old soul” never crossed my mind until recently, but I smile at the thought of having more not so real but real experiences than my peers which enables me to give wisdom beyond my years of living. I’m basically Dr. Phil at this point.

As long as I still look like the stylish young woman I am, and can live without Dr Phil’s hairless head and crows feet I’m more than content with my emotional stability and deeper understanding of life.

I’m an old soul, are you?

 

 

Fresh Aromas

Hmm… Coffee, piano melodies, Barnes&Noble..

Finally, midterms were a success (I pray) and I was ready for a break. It was just like the old days.. I smiled, inhaled the scent of espresso beans and opened my newly bought ELLE and Cosmopolitan magazines (aka the Bible), and began reading. Unlike school assignments, I took this read nice and slow and browsed at the vibrant photos too. What was going through my mind? Tranquility? Rest at last? Eh, not so much.

Even though I was content my mind was still buzzing fifty miles an hour and with my newly found obsession (public relations) I wanted to read as much as I can about it. How can I be a PR for Cosmo? How can I be successful? What careers can I do with PR? Major private companies to work for? Nonprofit PR? These are common questions that visit me often.

So, I did what I normally do when fixated on something.. a lot of research. My most recent Google searches: How to be successful in PR? How to create a personal brand? What is a personal brand? How to expose your personal brand? Ah-ha.. And there it was, my little golden ticket to achieving.

“26 Tips for Creating a Powerful Personal Brand Online” (Thank you Google search engine).

I read and read and read and suddenly a big flashing light gleamed in the hollows of my brain. A Blog. That was it- how could I not think of it sooner.

Today marks the first day of a new journey into PR, and I cannot wait to share my experiences with you! So please, stay tuned ..

cosmo