The Week: Networking Madness

Welcome to my new segment — a delightfully themed post on the best reads and happenings of my week. Given my recent dedication to increase the quality of my reading, I thought this would be good practice. Enjoy!

(Also, a weekly segment means I will be writing more. Hooray for keeping my blog updated! It is not an easy thing to accomplish, trust me.)

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This week is all about networking and job hunting. I’ve been traveling back and forth from Boston and New York City in search of some awesome job opportunities and I have to say, networking is exhausting, but completely worth it. Here’s what was happening on my end of the job hunt season:

1. Last Friday, I attended the New York City Startup Job Fair for the second time. It was crowded, busy, and a little overwhelming. While it was hard to get around, I admit that it’s a great way to stay on your toes and look sharp. If you want to impress anyone, attending a startup fair tests your knowledge on industry skills and trends. A great reason to network and attend job fairs.

If you’re looking to work in a startup, I highly recommend this one. Make sure to follow their Twitter account for updates: @nycstartupjobs

NYC Startup Job Fair

Packed.

2. I’ve recently become a huge fan of The Daily Muse. They’re a great job hunting resource and the job board is top notch. Again, if you’re interested in tech and startups, make sure to use them to your advantage. I especially love their newsletter.

3. Todd Defren, CEO at SHIFT Communications, gave Millemials a kick in the ass with this open letter. Like so many other undergrads applying for jobs, I took this one personally — but in a good way. While nervously reading the article, I did a mental checklist for everything I had done right according to Todd’s standards. Luckily, it looks like I’m on the right track.

One scary quote to take from this: “Your cover letter should be flawless and interesting. Grammatical errors are perfectly acceptable—so long as you don’t mind if we immediately trash your letter.”

Ouch.

4. On a final note, I’m hosting an event tonight with my fellow organizer and blogger Melanie Cohn. It’s our second event for the group we co-founded called Young Women in Digital. As of last night, the event, named “Marketing and Mingling”, was entirely sold out! I am so excited and proud that we managed to create a group that appeals to so many women.

If you work in marketing/digital/PR in Boston, join us for our next event! You can follow us on Twitter using #YWDBoston🙂

Young Women in Digital Marketing and Mingling

Best Advice Ever: Read a Book (Or Two)

I attend a lot of networking events. And at these events, there is always that smart and talented group of individuals (typically the speakers or panel members) whom I would love to emulate. Despite the initial awkwardness of meeting them and forcing myself to ask “smart” questions, I always manage to say hello before I run off to the nearest cash bar.

Talking to smart people require liquid courage. (Via  Tumblr)

Networking.
Liquid Courage Required.
(Via Tumblr)

At these awkward events, at least one student will inevitably ask the following question: “What is the best advice you could give to someone like me?” (as in someone with absolutely-no-experience. Thanks communications degree!)

As you can probably guess, reading is the first thing many of these highly accomplished men and women suggest. Now, I was quite the bookworm in high school and for the longest time I really thought I had great reading habits. But, after evaluating my daily reading intake, I realized that most of what I read was forgettable and, therefore, useless. Ouch.

In order to be smarter, healthier, and more creative — which are just a few of the benefits of reading — I’ve decided to purge myself of all those meaningless things I consume online. Mainly anything that comes in the form of HuffPost slideshows, Mashable How-Tos, and, the most evil of them all, BuzzFeed articles on Beyoncé.

Just like any famous marathon runner trains by eating healthy and exercising religiously, I’m going to “train” to be a better writer by reading not only for pleasure, but for advancement.

And, to celebrate, I’m heading to Harvard Square this weekend to buy a brand new book. I figured the location would set the right mood for thought-provoking reading. Watch out y’all, this BU biddie is about to take on the marketing and business world!

Lilo and Stitch Book in Face GIF

Take that, Harvard. (via Tumblr)

Below are a few book choices as well as some of my favorite sites. I’ve also started a Delicious profile to keep track of the articles I read (you can see them on the sidebar to the right as well). Feel free to follow me or make any recommendations!

Books — Which one should I try next?

Clean by David Sheff

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Ann Fowler

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Once Upon a Secret by Mimi Alford

The Onion Field by Joseph Wambaugh

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Favorite Reads on the Daily:

Frugal Traveler: For travel inspiration you can afford.

Summer Tomato: Healthy living, the right way.

Longreads: Though-provoking stuff. Not for leisure.

The Onion: Always on-point and so much better than Thought Catalog for a dose of comedy.

Smitten Kitchen: Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful food.

HowStuffWorks: Everything on here is so fascinating.

DesignTripper: Amazing homes you can rent.

Stone Soup: Making a quick dinner has never been easier.

NPR: Good writing and even better podcasts. Love to listen to them while I’m chillin’ at home.

Marketing Charts: Daily dose of interesting stats.

The Big Picture: I recently became a fan of this blog. Barry Ritholtz talks about “The Big Picture” in ways I can understand it — a lifesaver.

The Etsy Blog: For pretty things.

SEOmoz Blog: An absolute must for my internship. Learned the “link juice” basics from their guide.

Distilled: The excel for SEO’s tutorial is awesome. Lots of solid tips and tricks.

Personal Branding vs. Writing: Why I Blog

Pen and Paper

Cute and inspiring by Flickr user mrsdkrebs

A few months ago, someone interviewed me on the topic of job hunting, specifically after college. It was an interesting conversation that lasted much longer than I expected (probably because I was rambling the entire time), but I vividly remember one question that I wanted to share with you all.

“Why do you blog? Is it a way to get yourself out there? To brand yourself?”

“No, I blog because I like to write. Because I want to improve on it!”

I want to make it clear: “Personal Branding” is a phrase I have banned. As a senior in college with meager job prospects in a terrible market, you would think blogging would be my “way in.” But, I like to think that I write without having ulterior motives. Because really, what exactly is the point of branding yourself if there is no tangible outcome? Here are some of the main differences I see between blogging for a personal brand and blogging just to… well, blog: Continue reading

My 5 Favorite Marketing Tools for the New Year

Internet Tools

Via Flickr user steve_lodefink

I am one of those lucky college students who has an amazing internship. Everyday, I get to work on different projects, I meet new people, and I build on skills that will be useful for a real job (sorry BU, just knowing MS Office doesn’t cut it). That being said, I’ve mixed and matched quite a few different “tools” over the past year to see what works best and helps me cut time without cutting quality. If you do anything with content, you know that creating a buzz-worthy post always takes longer than expected. And if you do anything SEO related, you know that keeping track of contacts, websites and partnerships is a real pain in the ass.

If your work in the marketing world includes content, SEO, or social media (which if it doesn’t now, it will at some point), I highly recommend these 5 tools. Really though, they are lifesavers and make my everyday so much more enjoyable. Continue reading

Simple Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Soup Close Up

Over the summer, I cooked almost every day. I loved coming home from work, taking a look at my full fridge, and cooking for at least an hour. Since the start of school, however, that nice little routine has come to a halt. I’m too busy, too tired, or not even at home.

Luckily for me, a few days ago I started to get a small itchy feeling in the back of my throat. That ‘tingling’ turned into a few coughs…and I am now officially experiencing full-blown coughing attacks. Just lovely. Well, thanks to my new sickness, I am back in the cooking grind and started this past weekend with some simple homemade chicken soup. Continue reading