Be a Super Intern

So you have reached the end of your torturous 3-7 year journey completing your degree, you have grown into your big boy pants (and outgrown non elastic pants). Most graduates struggle with finding a job straight out of studies, and the key is to set yourself apart from the crowd. Find you niche skill and exploit it.  Landing your first internship can be a huge relief, finally your time has arrived to begin the next phase in your life.

I myself completed 4 years of study and in my final honours year I concurrently completed my Internship (well I was lucky enough to complete my studies at night- boy did that save me a year). It was challenging trying to be a completely impressive employee at day and ace my finals at night. But once it was done, it was a liberating feeling, and I was prepared to take on the next challenge…

Heres some tips that kept me in check during the transition period

  1. Be Profession-ale

Internships can either come with a pay check or without one. Nonetheless it is still a stepping stone, and if you find yourself in one you will have to earn your experience from the ground up. *started from the bottom no we here – align your goals to sing this song proudly one day* don’t be late, don’t take extended breaks and most definitely don’t complain if you are asked to complete a coffee run – there is no one below the intern. Get used to it. Once you have proven yourself, there will quickly be a newbie to replace you.

  1. What threads to dread

Most likely internships are filled with severe multitasking, relentless supervision and copious amounts of running around to impress every being, to the point where you say “offcourse I can do it for you” – when your colleague wants to take the afternoon off. And duh ofcourse you do! So dress in a professional manner, alter it to the companies culture. Don’t wear 6 inch heels on the daily, as you will either a) face plant into the pot plant when you are carrying five boxes of photocoping material b) walk with a limp because you had to run to through 7 different buildings in one hour and for heavens sake no you can’t take your shoes off for a break! Or c) your manager will think you are impractical at the fact that you thought you could sit all day in your Steve Madden. Also stay clear of clown makeup- leave it to the circus acts- its more their field.

Keep it simple and classy, blazers can always dress up a plain tee and some skinny formal pants, paired with some wedges or smaller heels and you good to go.

  1. Be happy to be here

Co-workers feed off the enthusiasm and energy a young intern brings to the team. Your attitude towards learning will become infectious to those all around you and that will contribute to an improved workforce. There is nothing like a fresh mind, asking questions to keep a team on their feet. Don’t disappoint, suck it up and BE HAPPY TO BE HERE.

  1. Spatial boundaries

Eew Don’t hover. Learn the etiquette of the company. Nobody wants to be stuck with baby sitting the intern all year. Don’t forget that they still have their own jobs to do.

  1. Where, when and how?

Adapt to your surroundings, discover when it’s the right times for lunch, how does a shared fridge work and whats acceptable behaviour during your breaks. I’m pretty sure opening up a lunch box of sardines for a late breakfast is going to digest well.

-M

 

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‘Rather charming my Dear’ Decorating for two

Whether you are shacking up your bestie or a convenient random , decorating for two comes along with numerous aces and ploys.

A couple of friends of mine are moving in together soon and as we brain stormed over pinterests flawlessly chic light fitting ideas, I oooooggggled at the piles of gorgeous fresh linen, pots in boxes and chic colour schemes flushed through my head (particularly soft teal and copious amounts of crisp white).

 I found myself mentally redecorating room after room and reminiscing the past 7 years of my life rooming with my ‘boetie’ , after which I recently trailed off into the distance to wed my bestie (we still have some boxes lurking at us at night). Through it all, I have picked up on a few tips that make living together ‘rather charming my dear’ than atrocious.

House mates and even the best of friends catch themselves arguing about girl VS boy habitual antics; toilet seat up or down, toothpaste splatters and for goodness sake replace the empty toilet roll! or who is going to wash the dishes that night. Thus it is advisable to swot the person you are living with and comprehend their mannerisms – as some of them can be compromised and others will turn you blue in the face for the number of times you have to repeat the same thing *blankstare *slapface over and over again.

Picking your battles means they will pick theirs too.

ROOMIES

Slim to none two people have the exact same taste in décor, style and ambiance. So making some ‘home ground’ so speak means GET ON THE SAME PAGE. If you cant seem to agree on design in a communal space, agree to disagree and go neutral with personal elements of each personals pizazz. You will always have your own room to tackie-fie. Make your expectations known. Non comprisable items need to be discussed upfront. Head on, before you progress any further.

DESIGNATE AREAS for each person to be the design head. That way you can work your magic, by blending both styles into one.

That being said. Keeping it SIMPLE will always remain the winner, low maintenance for shared spaces is courteous and not tedious for other house guests.

BE A GOOD ROOMIE, whether is cooking a home cooked meal (or grabbing some Great take out if your skills are average behind the stove) or doing a load of washing, it shows your vigorous involvement within a home. Your roomie will love you for it!

No doubt there will be plenty of sacrifices made in the shared spaces like the living room, dining room, and kitchen. So if you feel hushed creatively, let your personal style sheen through in your bedroom. Right now, its your space to embrace, your character and you can feed your soul.

Once you move in with your hubby / wife, this will no longer apply (bye bye, chic mademoiselle bedding and 100 face products on display…)

– M

 

Tips to impress: Interview Basics

It all starts out like this… “Welcome, please take a seat and relax, we just want to get to know you a bit better .” *Choke maybe you believe them (amateur) and they proceed to verbally decapitate you, which results in bullets of sweat, nervous abbreviated answers trying to remember your WINNING characteristics until the torture is over.

Lets see what we can do to help you prepare as much as humanly possible, for what seems like agony for many across the world.

  1. Print out copies of your CV the day before. NOT THE DAY OF.  If you are spending the 15 minutes just before your interview standing in a long, anomalous smelling queue, waiting to print out copies of your CV, realising you actually had five spelling mistakes that is now haunting you. Then you are definitely not in the bathroom at the coffee shop or in the car park calmly applying a final layer of finishing powder, wiping down you sweaty palms and putting your Game Face on. Also: recruiters see an enormous amount of CVs, for goodness sake – MAKE A SUMMARY and spare them the turmoil.
  2. Timing is everything. Rushing through urgent work or meetings at your current job, stressing that you will never make it to your dream job interview on time, leaves no room for calm and practical you! Running around in high heels, cursing yourself, that the traffic chose to ‘do this to you’ and spilling coffee on your suit isn’t cute. Plan your work load, tell your manager in advance that you will be off (either at the dentist or really at an interview if it’s the final stages) and work in traffic time. You will thank me later.
  3. But if it’s in an office building, don’t show up like 30 minutes early.Otherwise you’ll be sitting in the reception area anxiously, your interviewer will feel rushed or ignore you completely (awkwies) as you witness your competition confidently exit the room, and you proceed to pee break number three.
  4. Get all your details and triple check.I know. It’s so basic it is stupid. But check the address, building name and room number several times. So much time can be wasted ending up in the wrong place at the wrong time and worst of all bumping into your interviewer on the other side of the building asking for directions. Be diligent and calm and ask questions to reception and security staff – that’s your ONLY safe area.
  5. No matter how informal and non-corporate the company is, don’t underestimate.Yes, we may be applying for a job in a trendy, pre twenty something, where coworkers sit around in bean bag chairs and head out happy hour EVERY Friday with the boss. And yes, the interviewer may be around your age. But that does not mean you are allowed to rock up in jeans and flats, spreading your last club jol? This isn’t brunch with your betches. Put on some heels, a jacket and prepare yourself to impress your interviewer, because you definitely want to be able to work yourself up to sitting on your cushionie bean bag chair job one day.
  6. Do your research on the company and the interviewer beforehand.You should know next to everything about the place you’re applying at. And if you know who’s going to interview you, definitely LinkedIn-stalk them. You might know people in common, which would help you out.
  7. Make sure you’re following the company’s Twitter/ LinkedIn, Facebook.Or any other social media presence they have. They’ll notice if you follow them the moment you leave the interview.
  8. You love this company more than anything you’ve ever loved, including (but not limited to) Chocolate, Greys Anatomy and of course Happy hour. If you don’t look eager, they won’t know you are eager. Show yourself and you can remain YOU when you land the job! You are SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW.
  9. Treat the interview sort of like a brainstorming meeting you’d have after you’ve been hired.Discuss how to improve the company along the lines of what your interviewer is looking for — it will illustrate what you can bring to the table that other people can’t, and show him/her that you’re bursting with ideas.
  10. Don’t ramble.If the interviewer asks you an open-ended question (for instance, the dreaded “So tell me about yourself!”) he/she is aiming to discover how you operate in an unstructured environment. Here, you can refer to a popular interview hack called the STAR Technique.
    Situation:Open with a brief description of the Situation and context of the story (who, what, where, when, how).
    Task: Explain the Task you had to complete highlighting any specific challenges or constraint (eg deadlines, costs, other issues).
    Action: Describe the specific Actions that you took to complete the task. These should highlight desirable traits without needing to state them (initiative, intelligence, dedication, leadership, understanding, etc.)
    Result: Close with the result of your efforts. Include figures to quantify the result if possible
  11. Don’t bullshit. Point. No need for explanation.
  12. Be careful with your body language.While, say, hair-twirling or suggestively dragging a finger along your mama seta’s is obviously out, there are smaller nervous habits that you should be avoiding too. Leg-jiggling, for one thing. Even nodding too much as he/she is speaking — which is more common for women than men — should be avoided. It’s irritating, and it shows that you are nervous.
  13. Encounter that farewell awkward BUT firm sweaty hand shake and send follow-up thank you emails to everybody you met with.

– M

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Style it. Live it. Be it.

Rachel Zoe gets me.

So often one speaks endlessly in an attempt to explain themselves, reaffirm who they are, what they do and being ‘in your face’ so to speak, can be noisy and crowded. Who says we need it? Why not be comfortable with who we are as individuals- simply and silently. It clothes us, so let it adorn each personality and mood as we grow into the many phases of our beings.

Lets Admire, encourage and compliment, it alters every perception and lends to evolution.

– M