During my time spent studying abroad at Jefferson University in Philadelphia I am part of a fashion journalism class. This class has been absolutely amazing so far in terms of learning the history of journalism, tips on how to improve our writing and the chance to meet and talk to some amazing people.
This is all thanks to my amazing professor, Elizabeth Wellington who is a fashion columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Elizabeth has some amazing contacts and she was able to get a few of them into class to tell us about themselves, their careers and also give some tips on the right and wrong things to do throughout the beginning of our careers.
The first person who we got to hear from was Jaimi Blackburn, who is the Director of Public Relation at Fearless Restaurants and has previously owned her own company, Jaimi Blackburn Public Relations.
The second people we heard from were Mary K. Dougherty and her intern, Kylie Freeston. Mary K. is an extremely successful self made entrepreneur who owns and operates Nicole Miller Philadelphia boutiques and also her wholesale and consulting firm, Mary K. Doughtery and Associates.
We also had the pleasure of hearing from James Zeleniak who is the Principal of Punch Media, which is a full-service boutique agency that specialises in PR, marketing, media management, events, consulting and brand development.
It was amazing hearing about where they all started and how they managed to be as successful as they are today but the main thing I took away from it all were their tips on having a successful career:
- ALWAYS pick up the phone and call to hear about the status of you application on a job you applied for. This shows that you’re keen and really hungry for the job – employers love this! A quote from Mary K. that stuck with me when on this topic was ‘ you choose to not believe this and you’re also then choosing to not be at the top of the pile”.
- When applying for jobs that require a lot of work on social media, the employer is 99% of the time always going to be checking YOUR social media pages to see how you act and come across as a person. In order to look good, things such as how important it is not to buy followers came up – these followers aren’t genuine and don’t give you any real credibility! It’s sometimes pretty easy to tell if someone has bought followers when you look at their followers to likes on photos ratio.
- You are never going to get hired by a company simply because they like you. You must show that you are going to be an asset for the company in every single way. Yes, you have a gorgeous smile but sadly it’s not going to get you the job if you have nothing else behind it.
- Always put down your work experience when applying for jobs. Work experience shows that you are a hard worker, you take your own initiative and you are independent by being out, making your own money. So even if you don’t have any work experience other than working in a cafe when you were 16, PLEASE put it down on your CV, just make sure you let them know that you were the best damn waitress or waiter that cafe had ever seen!
- When you finally get that dream job you were chasing, don’t let your employer down. You’ve came as far as to tell them about all that you’re capable of, so just make sure you can fall through with it all. This includes things like not being late to work, not slacking off when given a task and especially not being offended by any task given. Everyone has to start from somewhere – who cares if you’re on the coffee runs everyday right now, you WILL move up the career chain if you show you’re dedicated!
All of these points made really opened my mind and made me even more determined and confident when I think about life after University. Hopefully they’ll help some of you too!