Friday, December 30, 2011

New Years Resolutions + MY FIRST CONTEST

After beginning Mallory In New York in January, I never once thought that it would become anywhere near as successful as it is today. This belief was partly due to the fact that I know knew very little about technology, blogging, and the internet in general. It was also due to the fact that I tend to commit to a million things at once, and then not follow through on them. Or, at least that was true a year ago.

Me, this time last year!
Maybe I'm not giving myself enough credit. In the past year, I went from an ordinary college student who had never interned, lived on her own, or had a job she could be proud of, to becoming an 'over-acheiver', as many have called me throughout the past few months. Since January, I have completed three incredible internships, and I have just began my fourth at a major publication [ELLE!]. Up until April, I was working in a horrible environment [Starbucks], but I finally found the strength to remove myself from the situation and pursue something something I love [Clinique]. And in May, I took the major leap from dorm life to my very own apartment.

Maybe I have grown a little in the past year, but there's always room for improvement. On with the resolutions!:

INTERNSHIP:

Me, a few weeks ago. A few more things have changed than just my hair color!
1. Show your personality. One thing I wish I had done more during my first few internships was show more of my personality. Sure, I was great at churning out snappy blog posts at JoonBug and pitching interesting ideas at Life & Style, but I don't think any of my coworkers or supervisors actually knew me. I've done a bit better this past semester at Nicole Miller. My supervisors know which styles I like from the line, and that I would eventually like to end up at a magazine. Everyone in the office congratulated me when I announced I would be interning at Elle this Spring. It's great to feel included, but like I mentioned above, there's always room for improvement!
2. Make connections. This requires being outgoing enough to remain memorable in a busy industry. I'm an extremely shy person, but I'm gradually becoming much more open.
3. Keep in touch. This is another one of my weaker spots. When I do happen to get along well with someone, I tend to lose touch with them after the internship ends and I'm no longer seeing them on a constant basis. The same thing happens at the end of the semester and with past coworkers. Now, when I meet someone new in the industry, I try to add them on LinkedIn before I have time to lose touch.

SCHOOL:
I'm lucky enough to be at my dream school, but I want to be a better student!
1. Go to class. It may be an obvious one, but I definitely regret the fact that I don't always go to class. I know school should be the number one thing for me right now, but when I spend more time working and interning than I spend at school, its very easy to lose sight of this. My coursework is also extremely simple, so its not like I really need to go to class to learn it. But, attendance is important, so its definitely something I hope to improve on.
2. Buy a planner. With everything I have going on, its very easy to forget about assignments and tests. Like I said, the work isn't too difficult, so I'm usually fine. But, who really needs the extra stress of cramming, especially when it can easily be avoided? Next semester, I'm buying a planner, and I'm actually going to use it!
3. Get more involved.I've been saying since the first semester of college that I was going to get more involved, and, so far, nothing has changed. I want to be a journalist, so next semester, I'm going to make sure to get involved on W27 [FIT newspaper] and ED2010 [the FIT chapter].

WORK:
I've learned a lot at Clinique, but there's still so much more to learn!
1. Don't be late. Again, this should be obvious, but its something I always have trouble with. And, its not like I'm still at Starbucks where I had to be there at 5 AM. There's just no reason for it! This year, I'm making a conscious effort to always be on time, if not early!
2. Practice applying makeup. I have officially mastered the art of matching foundation, but there's still so much more to learn! I must get a million compliments each day on my own makeup, but I'm still not totally comfortable applying it on other people.

BLOG:
1. Blog more often. Remember how often I used to blog? Sometimes I would post up to eight times a day! Of course, life gets busy, and commitments get in the way, but I truly love blogging and I don't want to lose my following!
2. Increase followers by the end of next year. This goal may seem a little high, but by the end of next year, I want to have at least 1000 followers! If I can continually grow my fan base through consistent blogging, outfit posts, and contests, I definitely believe its possible!
I want to write more about my own style!
3. Create a schedule. This is probably the best way to make sure I still have time to blog. I'd love to outline certain days where I'll post about fashion, beauty, and personal posts.
4. Outfit blog. I've probably been saying this for seemingly forever, but I really do ant to start outfit blogging! But first, I need more shoes. And tops. And jackets. And leggings, tights, and stockings. And, I also ant to get back don to a Size 0 or a Size 2, depending on when I feel comfortable.
5. Get more active on Tumblr. I'm not sure if anyone has noticed, but I created Tumblr! I'm still learning more about the community and the platform in general, so any tips would be great. Pretty much, it'll be more up to the moment posts, which my blog will remain  more journalistic. Check it out here!
6. Hold more contests. It seems like everyone is holding contests on their blogs, and it seems like a really great way to attract [and hopefully retain] readers! So, I will begin holding contests once a month. I'll announce them on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook, and right here on my blog. They will end the first Friday of each month. And, of course, once I reach 300, 500, 750, and 1000 followers, the contests ill be bigger and much more often! Scroll down for instructions on how to enter to win a free subscription to Elle.

MYSELF:
1. Develop a signature style. Nicole Richie's signature style is boho-chic. Blair Waldorf's is preppy. Bebe Zeva's is eclectic goth. And Elle Ribera's is pastel. But, what's mine? That's what i want to figure out next year.
Even as little as a weekly trip to Central Park would help me relax!
2. Set aside more time for friends. It really should come as no surprise that I'm extremely focused on my career. But, I would also love to have a social life. Unfortunately, that will always come second to me, but I want to dedicate more time to be with my friends, and hopefully make some new ones.
3. Exercise more. I eat pretty healthy, but I'm not as thin as I should be. With my eating habits and body type, I should look like Elle Ribera, but I don't. And why not? Because I don't exercise nearly enough!
4. Cook more and eat out less. Since college began, my boyfriend and I became notoriously known for going out for sushi five (!) times a week. By anyone's standards, that's A LOT. And, even though we had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed our paychecks, we were left with nothing until the next paycheck came. We've cut down on the eating out considerably within the past few months, but there's still room for improvement. Besides, cooking is not only healthier and less expensive, but it can be a lot of fun!
5. Be more outgoing. As I mentioned above, I'm naturally an extremely shy person. Becoming more outgoing is one of my biggest goals for 2012!
6. Learn to relax. I'm 100% a Type A personality, so I tend to have a lot of trouble hitting the OFF button [as far as work, school, and internships] when I finally have free time, which I don't have a lot of to begin with! Do you know I've only been to Central Park three times since moving to New York last August?! No that I'll be uptown at Elle three days a week, I definitely ant to take more time to explore the area, even if that only means lunch in Bryant Park once a week.

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MY FIRST CONTEST

Win a free subscription to Elle!
Now, onto the fun part! In honor of my new internship at Elle, I am giving away a FREE one-year subscription of the magazine! Here's how to enter:

Required [Same comment, counts as one entry]:
1. Tell me why you LOVE Elle.
2. Follow me publicly via Google Friend Connect. [Leave a link to your blog]

Extra Entries [Separate comments]: 
3. Follow me on Tumblr. [+1]
4. Follow me on Twitter. [+1]
5. Like my Facebook page. [+1]

Simple enough, right? Just remember, all entries get separate comments, except for the first two which must be in the same comment! Please do not forget to leave me a link to your Tumblr and Twitter pages -- It's only fair I follow back! And, let me know where you live. I want to make sure I send you the right edition of Elle!

The contest closes at 12 AM EST on January 6th. Winner will be notified via Twitter and Email (so don't forget to leave me one!) GOOD LUCK!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Internship at Nicole Miller: What I Learned, Loved, and What's Next

Back in August, I announced that I had landed my third internship, and my first internship in Public Relations, at Nicole Miller. [Read: New Job, New Internship, New Goals]. I talked about how excited I was to explore a whole new aspect of the fashion industry, and how I was the youngest intern [again].

Nicole Miller is one of my favorite designers!
This was back in August, after I had only been interning for a few weeks. Now, in mid-December, its been over four months, and I've picked up a few things along the way. Of course, it's only fair of me to share my experiences, so here we go!

Throughout this past semester, I've learned that:
  1. People in fashion are tall. And by this, I'm not referring solely to the models. In the PR department, two of my direct supervisors, as well as Nicole Miller herself, are easily six feet tall in heels. At 5'1" and in an intern position, its extremely easy to feel small [literally and metaphorically] in the office, let alone in the industry. So, instead wearing my Tory Burch flats, I opted for my new Nicole Miller platforms [more about those later!] one day a few weeks ago. And, although I was only 5'5" [at the most], I felt a lot more confident with the extra height. If you are experiencing the same problem, but have trouble walking in heels, try out a pair of wedges or platforms instead!
  2. It's always important to carry around an extra pair of shoes. Although a few extra inches may make you feel more confident, keep in mind that fashion interns do a lot of running in and out of the office, up and down subway steps, and around the city in general. [Or at least I did.] So, if you do choose 'grow' a few inches before arriving at the office tomorrow, make sure to bring an extra pair of comfortable [and portable] flats in your bag! I honestly cannot remember the last time I left my apartment without a pair of ballet flats in my purse.
  3. There is a reason why everyone in the industry is so thin. After an entire semester of working in a busy PR firm, I've learned the hard way why everyone in fashion is so skinny. And, it's not because we're all bulimic [as I previously believed], but because we literally do not have time to eat! Luckily, we have an in-house chef at Nicole Miller, so that definitely helps. But, on the few unfortunate days when the prepared meals contain meat [I'm a vegetarian], I have a lot of trouble finding time to go out and find lunch elsewhere. And, that's not a reflection on Nicole Miller at all-- it's just the industry as whole.
  4. Discount lines are cool. Earlier this year, I very reluctantly identified myself as a brand-whore. Now, six months later, I've grown to love designer brands and take pride in flaunting them [once again], without the constant fear of being perceived as shallow [which, by this point, I'm sure we're all very aware that I am!]. So, imagine my surprise when I found that not only does Nicole Miller have a discount line at JCPenny, but that everyone  in the office is obsessed with it! And, even more shocking, the collection is actually extremely adorable. So adorable, in fact, that I ventured into JCPenny for the first time (!) in my life last month in search of the Nicole by Nicole Miller 'Alexandria' pumps after I saw my boss, her boss, and Nicole Miller herself rocking the booties. The crazy thing is that I get more complements on shoes from a discount line than I ever got on my Tory Burch or Michael Kors pairs. I guess the lesson here is that style if far more important than prices or brand names.
  5. The industry is completely connected. I've heard it a thousand times by now, but I never understood just how true it was until I began interning at Nicole Miller. As you may or may not know, Public Relations offices are responsible for promoting the brand and 'getting the name out there', which means constant communication with stylists, editors, and photographers ho request specific pieces from the line. I finished my summer internship at Life & Style Weekly at the end of August, and I was asked to begin my fall internship at Nicole Miller early, at the beginning of August. So, for that one month, I was at Life & Style on Mondays and Wednesdays, and Nicole Miller on Tuesdays and Fridays. There were days when I would pack up Nicole Miller samples to send to Life & Style, then unpack them at the magazine the next day, send them back to Nicole Miller the following day [after the photoshoot], and check them back into the system at Nicole Miller at the end of the week. Whew.
  6. It's never too late to go back. As I mentioned above, I am the youngest intern at Nicole Miller, as I was at Life & Style, and as I was at JoonBug. And, even though I am indescribably proud of this fact, I'd like to point out that it's really never too late to go back. I've been lucky enough to realize my goals early on in my academic career, albeit much earlier than most students. Throughout my last three internships, I've noticed something a bit strange: Many of my fellow interns have already graduated from college! And, even more, many of them hadn't studied fashion, but instead a completely unrelated subject. After graduation, a few of them realized that they didn't ant to pursue a career in their field of study, so they went on to get experience in an industry that interested them: Fashion! Pretty inspirational, right?
    My experience as a whole has been great, but there are a few things I especially loved:
    My holiday gift: Vibrant Cloud Dress!
    1. The awesome alternative to sample sales. Rather than sell the discounted [but still extremely stylish!] pieces from last season's line to just anyone, they are for sale in a massive closet exclusive to employees, including interns. In my opinion, its an excellent way to encourage employees to wear the company's designs.
    2. The Starbucks on the first floor. It shouldn't come as any surprise, but I am completely addicted to caffeine. That's what 8 months of Starbucks will do to you! So, I was beyond thrilled when I realized that there is a Starbucks in the building. Now, every time I leave the office on an errand, I make sure to pick up a Grande Vanilla Pike on my out. It's an extremely convenient ay to stay energized throughout the day!
    3. How everything is in-house. As opposed to interning at a company that as strictly PR, I chose to intern at one that was in-house. This way, rather than focusing on 8+ different brands, I could instead become a semi-expert on just one specific label. At Nicole Miller, PR isn't the only aspect of the business that is in-house. So is the sales team, the bridal team, and the design team. I can't count the number of times I've seen Nicole Miller herself around the office!
    4. The wonderful PR team. Before you say anything, let me assure you that I'm not including this point to get on anyone's good side. I've heard horror stories about crazy bosses, tasks, and internships in general, but one thing I've particularly loved about my experience here is that they treat all of the interns so nicely! Last week, I was invited to the holiday party, and my boss gave me a dress [that I was completely obsessed with since AUGUST] as a holiday gift. How Sweet!
    It's been about four and a half months since I began my internship at Nicole Miller, and even though my semester has already ended, I've decided to stick around until the end of my winter break in late-January. My internship here has been an amazing experience, but I don't think I want to pursue Public Relations as a career path. It's an extremely interesting field, but at the same time, I'm much more interested in the end result of our efforts, which brings me to my next point...

    So far, I'm LOVING Elle!
    After weeks of sprinting to Conde Nast, Hearst, and the Time and Life Building between class, Nicole Miller, and Clinique multiple times a week for interviews, I'm beyond trilled to announce that I've finally found the perfect internship for next semester! This spring, I will be interning at none other than ELLE MAGAZINE!

    Actually, I've decided to begin my internship early. Last week was actually my first week, and, no surprise, I'm the youngest intern. But, I'm starting to believe that age really is just a number. After all, I got this internship based on what's on my resume, not my birth certificate!