Leap of Faith

Recently I’ve had the chance to pick up John D. Krumboltz’s book “Luck Is No Accident” for work purposes. Whereas a major portion of the book speaks on making the most out of happenstance in our lives, it touches base on a lot of alternate yet important messages that I wished to share. In particular, I wished to share a quote by Garrison Keillor.

 

“Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.”

 

This quote struck a chord with me; I found it to be both meaningful and relevant to my present life. A lot of the time, we’re given external pressures from peers, teachers, and parents to figure out “what we want to be” and “where we want to go”. From kindergarten and all throughout high school, we’re expected to put a definitive label to what we want our futures to be. The reality is there’s no way of setting things down in stone when it comes to determining our future. It’s rare that what we wanted to be in kindergarten is what we end up becoming post-University. Even during the time we’re in university, so many things factor in to the final decision of what we want to be. The people we meet, the professors who teach, the stories we hear…all of these mould us to be more open thinkers with broadened horizons. Accompanied by these broadened horizons are a vast set of opportunities that could ultimately change the direction we’re headed by 180 degrees. This is why I appreciate Garrison Keillor’s quote. It promotes a different attitude to the one we’ve been carrying – one in which we feel obligated to follow in a set path from start to finish. Instead of thinking that our happiness, luck, or success depends on fulfilling all the future plans and visions we made previously, we should be thinking that the happiness, or “luck” that we have, essentially depends on the way we carry ourselves in the present. That in appreciating what we already have, our eyes may eventually be opened and we may realize it was the best thing we had all along. Our youth is a lot shorter than we perceive it to be, and it is during this time that we should be exploring the range of possibilities open to us.

 

Like the book teaches, it’s all right to make mistakes. Taking that leap of faith, without knowing the outcome, is what contributes to making life so much more interesting. Predictability can ensure comfort, but it doesn’t ensure happiness. We can make any amount of plans, but those plans aren’t always guaranteed to come to fruition. Sometimes we’re so focused on bringing about the future that we lose sight of what we have in the present; come time that we arrive in the future, we may realize too late that what we had was really what we enjoyed the most. In essence, I believe that the most important thing is to enjoy ourselves and to allow for a bit of self-exploration while we’re in our youth. The decisions we make are important, but we shouldn’t allow these decisions to tie us down and become stagnant thinkers. A bit of flexibility, open-mindedness, and keeping our options open can bring about more happiness than we could’ve ever imagined had we stayed put. Certainly if all our plans for the future work out, then that can bring us the most happiness as well. However, should our plans not work out quite like what we expected, then we shouldn’t fall to despair, but rather look to enjoying the process and appreciate the experiences that we acquire.  Who knows – what we’ve previously avoided might actually turn out to be that which we enjoy the most, and that cannot be known, unless we take that leap of faith. 

Isabelle Lam

University of Alberta

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Spotlight on Indra Nooyi

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Indra Nooyi, current CEO of PepsiCo for almost a decade, is a prominent businesswoman who has achieved great success through hard work and dedication. Having grown up in and attending college and business school in India, she came to America in 1978 to attend school at Yale. After joining PepsiCo in 1994, she has been there ever since as she has worked her way up the ranks towards the top, becoming CFO in 2001, and eventually CEO in 2006. She has become one of the most successful businesswomen across the world. Since 2001, Pepsi’s annual revenues have risen 72%, with net profit more than doubling. Her confidence and composure both in and out of the workplace is a reminder of how much of a difference women can make in a business world that only a few decades ago was particularly dominated by men.

When asked about what it means to be a woman leader, Nooyi responded, “While being a woman influences my approach to leadership – just as being a parent, an immigrant and a sports fan affects how I view the world – it is not what defines my approach to leadership. But I do believe that being a woman has helped me develop a unique, adaptive approach to leadership that is critical in today’s world of rapid change.” For her, she goes on to say, her unique approach to leadership involves leading with open eyes, open ears, an open mind, and an open heart. In this day and age, it is essential for companies to adapt to a changing world and come up with new, innovative ways to make progress. To Nooyi, women in business are an essential part of any successful company, helping bring in unique ideas and adaptive approaches that benefit the company in a number of ways. On women in business , she said “Women in leadership makes good business sense. Results of the surveys show that companies having more women in their boards and as leaders achieve superior performance both in financial terms and in other aspects.”

She has fostered an era of social change by trying to help other women, and other minorities, rise up the ladder. She has created the Women’s Inspiration Network, an online community backed by Nooyi to support gender equality and where women can learn from each other.

Additionally, one of Nooyi’s goals is to have a workforce that closely reflects the demographics of the consumer in order to better understand them and satisfy their needs. Currently, Pepsi has 33% of their board members as women in the US, so Nooyi stresses there is a continual push for continually raising that number to be more equal.

In recent weeks, there have been talks of a potential merger between PepsiCo and snack-food giant Mendelez. This is exciting because the CEO of Mendelez, Irene Rosenfeld, is also a woman and they have crossed paths in the past briefly. The merger could potentially be very beneficial for the two companies, but also would make for a great headline in the continual push for having more women in business.

 
Perrin Judd
Tufts University
 

Leaning: Forward or Backward

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“We will not get to equality in the workplace until we get to equality in the home. Full Stop. Will not happen anywhere in the world”- Sheryl Sandberg said at the end of her discussion with PwC Chairman, Bob Mortiz on Tuesday.

As soon as she said that, Bob Mortiz followed with “I have a great need to make sure we are not generalizing too much.”

In one aspect, Mortiz’s statement is forward-thinking. In another aspect, I see it as something that is moving us backwards in this revolution that Sheryl has help reignite with her book Lean In.

Leaning in, you can go forward or backwards. If you dig a little deeper, you’ll see why.

 

FORWARD

How can what Mortiz said help move us forward? It helps us realize that achieving equality in the workplace goes beyond just achieving equality in the home, to other places like the classroom.

Let’s look a little closer at what Sheryl said. Here’s what she said rephrased: “If we do not get to equality in the home, then we will not get equality in the workplace.”

Not only does Mortiz reaffirm Sheryl’s original statement that I rephrased above, he also simultaenously pushes back on the idea that “if we get equality in the home, then we will get equality in the workplace.”

After hearing the original statement, I initially assumed that equality in the workplace can be achieved through equality in the workplace alone. This assumption is misleading once you look harder at the issues at hand.

Some of the issues that continue to hold women back in the workplace (according to Sheryl) include:

1. Confidence

One of Sheryl’s biggest concerns is that women have notably less self-confidence in their ability. Studies have shown that men, on average, tend to overestimate while women underestimate their abilities. Lower self-confidence negatively affects a woman’s willingness to take risks in her career and stagnates potential growth in the workplace.

2. Leadership- Ambition Gap.

When asked the question “Do you want to lead?,” more boys answer yes than girls at every age level after junior high. Unless we close this gap in the desire to lead, we can not close the gap in leadership in our companies.

Kelly Azevedo, founder of She’s Got Systems, “The Unspoken Rules that Silence Women in Leadership,” provides insight on why equality in the classroom is also necessary to understanding why women lack confidence and do not want to lead. One reason women have lower confidence is due societal backlash that begins in the classroom. Azevedo notes that the social stigmatization for having strong opinions is even stronger since young girls have not earned any type of career success to buffer the backlash. Within the classroom, girls condition themselves to stay silent in fear of potential backlash.

The leadership-ambition gap also exists in the realm of the classroom specifically in group projects. Azevedo discusses how girls tend to have to carry the grade of their classmate in group projects, and how only girls ever ask to do the project alone. In spite of girls’ attempts to get others to do their own work, girls usually end up carrying their burden anyways.What may drive girls away from wanting to be leaders is that the prospect of having to overwork or the idea of failing as a leader.

The bottom line: Equality in the classroom should not be overlooked. Going forward for future generations, it needs to be a higher priority in addition to equality in the home. Like Sheryl has said with institutional reform, it is not enough alone to have parents teaching kids. It must also start from the bottom up with young girls and boys learning and experiencing equality in the classroom to carry with them in the workplace and society.

 

BACKWARD

So, how was comment backwards? If you watch the video (53:41), you’ll see that Mortiz was joking about Sheryl’s comments on needing to have equal expectations for men to do as much for the family as women do.The audience and Sheryl both laughed at this remark.

While I understand that the comment was in good jest, the fact is what Sheryl was a strong opinion. Unfortunately, laughing at something somebody says with conviction undermines how seriously people will take it. And by laughing at the comment, it reinforces the idea it’s okay to laugh at the idea of men having to do equally as much as what women do for their households.

When Sheryl asked what PwC was doing to lean in, PwC chairman, Bob Moritz, explained that by calling out and bringing attetion to the gender bias, employees have now been given permission to openly talk and push back against it. Yet, even as we opnely talk about it, we continue simulatenously reinforce it.

Azevedo points out that it is conflicting messages like this or contradictory pieces of advice such as “speak up but don’t be pushy” or “lead with confidence but don’t contradict your boss” that make being a woman leader so challenging.

As Azevedo said, being a woman leader in business is like learning how to drive. Just like driving, there’s not one right way– we have to make our own path. We’re bound to make a few turns and get lost, but sometimes that’s the only way we can experience it.

 

Kristie Moy

University of Virginia

 

Azevedo’s article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/yec/2013/07/16/the-unspoken-rules-that-silence-women-in-leadership/

 

Pretty Little People-Pleasers

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“I can’t tell you the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”  –Ed Sheeran

Looking back on my upbringing, I now recognize that I was constantly subject to the conditioning of societal norms from the very beginning – we all are, every day. One of those norms was gender-specific, and it was being a helpful, agreeable little girl. If you consider yourself a generally nice person that goes out of your way for others and avoids conflict, you probably fall into this category. Though the days of outright sexism and housewives are fading away, a diluted version of the same idea remains: females are expected to be agreeable, and more so than our male counterparts. But wait – being sweet and helping others is supposed to be good, right? Sure, but our good nature can easily be stretched to a detrimental extent. 

Now let’s fast-forward to real life. After I did some research, it turns out that that societal conditioning as a pleasant little girl is coming back to haunt us in our adult life. Here’s the secret: we say ‘yes’ too much. It was adorable as a child, but it can seriously cost us at this age in every sphere of our lives – professional, social, and personal. 

1. Women earn less than men per dollar because they don’t initiate salary negotiation. 

I don’t want to use this post to harp on the fact that women earn less per dollar than men. It’s a sad fact, but we now have to consider why it’s true: because women do not initiate negotiation. It’s actually been proven. Whenever we are offered a great full-time position, the societal conditioning kicks in and we immediately accept and thank the offerer. Before accepting graciously, however, women tend to miss out on the crucial step of playing hardball and talking salary.

2. Being a people pleaser will lead to weight gain.

Whoa, where did that come from?! Actually, it’s from this study. Basically, people pleasers feel the need to make others comfortable when they’re eating, so they eat too. This includes occasions when they’re not hungry or the food is unhealthy (i.e., Superbowl watching parties, office gatherings, etc). However, we do so at the expense of our waistlines. 

3. You are more subject to manipulation and disrespect.

Unfortunately, not every average Joe(lle) will be as nice or helpful as you are. In fact, when your answer is always a chipper yes, people begin to expect you to yield to them. UCLA psychology professor Dr. Marion Jacobs says that, you’re simultaneously “training someone how to treat you and training them not to respect your opinion.” This applies in all environments – at work, at home, or out with friends.

There we have it, a startling list of the implications of being a people pleaser. Now that we see how it costs us in all aspects of our life, what can we do about it? Here’s a more positive, proactive list:

1. Cut down on your passive verbal clutter.

People pleasers tend to ask for things like this: “I know it’s really short notice, and I’m sure you’re really busy… It’s just that Johnny’s soccer game got moved up, and Alec is working late on this new project, so I was wondering if you could help me [request].” Avoid the long justifications and explanations and begin your requests with ‘I would like’ or ‘I feel.’ Adjusting your body language so it’s less passive and more active will also make sure your message is taken more seriously.

2. Change your default “yes!” answer.

Instead, it should be something like, “Let me think about it and get back to you later.” Spontaneously adding major assignments to your to-do list means you’ll have to begrudgingly deal with the consequences on your own time and dime. You’ll end up resenting the person who asked for putting the burden on you – even though it was you that heaped it on your own shoulders. Responding this way gives you the physical and emotional space you need to make decisions with clarity. Just politely get back to them after considering your own schedule.

3. Get over the squirming feeling when you say “no.”

After glancing at that jam-packed schedule, the answer will sometimes be ‘no.’ And that’s okay. What’s not okay is the major internal discomfort you feel when you think about turning the person down. That’s normal, and it’s just proof that you’re a kind person. This takes will-power and time, so take it slow. Expressing your honest feelings and fielding possible conflict is vulnerable and scary for anyone. Recognize when you’re doing it, and know that you’re ultimately acting in your best interests.

There’s a little talk about how women are inherently less _____ than men, but I reject that. If we are really going to strive toward equality across the board, the only way we get there will be by demanding respect, not gently requesting it with a cherry on top. There is a fine line between feminine delicateness and professional graciousness. Like all things, it’s a balancing act – knowing when to be accommodating and when you can’t compromise. The million dollar question all along has been why women don’t get just as much as men. It turns out, a major reason was because we just had to ask for it. Who knew? ♦

 

Rachel Julie Huynh

The University of Texas at Austin

 

More Than One Bottom Line

I recently watched a TED Talk delivered by Charmian Gooch, co-founder of NGO watchdog Global Witness. TED describes Gooch as an “anti-corruption activist”—and that is exactly what Global Witness does, investigating and uncovering the blights of corruption and conflict.

TED video link: http://www.ted.com/talks/charmian_gooch_meet_global_corruption_s_hidden_players.html

Using specific examples of countries like Equatorial Guinea, Gooch exposes the governmental corruption tied to conflict, inequality, and environmental degradation, and pronounces how that corruption is associated with global financial institutions. In a powerful statement, she asserts that the “engine of corruption is driven by our international banking system, by the problem of anonymous shale companies, by the secrecy we have afforded big oil, gas, and mining operations, and most of all, by the failure of our politicians to back up their rhetoric, and do something really meaningful and systemic to tackle this stuff.” Corruption has multiple implications for the people, the system, and the environment; and it also stems from multiple roots.

While Gooch discussed corruption in a globalized context and transparency laws, I was struck by how interconnected private and public systems are on a regional, national, and international scale. She hinted at a concept that I am generally fixated on: how nonprofit organizations, public policy, and private corporations can work together to deliver profitable and socially responsible results.

Too often we get wrapped up in our own bubbles. Business leaders stay on Wall Street while activists stick to K Street. We criticize our politicians for not reaching across the aisle, but the entire system—not just government—is damaged by self-isolation. Development that is sustainable and profitable, good for the people and for the planet, can only be made through conversation and cooperation.

It is great to see female leadership (and leadership, period) in creating solutions to society’s most challenging issues, like corruption. Charmian Gooch is one example, but the approach illustrated by this NGO watchdog is not the only way to go about it. Global Witness and the intersection of international banks, government, and NGO affairs are just one case of how the private and public sector intertwine.

There are private sector solutions to problems that nonprofits want to solve. There are policies that are good for CEOs and average Joes, for entrepreneurs and for the ecosystem. We don’t have to choose. But we do have to compromise, work together, and recognize that there is more than one bottom line. In this game, nobody wins unless the players work together.

Rachel Weber

Duke University

Book Review: Think Your Way to Success: How to Develop a Winning Mindset and Achieve Amazing Results by Mark Rhodes

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While waiting for an acquaintance at Manchester railway station for one year ago, I visited a bookshop nearby and drew attention to a book with the most irresistible title Think Your Way to Success:  How to Develop a Winning Mindset and Achieve Amazing Results. I repeated the title for myself and found it very interesting but nothing that I really needed. Nonetheless, I still could not resist and grabbed it at once.

As the title states, the book is about how to develop the right thinking in order to achieve success in life. The content is based on the author’s own experience, in general very easy to read and inspiring. 

According to the author, we all have a skillset but which alone is not enough and must be combined with an appropriate mindset. These because thoughts affect feelings, feelings affect actions and actions in turn affect the final outcome. For example, things that you think you cannot do are likely things that you would not do due to your feelings of fear. Think Your Way to Success:  How to Develop a Winning Mindset and Achieve Amazing Results helps you to recognize the fears which prevent you from being successful, and thereby teach you how to conquer them to achieve your dream and goals. Think Your Way to Success:  How to Develop a Winning Mindset and Achieve Amazing Results also gives you an insight of how successful people think and how you can adopt their way of thinking to apply on yourself. 

Mark Rhodes has successfully conveyed the message to the reader. Think Your Way to Success:  How to Develop a Winning Mindset and Achieve Amazing Results is a very interesting book that I highly recommend to everyone.  

”You can do anything you put your mind to”.

Hong Tran

Karolinska Institute

Women in Golf and Business

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Every year, the Rutgers University Women’s Business Leadership Initiative (WBLI) hosts an end-of-the-year golf outing that takes place on Rutgers’s very own golf course. This year, I was able to attend this outing and get to hear the manager of the golf course, Jill Jerauld, speak.

Jill Jerauld is a golf professional and manager of the Rutgers University Golf Course. An interesting fact about Jill is that she is the only female Professional Golf Association (PGA) member and head golf professional in New Jersey. When asked why she embarked on a five-year process in pursuit of membership in the PGA instead of the Ladies Professional Golf Association, Jill stated that she felt it would increase job prospects. She also went on to talk about her experiences as a female leader in a male dominated industry, and stated that as a woman, she needed to work twice as hard as her male peers to get noticed and even harder to maintain respect and a level of authority. Jill did this with her unique style of leadership, inspiring others to feel and believe that they are an instrumental part in the successes of the team and have valuable contributions, no matter what role they play. 

For me, it was very empowering to hear Jill speak about her experiences and what she was able to accomplish with passion and dedication. Jill Jerauld is a female leader running an entire golf course and facility, and for that, I have a lot of respect and admiration for Jill. Having never been on a golf course before or had first-hand experience with it, golf to me was just a leisurely sport or one that professionals like Tiger Woods played. After some de-mything from Jill, however, I learned this is quite far from the truth. Not only did her story inspire me to try a new and surprisingly stress relieving sport for the first time, but I got to take away a few tidbits of useful information about golf and how it affects business.

  1. 80% of business deals are made on the golf court.
  2. Golf is a life-time sport, meaning people of any age, young or old, can play.

After further research, I came across the article “Why Golfers Get Ahead” on The Economist which shares a few interesting concepts about golf and corroborates Jill’s information session on golf. Despite the humorous picture of “businesspeople who plot fraudulent deals between shots”, business and golf are completely different in actuality. Modern golf is a precision club and ball sport which, in 1457 in the first written record of golf, James II banned, declaring it as an unwelcomed distraction to learning archery. Today, modern golf is also a form of corporate entertainment with many useful perks to men and women in business. The article goes on to list why golfers in business get ahead, listing not giving the 65-year-old boss of the company you are trying to make a business deal with a heart attack and using golf as a test of character among the top reasons.

Golf is a useful skill and important networking tool to have in the business world – after all, you never know what doors it could open. In addition to its practicalities, golf is a great stress reliever. Unlike contact sports like football or games that require running like tennis, golf is more leisurely and relaxing. There is no huge expenditure of energy because golf is a precision sport, and watching that tiny white ball soar through the sky can be surprising satisfying. However, one of the downsides of playing golf seriously is that it can get a tad expensive, as it requires necessary golf equipment and suitable fashion. However, playing golf, like most things in life, should be looked at as an investment that hopefully supplies a large return. As sport and tool in business, golf is an investment that I high recommend and believe that more women in the business world and in general should partake in.

 

Catherine He

Rutgers University, New Brunswick

 

Golf and Business – Why Golfers Get Ahead:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/gametheory/2011/11/golf-and-business

Response to “For Women on Campuses, Access Doesn’t Equal Success”

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Article: http://chronicle.com/article/For-Women-on-Campuses-Access/129242/

I had encountered this article not too long ago, and it is something that I always keep in the back of my head, and something that helps me to illustrate my support for Leadership Programs and Conferences solely for women. This article takes a look at the differences between men and women in college. It suggests that, in college, women underestimate their abilities, spend more time in extracurricular activities, have higher GPAs, and are more interested in studying abroad as well as learning about new cultures. However, this doesn’t necessarily guarantee success for women. Women are still outnumbered by men in many fields, economics included. It isn’t that women are doing anything wrong, it seems that women tend to lose that sense of empowerment they enter college with, which quite frankly, is very upsetting. Why should women lose the notion that they can succeed? Why should we feel inferior to men or dominated by them in the workplace? We shouldn’t. Women should understand the power that they hold and learn to utilize it. The idea for women-centered leadership programs is quite useful in the sense that it focuses on what women have achieved, helps us to share our success, and helps us distinguish ourselves in the workplace. Empowerment is key, and with it, all women can learn to take the hard work they have put into college, and manifest it into their careers.

 

Susan Sunny

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Craving Risk-Taking? – Women in Entrepreneurship

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According to Forbes, there are 7 women startup businesses compare to 10 men in 2013. The number of women entrepreneurs has been increasing since the last 20 years, but women entrepreneurs only create 16 percent of total businesses with paid employees. This entrepreneurial gender gap was caused by many reasons from history to culture to socialization, but the most common one is the fear of failure. The perceptions are that women are more likely to take risks when they gain higher education and more valuable experience instead of taking risks when they are younger. For men, their perceptions are totally opposite as their fear of failure rises when their age rises. Since there are more women willing to be entrepreneurs, solely role models of men entrepreneurs will be less discouraging to women who are passionate but thought that there are fewer opportunities. Therefore, women are more confident and independent in starting up new businesses with their knowledge and willingness to make an impact.

Although women possess all entrepreneurial characteristics for starting up businesses, I think that innovation is the key to success. After reading through the articles, I was surprised by the number of women CEOs in the top technology companies. In 2012, the world’s most powerful women in business are highly involved in technology, which leads to the assumption that starting up a technology related company will lead to a better future. As Rosabeth Moss Kanter from Harvard Business School and author of business innovation book SuperCorp states that “Technology companies move quickly, are results-oriented and highly innovation driven. It’s a culture of entrepreneurship. You prove yourself, and then you’re valued.” Most things in today’s world have to be connected with technology. However, the career and profession that each of us pursue may lead us to different entrepreneurial ideas. Every profession has space for improvement or even something new to discover, and every woman can be successful with what she is passionate and best at. It is highly encouraged that not only pursuing a career and start up a business that she truly enjoy from heart, but also brainstorming innovative ideas require deep knowledge and bright vision for the business. As an immigrant to the U.S. with low family income, I realized that I was simply pursuing a career that I did not truly like but just to make a good salary. However, after starting up two organizations in college and participated in some business conferences, I learned that one can only start up and lead something with passion and willingness to explore.

One of the key elements for anyone has a desire to be an entrepreneur is to start early. As college students, it is not necessary to wait until graduation or enter the industry for a few years to start a business. Everyone has to learn from the beginning to develop entrepreneurial skills in order to move on to a bigger step, so it is always beneficial to learn as time goes on for future business and operations. Here are some tips on how to start up a business:

  1. Know your strength and weaknesses

Both strength and weaknesses can help you identify and know yourself better in order to set your business goal and fix the problems before making a decision in running a business.

2.     Make a solid business plan

Palo Alto Software founder Tim Berry’s research shows that the success rate for startups creating business plans doubles the ones who have not. A solid business plan can help you to get more clear and well-rounded information in different aspects evaluating the business idea.

3.     Calculate your budget

Not having enough funding is one of the most crucial reasons that a business fail. It is important to keep track of personal finance and the specific budget for building the company.

4.     Build a strong network: Social Media

No matter what type of business, customer service is always an essential aspect to attract and keep customers. Furthermore, social media is as effective as basic essentials for each business. As the year of 2013, “86% of marketers say social media is important for their business”(TopRank). The most powerful networking tools as of today are: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Ladies: step into the entrepreneurial world and prove your value. Even you are not interest in entrepreneurship, think like an entrepreneur, and take time to learn something new every day!

 

Huan Zhi

Purdue University

  1. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/207488
  2. http://www.forbes.com/sites/elainepofeldt/2013/05/27/u-s-entrepreneurship-hits-record-high/
  3. http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolinehoward/2012/08/22/the-worlds-100-most-powerful-women-2012-this-year-its-all-about-impact/
  4. http://www.forbes.com/sites/babson/2012/12/05/closing-the-gender-gap-for-women-entrepreneurs/
  5. http://www.toprankblog.com/2013/05/top-5-social-media-questions-answers/

Summer Internship Style Essentials: Implementing summer trends into your internship wardrobe

You don’t have to throw away style or stick to a power suit to be taken seriously. Here are four office-approved summer essentials to remix your office styles.

1. Dungarees

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Remember wearing overalls when you were younger (eek!)? Who would have guessed they would come back in style in a more chic and sophisticated form. These Tailored Dungarees from Asos ($76.36 and free shipping) is a contemporary substitute for your usual suit set, and styling it with a crisp white shirt and cuffed pant leg would be perfect for a presentation.

 

2. Pointed Flats and Ankle-Strap Heels

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Or even pointed, strap heels like the High Heel Pointed Heel from Zara ($49.90). This style shoe is versatile and could go from day to night. Look for closed- toe sandals that cover your heel , but have a sleek and sophisticated shape.

 

3. Printed Blouse

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We all know that the crisp white shirt is a classic wardrobe staple, but who says patterns should be fully avoided? Go ahead and pick a basic print and feel your internship out. Make up for the bolder design by keeping the buttoned down collar shirt silhouette.  Depending on your internship, you may be able to move to bolder patterns so such as paisleys and floral prints (or maybe not). This Grid Pattern Georgette Blouse from Forever 21 ($15.80) is a great to start with- it’s not too bold, yet still adds character to the outfit.

Tip: Stay away from sheer shirts or cutouts such as peekaboo shoulders and back cutouts.  If you are on the fence about the sheerness of a blouse layer a camisole under it.

 

4. One Great Skirt.

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We can wear the pants in the office in business while wearing skirts on our bodies. According to a report by The Telegraph, since “[…] women wear trousers at the weekend and for leisure, […] the skirt suit has become far more associated with successful women.” A structured, knee length skirt such as the High waist Pencil Skirt from Zara ($59.90) is a great example of an appropriate skirt. Not to mention red is the color of power and assertiveness; perfect for the office place!

 

Pay attention to color, fit, and your dress code guidelines while shopping with these styles. Which trend will you try out for your summer job?

 

Niani Tolbert

Mount Holyoke College ‘14

http://www.thefiercefantasy.com