Monday, June 27, 2011

What to Wear as an Intern (Part 2) - #Interntips

Everyone has their own ideas about how to dress for an internship. You hear 'Dress for the position you want, not the one you have,' but I've also heard you don't have to dress as nice as your co-workers because *big surprise* you are the intern. I think my boss said it best, though. 'Dress in a way that is the least offensive to the most people.'

From day one, my boss said something along the lines of 'I don't care what you do or wear on the weekends.' Aka you can be a tattooed, spike-wearing, rock-n-roll star on the weekends, but in the office everything must be 'Gucci.' I need to dress in a way that is the least offensive to my co-workers and clients. I wouldn't wear jeans on a day other than Casual Friday because that would be offensive. (Not so much scandalous, and just ill-fitting for the environment.)

Here are a few wardrobe staples to help keep the 'offensive' level at a minimum.

Jones New York

1) Black or dark blue blazer - A blazer goes easily with the strapless dress that isn't office appropriate or it can dress up a pair of jeans on casual Friday. I rock a navy blue one (similar to the one on the right) with really faint pin-stripes. It was definitely work the investment because I will be able to wear this for a long time.

2) Black COMFORTABLE heels - I wear mine nearly everyday and I just keep them under my desk. I wear my Sperry's to and from the office. This makes it a) way easier to drive and b) I can wear my comfortable shoes until my boss comes in. :) Black heels also go with everything, so no matter what you are wearing you'll a have a pair of nice shoes to wear all-day.

Taken from All Dressed In Argyle
3) Pearls - I feel like its a cliche, but its true. Pearls are a great accessory. Like black heels, they go with nearly everything and make everything classier. Even my somewhat fashion-challenged father knows that. In fact, he is the one who suggested (and bought) my necklace-earring set. They aren't real, but it's better that way. I have a knack for doing things like sitting on expensive sunglasses.

Ignore the fact that this is sideways....
Once you have the non-offensive essentials, you can play a bit. I like to play with nail color, bracelets, tops, and dresses. For example, today I am wearing the holy trifecta: blazer, pearls, and black heels. To ward off my fear of frumpy, I am wearing my new dress from Urban Outfitters. (On sale for $30! Yay bargain hunting!) It is white with a big leaf print in red, blue, grey and a pale pink. It has a high(ish) neckline. (Cleavage can be offensive.) The dress hits a few inches above my knee. The material is light, which is great for LA and its flowy aka comfy for all-day wear.

Comfort is important. Work can be stressful and you don't want to be worried about the fact that you can't breath in your non-stretch pencil skirt.

So there you go! For Part One of this blog, head to What to Wear As An Intern.
Have questions? Check me out at and follow me on Twitter!



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

#Interntips from @GabbiSMC

The idea behind an internship is to learn in a real-world setting. (Not be confused with the set of the tv show, the Real World.) At least, that's what I have been told. While I have learned a lot about running online ad campaigns and the financial industry, I have learned many unexpected things. Here is what I have learned after a month in Los Angeles.

1) The Art of Small Talk
I've never been much good at small talk. Not because I'm shy. I mean HELLOOOOO, my name is GABBI. My problem has always been than small talk always seems to come to an abrupt stop. For example, I used to ask 'What did you do over the weekend?' If there person said, 'Oh, just hung out,' the conversation seemed to fall away. In recent weeks, I have found that the key is to find the person's soft spot. No, not the most jiggly part of their body. That would be awkward. I mean the topic that just makes them 'spill the beans.' I have found that a large chunk of the time, people like to talk about family. They know their family. They can love them, and complain about them, and generally, they can talk about them for days. Everyone can relate to something within the family whether it be overbearing parents, sibling rivalry, or even sons/daughters/nieces/nephews. It doesn't matter the age difference, most people have experiences with family. If that fails, talk about the weather or the state of the roads.

2) The Best Way to Start an Email
I have to thank my boss this one. (Shout out, Biz) In a meeting, he said "It's always best to start an email with 'Hope you had a great weekend'" or a similar greeting. It starts the email off on a good note and the reader is more likely to have a positive (or less agitated) response. I find myself much more conscience of this especially when I'm emailing some to request photos, information, or an answer to a question. People want to help people that care about them. Plus, it is always best to appear happy even if you are super stressed. No need to be grumpy. The work day always comes to an end and there is always the weekend to look forward to. (Yup, I'm really THAT deep.)

(Taken from Google)
3) Some of Your Textbooks DO Come in Handy.
Hard to believe, I know. However, the AP Stylebook and The Little Brown Essential Handbook sit faithfully next to my computer. I don't use them everyday, but they are great references when I am writing out ads.They can help when I'm having writer's block simply by changing the way I am writing a sentence. In retrospect, I wish I still had my design principles book from New Media. That would have been really useful. I mean I know most of the principles because of having them drilled into my brain, (Shout out to Professor Sultze!) but I wouldn't mind having it around to reference. I also wish I had brought my notes with me. I keep all my notes because you never know when the information from Mass Communications will be useful in a future JO class. I would really like to have my New Media notes, but alas they are in a storage locker in Vermont.

4) Don't Be Afraid to Self-Teach
My internship isn't stereotypical, mostly because I am doing marketing, but I'm not with a marketing firm or team. I have superiors who know what they want, but they also learn a few things from me.Some of my projects I rely on Google searches, discussion boards, and of course, Twitter. They have been great and I feel great when I have maneuvered through an unknown area all by myself. For a lot of my projects, I find inspiration from materials that the company has already created, but some of the inspiration comes from my own research of other company strategies. I've become big on reading my news via LinkedIn in the morning. I get all the news related to the fields I am interested its great. (#interntip within a tip: Get a LinkedIn account. You can connect with your co-workers there instead of Facebook. Plus, it is a great networking tool for when you apply for full-time positions.)

Have questions? Please comment :) Or shoot me a questions at!


Monday, June 20, 2011

#glamtern week 4 + family time

   My mind is literally blown. I've been in Los Angeles for a month now. Today is the start of week 5 as #glamtern. We are in the midst of what locals call 'June Gloom.' Um, excuse me? I did not sign up for that when I moved here. :-/ oh, well. Things are going great despite the occasional cloud cover.
   Last week, I took on a number of projects. I'd say my biggest project is a pitch book for an adviser with the firm.Its a small packet, but I get the privilege of doing the entire design, including creating a logo and color scheme. The adviser is, of course, consulting, but this is really cool and it is something I can put in a portfolio when I apply for jobs later. It's also pretty fun to experiment with different looks for the packet. They key is finding a balance between colorful and interesting without going overboard. I suppose that rule applies to a lot of things.
The Beach
   I also got a few of my new ads approved, so those are up and running. I'm still trying to figure out Microsoft Adcenter. It is essentially just like Google Adwords, but I'm just not a huge fan of the interface in AdCenter. In addition, I'm working on an email newsletter/ad campaign. I've never done an email campaign like this, but I figure it is good experience for Founder's Society emails when I have to send them out. Your mind will be BLOWN by my awesome emails! Haha.
   In non-work related news, I had a fabulous weekend. Let's start at the beginning, shall we? I bought tickets to the Rihanna concert at the Staples Center. She's performing with Cee Lo Green and I'm REALLY excited. It's not like we are sitting front row, but I can't expect a Higher Ground situation everywhere. :) I've also never been to a big Pop concert so this will be really fun. I'm taking my cousin,  Lyric, for her 8th grade graduation.The concert is next Tuesday... work night... eh, whatever. I've gotten less sleep on a school night. I also purchased my flight home to Lake Tahoe for 4th of July weekend. I can't wait to enjoy the lake for a few days... oh, and see my family. :)
The Cousins
  Now, for my actual weekend activities, I went to the beach Saturday. We went to this little beach just passed Zuma Beach on the Pacific Coast Highway. It was really cool and for most the time it was just myself, Rain, and Clay. Rain's parents also joined us. I hadn't see them since my uncle's 30th Birthday.... when I was 5. That's pretty much how it is with this whole section of my family. They all say 'When did I see you last? You were like this tall *insert hand gesture at about knee height*.' (Flashback: At my uncle's 30th birthday, I had a horrible embarrassing clown swimsuit on... it was a little traumatizing.)It was a really nice day with sun and a breeze so I wasn't uncomfortably warm.

Ya, that's me... awkwardly in front....
   The next day as you all know was Father's Day. The whole gang got together at my Aunt's parent's house. By the whole gang, I mean the sisters +brother+ wives+husbands+cousins. It was VERY fun. We played the train game (GREAT BOARD GAME!), and bocce ball, which I totally rocked at, by the way. I have MAD bocce ball skills. Its really fun to have such a big family around. Mostly it is just different because my immediate family is pretty small and Lyric and Clay are my only first cousins.
Anyways, I should get back to work on my pitchbook, but feel free to ask me any questions you might have about SMC on the 'Ask Questions About SMC' tab up above!


Saturday, June 11, 2011

#glamtern week 3 - Tackling Google and LinkedIn Ads

I have a quick update for you.
In the first 2 weeks of my internship, I spent the majority of my time researching and experimenting with Facebook Ads. I played with targeting and working and headlines and photos. I wrote some ads up and then rewrote them. I switched pictures in and out deciding which ones would grab attention. I posted them and realized some were completely ineffective. However, I have become more confident in my ability to write enticing ads and how to target.

My next project? Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads. While LinkedIn Ads have been relatively easy to tackle and I have actual had some recent success as far as increased CTR, Google Ads are proving slightly more difficult. I have been trying to find for effective keywords to target and of course, write interesting ads that will encourage clicks. I find this particularly tricky with Google because you only get 70 characters (35 per line). I'm used to word limits (yay for being a journalism major), but 70 characters is starting to feel a little ridiculous.

Outside of the ads, I'm working on social media efforts like a Twitter and Facebook page. I have pitched the idea for the page, but I am waiting to have a meeting to revise, edit, and the 'all clear.' I am really excited to get that started because it will be 'my baby' so to speak. :) And as my friend, @hperry2 (another SMC blogger doing an internship) said, "You need a Facebook page to be competitive." While it doesn't take much to be competitive in social media in the financial industry because it is so regulated, I think that I can do a very thorough and fantastic job of creating a page.

As for life in Los Angeles, its great, but a little cloudy. I really wanted to head to the beach today, but it is just not the proper weather. I am thinking that I'll go to the Getty Museum tomorrow. Apparently  the architecture is amazing as are the exhibits and garden. I also think that a visit there would make for a great blog post. :)

If you have any questions, ask here.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How to Use KnightVision

KnightVision is a mysterious tool, but I promise that in a few semesters you'll know every nook and cranny. Admittedly, I pretty much knew KnightVision by the time I arrived at St. Mike's because I loved looking at all the class options. First, I should probably define KnightVision. This is the tool SMC students use to register for classes, view their transcripts, look at progress reports, and accept financial aid packages. (You will get your log in eventually, but you don't need it for the purposes of this blog post, exploring class options.)

Most of you (Class of 2015) will get to know KnightVision at your registration day, however there are those who can't go to a registration day because they are far away and/or traveling. (Where are my west coasters at?) I was in Hawaii during all the registration days, (Not that I would have been able to go because I am from California.) so I filled out my class registration form all by myself.

I feel it is only fair that I pass on my KnightVision knowledge to you so that you can feel a little more comfortable as you are picking classes.

To access KnightVision, head to On this page, click 'Current Students,' marked in yellow in the photo to the right.

Current Student Page

Now, scroll down and under the 'Technology' heading you will find the link for 'KnightVision.' Click it.
Knight Vision Home
 Next, select the 'Student' section. (When you do have a username and password, you will select Log-In and then go to the student page.)
Student Menu

You will see several interesting things on this page, but the one you want to access to search for classes is under 'Registration'. Select the 'Search for Sections' link.
As you can see from this photo, once you have log in info you will be able to access all the information pertaining to your education including GPA and what courses you still need to take.
Search for Sections

Once you are in Search for Sections, you can get more specific. You will need to pick a Term (top scroll bar). You will pick Fall 2011. Then you can choose a subject such as First Year Seminar, Physics, or Dance.
And let's say that you don't want ANY classes before 10 am. Well, there is an app for that! Oh, wait... wrong product. Well, there is an option for that. You can select 'Sections Meeting After:'

Course List
When you hit 'Submit', the classes meeting your requirements will appear. Here I have searched for First Year Seminars meeting after 10 am. You can see the time, place, and professor for the classes. Do not worry about the fact that classes say 'Closed' or that there are no spots available. That changes when you guys register.

When you click on class, you will see a course description as well as what LSR (Liberal Studies Requirement) the class fulfills, along with any pre-requisites you may need.

If you have any questions about selecting courses or KnightVision, feel free to ask me on Formspring or VYou or shoot me an email!


SMC Purple Knights vs UCLA Bruins

Haha, just kidding. That epic showdown hasn't yet happened yet. :) I'm really talking a campus vs campus blog. Let's start with basics, shall we?

Saint Michael's College

A small, Catholic, liberal arts college about 5 minutes outside Burlington, VT.

Student Body: 1,900 undergraduates; 650 graduate students; 250 international students. Students hail from 38 states and 13 countries (79 percent from outside of Vermont). 54 percent are women, 46 percent male. (

Location: 440 acres between the shores of Lake Champlain and the majestic Green Mountains in Colchester, Vermont. We’re minutes from Burlington, the state’s largest city and cultural center, and a renowned college town.

Population:  42,417

Longest Season: Winter

Shoe of choice: Sperry's or Uggs

University of California - Los Angeles
UCLA Campus Map

A large, public college in Los Angeles, CA.

Student Body: There are almost 40,000 students at UCLA, roughly 27,000 undergraduates and 13,000 graduate and professional students. (About UCLA)

Location: Los Angeles, CA (just off Sunset Blvd)

Population: 9,848,011 

Longest Season: Summer

Shoe of choice: Flip-flops

Now, that you have basics, I think we agree that SMC is tiny compared to the monstrosity that is UCLA. I got LOST on the UCLA campus yesterday. Straight up turned around, driving in circles, LOST. In retrospect, I did get to see more of the campus than I would have otherwise. I will also say that the UCLA campus is really pretty and has lots of bricks, much like St. Mike's. One of the big things that UCLA boasts that Saint Mike's can't is... *drum roll, please* ... a whole lot of sunshine.
My friend, Audrey, who is a freshman at UCLA this year, said its been 70 degrees and gorgeous pretty much all year. (Audrey and I have been friends for a long time and I actually hadn't seen her in three years until yesterday. We were on a ski team together junior year of high school and traveled the world.) Unfortunately, St. Mike's gets more snow that sunshine it seems. The plus for Saint Mike's? We don't have to walk 20-30 minutes to get to class. :) Seriously. That's a trek for the Bruins. Audrey was uber jealous that I can roll out of bed 10 minutes before class and still get there in time.
While these schools couldn't seem more different, I have actually found that the towns that are near them are pretty similar. Here are the common traits.

1) An inexpensive thai food restaurant.
2) A great ice cream shop (In VT, it's Ben and Jerry's and in Westwood, it's this place that makes ice cream sandwiches)
3) Shopping. There is an Urban and Victoria's Secret.
4) Movie theaters.

As you can see, both places have all the essentials :) While UCLA has its merits, I have to tell you that I still love St. Mike's.

a) I like the small size. I always see people I know.
b) I can ski everyday.
c) The professors actually know who I am. I don't have to go to a mass-athletes advising session. I meet one on one with my adviser.
d) I know I am not going to get lost driving around campus. <-- HUGE draw.

Okay, that's my very scientific and analytical comparison of UCLA and SMC. I just felt that I had to express why St. Mike's is so fabulous after visiting UCLA.


Monday, June 6, 2011

hi gabbi! Just wondering, do you interact with the younger smc bloggers on things outside of blogging or have similar interests with them (books, movies?)I'm interested in becoming a blogger, but am nervous that if chosen as a first year, i won't fit in.


Outside of blogging we certainly interact. We don't awkwardly ignore each other when we meet on campus :-P I am not involved in the clubs that they are involved in, which is part of the reason we are bloggers. (Bloggers often have a 'leg up' if they are involved in campus activities that are not already represented. The fact that you are in incoming student gives you a nice niche :) ) Bloggers do have overlapping activities like campus ministry or athletic teams.

We do have similar interests. For example, @kayleymavridis and I like Pride and Prejudice, while @HeartsHalo92 and I are really excited for Breaking Dawn (go ahead and judge.)

As for fitting in with the bloggers, don't worry. We are all pretty different people. I am loud and obnoxious. Alex is really really nice. Marci is super smart. Its a big mix of students. Our big bonding factor is that we love SMC. (Yes, that's so corny) I think we get along pretty well considering we are very diverse.

Have you been put on the email list for blogger training next fall? I am assuming you are. If you are not, but are interested in being a blogger, email and cc me on the email, ( I am the student coordinator for next year.)

Hope this helps and I look forward to meeting you!

What to Wear as an Intern (Part 1) - #Interntips

Let me preface this blog with the fact that I am not a fashion student, aficionado, or anything of that nature. Ask most people and they'll tell you that you are more likely to see me in my flannel and long underwear than a pair of heels. However, entering the work force and office life required me to rethink my wardrobe and go from college student to professional. I am hear to offer my advice as someone who is in the midst of her first real job and would choose ski pants over work pants any day of the week.

Rule #1: I have heard this tip from every adult I have talked to and every online list of 'What to Wear.' I do think it is the best advice someone can give. Dress at a level above what the office generally wears. No matter where you are applying it makes you appear serious about the position. I have actually found that my idea of 'dressing above what I expect,' generally turns out to be spot on. Also, if you dress more professionally, people tend to think you are more experienced and older than you are. Just last Friday, in the quarterly team meeting, the office found out that I am 19. There was a general surprise from the office. I was rather impressed with myself for coming off as 'mature beyond my years.' It isn't uncommon for people to ask me 'Where did you graduate from?' or 'Are you married?'  I believe that the way I dressed from day one gave people the ability to put faith in me because I looked the part. 

Rule #2: Don't shy away from color. Seriously. When I was shopping with my mom, my motto was 'NO FRUMPY CLOTHING.' I wasn't into the idea of an all-gray pant suit with an oatmeal colored top. Ew. What I went for was 2 pairs of slacks, gray and black, a pair of khakis for casual Friday, and a black pencil skirt. To add the color (without being obnoxious) I went for 'fun' tops. I got purples and pinks and blues and even some polka dots. The key to looking the part isn't about looking dull. It is about putting your own personal style together in a way that is minimally offensive or overbearing in the work place. As my boss says, 'I don't care if you are all tattooed and pierced outside of the office. In the office, you will be able to blend in at a Goldman Sachs Executive conference.' In the office, my boss says everything must be 'Gucci' (def: high-end, attractive, and put together.). My boss is really awesome btw. The point of this is: Don't sacrifice your personal flair just because you are going to the office.

Rule #3: Wear comfortable shoes (and learn to walk in heels.) I am currently wearing my boat shoes at my desk. a) because no one can see my feet behind my desk and b) I have heels under my desk that I can put on when the boss comes in. Now, I brought A LOT of shoes to LA. My thought: "It's Los Angeles. I'll want to wear all my fabulous heels." The reality: No one really cares about your shoes when you are sitting at a desk and I'd guess there is a 90% you are going to be hating life at the end of the day in your 5" heels. I am pretty committed to my lower heeled black shoes. Easier to walk in and they still make the fun clicking noise.I also have a pair of black sandal wedge shoes, which might not be quite as glamorous as stilettos, but they are far more comfy and I can show off my pink toe nail polish. As for walking in shoes, if you are not comfortable walking in heels, practice before hand. I have seen great improvement in my skill in the past few weeks of work. It is incredible how just walking in them regularly makes it so much easier.

Rule #4: When buying new work clothes, get things that are interchangeable. For example, I can wear my purple and white blouse and purple cardigan with any of my pants/skirts. This makes it a) easy to get dressed in the morning because it all matches and b) give me many different options which I love. I don't like to be the person wearing the same outfit to close together. It is also noted that I am probably the only person who notices my own outfit repetition.

Those are my quick intern fashion tips. Use them as you will, but they have served me well in a fancier work environment and I hope they can do the same for you. :)

Have questions? Check out my Formspring or Vyou!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Venice Beach, California

Let's call it eclectic. Venice Beach is a very eclectic place. I went on Memorial Day so the main strip was bustling with tourists, locals, surfers, artists, performers, cooks, and other vendors. I just want to throw this out there, I would LOVE to be one of those cool surfer chicks who rides a skate board to the beach with a board in hand. That's so awesome. Moving on...
My aunt and uncle were nice enough to take me down and show me around. My cousin, Clay, came to. He's a sport. I honestly didn't know what to expect when were headed down. I probably could have just googled it... Then I realized 'I'm sure I've seen this in like a million movies.'  

(Yes, I do use 'like' when I speak to myself. In fact, I am my internal voice can sound like a total valley girl, but that is whole different discussion.)


The day was flawless. It was cloudless skies and a nice 80 degrees with an ocean breeze. I even got some color :). Yay for not being pasty!  While the walk way was crowded, the beach was pretty empty and the sand was so soft. I want to go back and just tan. Anyways...

As we walked we passed Muscle Beach, there was a body-building competition going on. There were men and women getting ready to compete and one of the ladies had the most 'Vegas' swimsuit I have ever seen. The sparkled were BLINDING. She was also wearing, what appeared to be, the LEAST comfortable high heels I have ever seen. They were that weird plastic like jelly sandals and all I was thinking was 'Those would give me HORRIBLE blisters.'

Juggling machetes... on a ladder.
Once we made it passed that spectacle, we came across guys promoting their music. It was actually really good reggae. Unfortunately, I couldn't 'donate' for a CD because I'm broke. I sort of wanted to say 'Only if you donate to my college fund,' :-P but I didn't.

The whole experience was slightly overwhelming. There was just a lot to take in. I have decided to go back before I come to school to collect some dorm room decorations. There were some really awesome paintings that would go with my tropical theme. Next year, my room will look like hybrid of a tropical forest and the beach. I also want to go back because there was an American Apparel factory store and a whole lot of sunglasses.

I have also noticed that feathers are ALL the rage right now. Not just those funky hair feathers (which I want, but are not office-appropriate), but the big feather earring. Yes, the one singular 'Ke$ha' earring. Or can we talk about the really cool leather headbands with feathers that I REALLY WANT. However, I would look totally ridiculous in that.

After we meandered the beach, my 'summer family' as I call them took me to this great seafood restaurant where I had totally bomb fish tacos. Oh, there were so good. I also had some amazing clam chowder, which I totally have a weakness for. One of my various nicknames in high school was 'Chowda.' Back on point, seafood is so good when you are, in fact, near the ocean. :)

Until my next LA adventure, I am sitting in my office preparing for some meetings and staying heavily caffeinated. If you have questions for me, you can shoot me an email or ask me via Formspring.


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