Advice from Levo League Mentor Tiffany Dufu

Recently, I have received a lot of questions about where to learn about internships and where to find career mentorship. For those seeking career advice, I frequently visit the website Levo League. It’s a great company devoted to providing Gen Y women with advice, mentorship and career opportunities (such as internships and job listings). I was even lucky enough to spend some time at the Levo League office in New York City last summer. Not only was the office awesome, but the passion of everyone who worked there was incredible. 

One of my favorite features of the Levo League website is the opportunity they give users to “Ask a Question” to any one of their 80+ mentors. 


 

Video via Levo League

 

Whenever I find myself stuck and needing some inspiration I always know where to go. Something I’ve been struggling with this semester is finding time to balance all of my activities and school work. It’s been a challenge but Levo League mentor, Tiffany Dufu, really put time management into perspective for me with her answer to my question.
What I take away from this is that it is possible to do everything that you want to do, but first get the bigger tasks out of the way so you can fit in smaller tasks later. Even though it seems obvious, having someone put it in these terms for me really makes it stick.
I valued the advice so much that I even made a little graphic to hang on the bulletin board above my desk. This way, when I feel overwhelmed, I’ll always have Tiffany’s advice right in front me as a reminder!
Just remember, “focus on the big rocks.”


Words for Wednesday: Be Your Own

I’ve read this quote in the past, but for the first time I’m actually understanding what it means. I know it might sound selfish, but I’m realizing that in college you really have to do what’s best for you. It’s the only time in your life that you can actually 100% focus on yourself.

For me, when I’m constantly worrying about someone else, or revolving my life around that other person, I forget what it is that I am trying to accomplish. I don’t know if this is just me, but I think it’s really easy for people (including myself) to get caught up in relationships and trying to make other people happy, when the real question is: are you happy?

I’m not saying that you should cut everyone out of your life or break up with the person you’re in a relationship with. However, I think it’s really important to find balance in maintaining a relationship and figuring out who you are. That means keeping your personal life and relationship separate sometimes.

I know I’m not perfect – I am so guilty of worrying about other people before myself – but here are some ideas on how to “become your own” without having to give up on relationships in your life.

1. Have your own experiences

Go somewhere you’ve never been before. Travel with new people. Immerse yourself in a new culture. All of these things will allow you have your own experiences that you can then share with someone else. You’ll become more independent and discover new things about yourself. It will give you a chance to do something that you want to do without anyone holding you back.

2. Pick up a new hobby

Whether it’s painting, journaling, running, or even blogging, picking up a new hobby can help you discover a new passion for something you never expected to love. For me, blogging has really made me think about myself and become more aware of my goals, my interests, and who I hope to become as a person.

3. Be a college student

My freshman year I was constantly going home because it was familiar and safe. I know that comes with being a freshman, but I was either going home or visiting my boyfriend almost every other weekend. Not only was I miserable when I went back to school because I didn’t give myself a chance to adjust, but I was also missing out on making friends and fun activities at school. I was missing out on what it meant to be a “college student.”

I’ve made some changes over the past couple of years and continue to keep this quote in the back of my mind. Now I feel more independent and have a better grasp on who I am and what I hope to achieve. Once you take some time to think about yourself, it becomes easier to balance being yourself while being with someone else.


Does this all make sense? I hope at least one person enjoys my Wednesday rants.





Free Printable To Do List

I can’t believe how fast this semester is going by. In the midst of these hectic weeks coming up, I’ve made a to do list to help me organize what I need to get done in the next few weeks.

Download the full size list. Save to your desktop. Then print four copies per page to stay organized for the next 4 weeks!
Hang it up, leave it on your desk, or tuck it away in a binder. I have mine on my wall so I look at it every day as a reminder.
Hope this helps! Happy planning!


Words for Wednesday: Relax

Words for Wednesday

I hope everyone had a great long weekend! It was nice to go home and avoid the overwhelmingness of school – but sure enough, the stress returned as soon as I got back. Between midterms, homework and assignments, applying for internships, work, etc., the thought of trying to accomplish everything has put me in ‘panic mode.’ I’m sure any college student during this time is feeling the same way. The middle of the semester is always the worst.

So for my “Words for Wednesday” post, I felt that this was extremely appropriate for this week:

I printed this out and posted in on the wall in front of my desk. I need all the help I can get when it comes to reminding myself to relax. Honestly, I think if people just relax they can accomplish more of their work. I on the other hand am guilty of wasting time by freaking out – and as a result, I become more stressed.
Hopefully this little reminder helps you as much as it helps me!
What do you do to remind yourself to stay relaxed?
 
 little boxes & bows

 



Five Quick Tips for Packing for a Business Trip

This week I have the amazing opportunity to go to New York City and meet with a company I’m interviewing for a job. Even though I’ve been to New York before, this time is exciting because it’s for a possible “real-person job” where I have the opportunity to interview and network with various public relations professionals. But for such a short trip, what do I pack?
When I travel, I am crazy about staying organized. Not knowing where your things are or not being able to access them quickly is the most frustrating part of traveling. One of the worst things is forgetting something. That’s why when I pack I make sure to take my time so that I have everything I need.
Here’s how I pack: 
Pack light: The bag on the left is my purse, which is big enough to hold my laptop, folders, notebooks and planner. On the right is my travel bag. It’s small, but it helps keep me from overpacking.
Keep jewelry separate: This Marc Jacob’s small cosmetic case is what I keep my jewelry in. By keeping your jewelry in a separate compartment you avoid having it get tangled or lost in your bag. Also, jewelry just thrown in your bag can get caught on clothing and cause rips and tares.
Invest in a sturdy cosmetic case: It took me the longest time to find a cosmetic bag that was the right size for all my make-up and one that did not leak or rip while traveling. By investing in a sturdy bag you will save money in the end because you won’t damage your clothes with makeup that leaked.
Stay organized: When you pack your bag don’t just toss everything inside. You won’t take advantage of the space you have and  you won’t be able to find anything when you open it. Taking the time to pack in an organized way can also help you make sure you don’t forget anything.
Be prepared: This might seem like a lot of stuff but, in reality I know I am going to use everything that is laid out here. For a business type trip it would be a good idea to make sure you have:
- Tissues
- Pencil Case
- Wallet
- Planner
- Sunglasses
- Cell Phone
- Toiletry Bag (Large polka dot bag)
- Emergency kit (Small polka dot bag – includes things such as Advil, hair-ties, Band-Aids, etc.
- Notebook
- Kindle
- Comb
- Folder with resumes & travel information
Now you should be ready to go!
Going on a last minute, short trip can be stressful, but by being prepared and organized you can eliminate unnecessary worry!
 


Long Weekend Packing Checklist

I am so excited for the long weekend because I get to go home! Even though I love being at school, I cant wait sleep in my own bed and see my mom and cute little puppy.
Since I just went on a trip, I still have most of my stuff (such as toiletries and purse) already packed. So, instead of showing you every little bit of what I packed here is a checklist that I use to keep myself organized while packing for longer trips:
Print this: Click on the image, drag to your desktop, then click print!
I always find that checking things off on a list is a better way to make sure I pack everything I need rather than trying to remember it all in my head. Believe me, I packed without a list for my trip to New York and I ended up forgetting my hair brush  – Good thing I had a back up comb in my purse (FYI, a comb is not a substitute for a brush – it took me significantly longer to do my hair and it was so frustrating getting the knots out).

Since I’m going home I don’t need to worry about a lot of the items on the “Packing Checklist.” I still have a bunch of clothes at home that I wear so I try to travel with only the necessities. It’s also nice that I don’t have to worry about some toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc.

This is what I packed:

Using my “Little Boxes & Bows” Packing Checklist
Here’s how I packed it all:

Overnight Bag – I packed mostly yoga pants and T-shirts. While this is generally my normal attire at home anyway, I plan on being comfortable and relaxing this weekend. I’m definitely going to take advantage of the time off to catch up on sleep!

Backpack – I always bring my backpack full of school work home with me, but I usually end up accomplishing nothing. This weekend it’s actually necessary though because I have my midterms coming up next week (I can’t believe it’s already midterms!)

 

Purse – This Kate Spade purse just arrived the other day in the mail! I love it because it matches with every outfit and can fit everything I need. Basically, I just put in my purse the necessary things that I need and usually carry with me when I travel. You can find a list of everything on the Packing 101: Business Trip blog post.

With these tips and the printable packing list, you will be able to pack more quickly and efficiently. Plus, you will be more organize. At least I know that’s what it’s done for me!

What are your plans for the long weekend?

Have a lovely weekend!

 

 little boxes & bows


Words for Wednesday: Find Simplicity

I found this quote a while ago on Tumblr and just came across it again while I was looking for some inspiring quotes to post on my cork board.

This quote is the ultimate motivation for me. It describes how I want to live my life, and only in a few words (if only I could express myself as eloquently as Einstein). If I’ve learned anything throughout my life, it’s that simplicity, harmony and opportunity are difficult to achieve and each requires hard work. Here’s how I’ve done so far: 

S I M P L I C I T Y

I’ve tried to achieve simplicity literally by staying organized and literally decluttering the space that I live in. I totally don’t mean sounds like some sort of “spiritual guru,” but I feel like when my things are organized, I become organize and so does everything else in my life (things sort of fall into place better). I have an easier time keeping a clear mind and handling tasks.

H A R M O N Y

I’m still working on this one since I can never make a decision completely on my own and then live with the consequences of that decision. But I’m learning to be more at peace with the two little voices in my head that always try to battle each other — Doesn’t everyone get this once in a while?

O P P O R T U N I T Y

Being in college there are a lot of difficulties and stress (when it comes to school work/activities/internships and choosing a career). But I truly believe the last part of this quote, because whenever school gets overwhelming or I have a difficult time finding a job/internship, as long as I keep pursing what I’ve set out to achieve there has always been an opportunity there for me.

Whenever I’m not at my desk with this quote starring at me, I like to keep those three nouns at the back of my mind. You’d be surprised how motivating it can be.



Desk Organization

Honestly, I’ve never been a big fan of neon colors. Whenever I see neon merchandise I always think it looks immature and all I can think of is the Lisa Frank school supplies that I had when I was a kid. (Clearly, I was a 90s kid)

(Yup, I pretty much had all of this sprawled out all over my desk in elementary school)

But yesterday, my feelings on neon merchandise completely changed when I saw the cutest neon stationary. So naturally, I bought the stationary and now I’m obsessed with neon again; just like I was in 1st grade. Except this time, in a more sleek & stylish way…

This is the adorable Mara-mi stationary set with clipboard and notebook that I bought for only $8, thanks to Marshalls!

The neon really adds the perfect touch of color to any desk. You don’t have to go all out and buy everything in neon, just add a couple of accessory pieces. Here is what my desk looks like now: 
 
I couldn’t be more happy with it! Here are some more neon accessories that would be a great addition to any desk or office space: 
Post-it Notes // Notebook
File Folders // Pens
After writing this I’m realizing how ironic it is that I stayed organized with neon school supplies back then, and I am doing the same thing now… 
Some things never change.