Self-Preservation in the World of CEO Barbie

Self-Preservation in the World of CEO Barbie

When I attended my first internship and career fair, I experienced a culture shock. Standing in line to talk to a representative, I accidentally overheard a very interesting conversation. The girl in front of me, a self proclaimed sophomore, offered to take the representative out for coffee. After pausing for a minute, the rep agreed. Emboldened by the interaction, the sophomore upped the anti and offered to take the woman out for dinner instead, to what is apparently an upscale restaurant. The rep, taken aback, told the girl that the proposed restaurant was “expensive”. That’s OK, the girl replied “you’re worth it.”

Welcome to Newhouse. A world of extremely bright and competitive individuals. While this is certainly a good thing, I think it is difficult for some people to maintain a sense of self when attending this school. While job hunting is a competitive process, here are a few things that all of us attending Newhouse should keep in mind:

  1. Hold on to dignity: I get it, it’s a competitive world out there. But groveling and/or kissing up is not the way to gain a job.
  2. Don’t strive for CEO Barbie status. Dressing to impress is very important. However, wearing scandalous clothing with 5-inch heels isn’t necessarily impressive. Look nice, keeping in mind that networking is more about communication than designer labels. Be conscious of the image you are projecting.
  3. Retain Humanity. Again, I understand that life is competitive and that Newhouse is a competitive school. But stabbing your colleagues in the back makes for bad practice. Be proactive and competitive, but remember that your fellow students will also be valuable players in the future industry. Keep them in your network.
  4. Be Yourself. Employers want to talk to a real person, not a robot. So yes, give them the spiel they expect but be yourself. Be relatable and interesting, not a carbon copy of your Newhouse peers.

Long story short, navigating a competitive job market can be stressful and at times, overwhelming. But try not to let the environment change you. By treating colleagues respectfully, dressing tastefully and maintaining a sense of self, we at Newhouse can successfully land jobs while continually growing our professional network.

(Featured Image from the Huffington Post)

Emilee Smith
Emilee is an artist, writer and musician who possesses a love of animals and a "Harry Potter" obsession. She is an avid reader, baker and aspires to publish novels. Emilee is currently earning a master's degree in public relations at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication.
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