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Career Advice
The CollegeFashionista Mentorship Program
The CollegeFashionista Team
Oct 19, 2016

Our favorite part of CollegeFashionista is the community that develops between Style Gurus, both new and old. That’s why we launched the CollegeFashionista Mentorship Program last spring, tapping our CollegeFashionista alumni to act as mentors to some of our rockstar Style Gurus. And while we all know that networking is not always the most natural activity, we saw the relationships between alumni and Style Guru flourish – both personally and professionally.

As part of CollegeFashionista’s commitment to empowering our readers and Style Gurus, we are excited to announce that we are continuing the CollegeFashionista Mentorship Program into the new semester. So whether it’s meeting the girl with your dream job, like Megan and Yasmeen, or bonding over One Direction phases, like Ally and Kali, we can’t wait to see the connections that develop this semester.

To share their advice with all of you, we got to know this semester’s mentors and mentees. Check out what our mentees are most excited to learn and what advice our mentees would give to their college-selves.

FALL 2016 CLASS: 

maura-brannigan

Mentor: Maura Brannigan

Senior Editor, Fashionista.com

Advice to her college-self: Don’t hold back. Don’t let anything intimidate you. Try it all. Say yes to everything. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or need to step back, then absolutely allow yourself to be selfish with your time — but give yourself the opportunity to learn more than you ever thought possible. You never know who or what is going to impact you most.

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Mentee: Alexis Kelly

Junior, Central Michigan University

What she’s excited about: I’m excited that the mentorship program gives me the opportunity to chat with someone who has worked professionally in the fashion industry. Although I love my classes, there is only so much you can learn from them. Having advice from these girl bosses is not only inspiring, but valuable!

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Mentor: Ariana Marsh

Fashion News Associate, Teen Vogue

Advice to her college-self: Make sure you educate yourself about all aspects of the industry, even those you think you’ll never need to know about for your specific desired career. Read up on fashion history, learn which designers are at at the helm of each of the major houses, look into what’s happening business-wise with brands and the market overall, stay on top of the industry’s social trends. Everything is connected. The more informed you are, the more informed your work will be.

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Mentee: Melissa Epifano

Junior, University of Oregon

What she’s excited about: Being from the west coast, it’s really tough to find connections in fashion journalism. So the mentorship program  is a really exciting way for me to connect with someone who’s passionate like me, and who’s willing to help me grow.

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Olivia Muenter

Fashion & Beauty Editor, Bustle.com

Advice to her college-self: The less time you spend comparing yourself to everyone else, the more successful you’ll be.

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Mentee: Ally Zacek

Junior, DePaul University

What she’s excited about: I’m excited to talk with someone who can really help answer any and all questions I have. Olivia’s career path is one I would like to emulate, so to get advice and the chance to pick her brain is really amazing!

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Mentor: Melissa Levin

COO & Editorial Director, CollegeFashionista

Advice to her college-self: Set goals, not expectations. Creating expectations of where you think you should be is actually rather limiting. Goals allow you to be fluid in the pursuit of your dreams.

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Mentee: Elizabeth Morales

Senior, DePauw University

What she’s excited about: I can’t wait to hear an insider’s perspective on the industry and to get advice from someone who is doing editorial work (as well as being an all-around amazing individual) because that is something that I hope to go into after school.

Syma-Raza

Mentor: Syma Raza

Public Relations Coordinator, American Eagle Outfitters + AERIE

Advice to her college-self: Always have a creative outlet — in college you’re slammed with projects, but try to make time for yourself. This is a special time in your life where you have downtime to find your passion!

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Mentee: Sierra Cortner

Senior, Emory University

What she’s excited about: CollegeFashionista‘s mentorship program offers an air of transparency to the business of fashion that is difficult to obtain on Emory’s predominantly pre-med campus. I hope to learn as much from Sayma about fashion PR in New York in order to prepare for graduation in (gasp!) less than a year.

Mentor: Ellie Whiteford

Senior Public Relations Manager

peyton-lee

Mentee: Peyton Lee

Senior, York College of Pennsylvania

What she’s excited about: I can’t wait to hear my mentor’s current goals and projects for her company to get a taste of the assignments I would be working on in my future career. As a Public Relations Major, learning about how her company creates content gives me a lot to look forward to after graduation!

kali-concepcion

Mentor: Kali Concepcion

Art Manager, CollegeFashionista

Advice to her college-self: Even though I wasn’t in college that long ago, I would simply say to be more interested. Since being out of school I’ve found that one of my favorite things to do is learn — whether it’s a personal interest or a random subject I naturally forgot about immediately after the test. Now that learning isn’t being pushed by the daily grind of a curriculum, everything somehow feels like it applies to my life more and I want to know about it all. Keep your textbooks!

ally-scandolo

Mentee: Ally Scandolo

Senior, University of Toronto

What she’s excited about: As a student in the liberal arts program, I haven’t had the experience of getting to know someone in the fashion industry yet. I’m really excited to get to know the full details of what working as an Art Manager entails and getting to know Kali more!

yasmeen-gharnit

Mentor: Yasmeen Gharnit

Freelance Writer, Editor and Social Media Strategist

Advice to her college-self: Stay chill. Make sure you really take time to figure out what you want and how to get there. Oh, and make sure to balance out binge-watching with personal projects. It’s important for your mental sanity to foster your creativity in whatever way possible, trust me, your future self.

megan-sharp

Mentee: Megan Sharp

Senior, Pace University

What she’s excited about: After one meeting with my mentor, I already feel like I’ve gotten so much useful advice. I want to build myself personally and professionally through this program.

erin-fahan

Mentor: Erin Fahan

Freelancer

Advice to her college-self: Find someone that you see as a career role model. Learn about their struggles and successes. It helps to know where you want to end up and find someone who’s already taken the journey.

kelsey-cadenas

Mentee: Kelsey Cadenas

Junior, Savannah College of Art and Design

What she’s excited about: I am super excited to pick Erin’s brain and learn from her experiences within the fashion industry. The one-on-one personalized attention is so rare and I’m looking forward to taking advantage of it!

How To Turn Your Instagram Into A Résumé
Peyton Lee
Oct 03, 2016

As college students, we’re always applying for something. We’re either looking to apply for internships or jobs, all before, during and after graduation. You’ve been working so hard in your major and now all you need is one extra way to help you stand out from others to a future employer.

 

We all know that employers are looking for your social media accounts, but why hide them? Nowadays, submitting your social media accounts with your résumé can help you get your foot in the door.

 

To be taken seriously in the professional world, you’ll want to upgrade your Instagram account from the old college partying pictures to a classy aesthetic.

 

With social media, it’s a free opportunity (both figuratively and literally) to an employer that you can convey a story through your creative eye and voice. Putting relevant and beautiful photos together may just be a hobby, but if you’re good at it, you may already be a few steps ahead of the game. Here are some of my tips to amp up your profile for a future employer.

 

Show off what makes you who you are. If you’re good at drawing, singing, designing, writing or anything else, put it in an Instagram post! Focus on telling a story through your posts. I’ve met a lot of people who have said they were hired because their captions were funny. Take the time to make creative captions on each post to show off your talents and humor. Your future boss may be looking for that!

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(Photo via @jaidabrinkley_)

 

Skip the college clichés. Instead of posting pictures in the college dorm hallway on a Thursday, post pictures of you and your friends downtown at brunch! Document your hiking, traveling and exploring instead of late night posts. Go through a spring cleaning and make sure you don’t have any photos of you that you wouldn’t want a future employer to see.

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(Photo via @katilyn_perry)

 

Show how you’re involved. Work related to your major is just as beneficial on social media as it is on a resume. If you’re constantly the photographer for your school’s events, make sure you share that! A future employer would like to see that you’re working hard. If you’re regularly involved in philanthropy, share that too! Showing that you do different things than anyone else will help you stand out.

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(Photo via @kierraxmakayla)

How This CollegeFashionista Team Member Interned Her Way to a J-O-B
The CollegeFashionista Team
Aug 17, 2016

Ever since Katie Fabry first joined the CollegeFashionista team her freshman year at Stonehill College, we knew she was something special. Among the thousands of Style Gurus we have each semester, Katie just shined.

Let’s get something clear—Katie didn’t do this by being the loudest in the room or making over-the-top bold moves. She approached every opportunity, every internship with grace, professionalism, an incredible amount of talent and a constant desire to improve. Katie let her skill set, “can do” attitude and professionalism speak for themselves. And speak they did. It was a no-brainer  that as Katie approached graduation, her journey with CollegeFashionista was just beginning.

Now as CollegeFashionista’s Brand Marketing Manager, Katie is reflecting on her journey and dispensing super valuable advice to our readers how you too can intern your way to your dream job!

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Like every 18-year-old faced with the question of what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, I had no idea. I entered Stonehill College with two goals: have at least three internships and get to London. For some reason, I figured if I could do these two things, the rest of my life would fall into place. Naiveté is underappreciated.

By the time of my graduation, I completed nine internships and found time to make it to London. My first internship started the summer of my freshman year when I became a Style Guru for CollegeFashionista. After that summer, I would go on to be an editorial intern, Head Style Guru and marketing intern. By learning as much about CollegeFashionista’s operations as possible and by maintaining my relationships with the team, I landed my first (dream) job!

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From one Style Guru to the next, here are my top five tips for turning your internship into a job:

1—People will not hand you an internship. Go take it. My college didn’t have a fashion program, or even a fashion club. Most of my peers didn’t think Acne was anything more than irritated skin, much less a major fashion brand. I did a lot of cold emailing to get the positions I wanted. Learn to look out for yourself.

2—Say thank you. After every interview, send a thank you email. On the last day of your internship, bring in thank you notes for your team and give your boss a little gift. It goes a long way.

3—Try everything. I interned in in everything from PR to web development. Things that you think you love, you’ll hate and things that you think you’ll hate, you’ll love. Turn your interests into internships and a career path will start to come along.

4—Speak up. If you have a great idea or think something could be done more efficiently, say so. Age doesn’t stifle your insight. You’re young, but smart – make that known.

5—Stop doubting yourself. No one knows what they’re doing. I repeat, no one. Learn to think on your feet and don’t be afraid to ask questions. The person who hired you saw something in you. Prove it to them.

Your Seven Plan Step to Finishing Out Your Internship on a High
The CollegeFashionista Team
Jul 26, 2016

It’s no secret that the end goal of any internship is getting a J-O-B. And with summer (sadly) coming to an end, it’s important to finish out your internship on a high. Think of your internship as a marathon and you are striving for that photo finish. Dig deep, push harder and don’t forget to smile.

Don’t squander all the hard work and strong reputation you built up this summer. It’s your time to shine. Follow the seven foolproof steps to ensure you finish your internship on a high!

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1—Be present. It is hard not let your mind wander to back-to-school. The class schedule, the new apartment, the back-to-school shindigs. But that doesn’t mean you should mentally check-out of your internship in these last few weeks. Keep up the pace and work hard until your final hugs and handshakes goodbye.

2—Do something memorable (in a good way). Everyone wants to be remembered fondly. So do something noteworthy these last few weeks to leave a positive lasting memory. We’re not talking about wearing something wildly inappropriate or sparking some interoffice drama. Try speaking up during a team meeting or pitching an idea to your supervisor. Be remembered for your rockstar attitude, not your questionable outfit choices.

3—”Can we chat?” Set up a time with your supervisor to talk about your performance. Offer to come in early or stay late to make the meeting at a time that works best for your boss. Taking that initiative shows that you care about and value the time you spent at your internship and the experiences that you gained. This would also be a good time to talk to possibility of job opportunities.

4—Show off. Contrary to what you may think, you learned more this summer than how your boss takes her coffee. With your company’s permission (this step v. important), collect samples of projects you worked on and examples of your work to include in your portfolio.

5—K.I.T. Don’t walk out on your last day saying, “Okay, bye! See ya never!” Completely ghosting your internship fam is not only bad form, but pretty much undoes everything you worked hard to build this summer.

6—Be specific. Besides being a wealth of knowledge, your boss also has another valuable asset—his or her contact list. If you have done a great job this summer, they would probably be more than happy to make connections for you…to the right person that is. Don’t just ask for unfettered access to their thousands of contacts. Instead, see if your boss would be willing to introduce you to a few specific people at companies you have targeted as potential places you would want to work.

7— The most important thing. Saying “thank you” is a must and often overlooked step in finishing out your internship. The company you interned for selected you over other qualified candidates, taught you new skills and helped you further your future career in one way or another. That’s massive! So be sure to thank your supervisor with at minimum a handwritten note. (Bringing in your boss’ favorite sweet treat, a candle you know she likes or some other small personal gesture also is a personal and perceptive touch!)

CollegeFashionista’s “Office Hours” Podcast—New Episode Featuring Model Iskra Lawrence!
The CollegeFashionista Team
Jun 24, 2016

The official CollegeFashionista podcast is taking the internet by storm! As a top ranked and noteworthy podcast on iTunes, we are excited to share with you more episodes and continue to provide unique content you won’t hear anywhere else!

Iskra Lawrence is one model who is definitely a model of class, brains and beauty. One of the most successful models today, Iskra Lawrence joins Office Hours this week. We discuss getting let go from her first modeling agency (which turned out to be the best thing to happen to her), her Aerie Role Model position and the importance of self care and self love.

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Whether you are walking to your internship, taking a coffee break or unwinding in bed, you can access these “Office Hours” at your convenience. Check us out the latest episode and all episodes on iTunes, Soundcloud and the Sideshow Network.

Get ready to get schooled in style (and learn a thing or two in the process).

CLASS OF 2016—What is the one thing you would tell your freshman self?
The CollegeFashionista Team
May 18, 2016

Graduating is a mixed bag of emotions. You are sad to say goodbye to your friends as you disperse around the country (and world). You are scared about the uncertainty and the reality of becoming a “grown up.” But you are also looking forward to a new beginning, no more finals and living out your real life version of the show, “GIRLS.”

We here at CollegeFashionista are also emotional basket cases when it comes to graduation season. We must say goodbye to another batch of senior Style Gurus, as they become alum not only of their respective colleges and universities, but of CollegeFashionista as well. Whether they have been part of the CF family for a single semester or four years, we know that the Style Guru Class of 2016 is going to accomplish truly incredible things. We can’t wait to see what post-grad life has in store this talented group!

We are sending off our seniors in style. All month long, we will be bringing you features that highlight the thoughts and advice from the CollegeFashionista Class of 2016.

We asked our senior Style Gurus, What is one thing you would tell your freshman self?

Check out what some of these graduating rockstars had to say!

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Don’t take yourself too seriously: enjoy the environment, professors and myriad of opportunities available to you.“—Thando Mlambo

Don’t be afraid to reach for the stars.“—Sara Maynard

“Say ‘yes’ more.”—Michelle Cernauske

Explore—with friends, places, food, clothing.“—Katie Telepak

If you dress well, you test well.“—Khody Nokeo

Be bold and explore all your options!“—Shelcy Joseph

Don’t be afraid to try anything and everything! You’ll find new things you like and great friends along the way!“—Hannah Cebula

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Everything always works out with time.“—Alyssa DiFrancesco

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Your best friends will be the people you least expect. Also, screenshot the campus map on your phone so you don’t carry a map around on your first day.“—Tess Stairiker

Take the time to enjoy college, as it is definitely one of the best times in one’s life. There will always be plenty of time to stress about the future—sit back and enjoy the ride.“—Kasia Kujawski

Take a deep breath.“—Reina Sekiguchi

Work as hard as you possibly can, but don’t forget to have fun.“—Anna Coke

Time management is key! Your planner should be your life. Make sure to leave time before project due dates in case you get behind/need a day or two off from homework. Invest in a cute one that can help you stay organized and obviously be stylish at the same time.“—Cassidy Hutton

It’s ok to not know what you want to do yet! Just relax and have fun.”—Jaclyn Carleton

Don’t worry about trying to please or impress everyone. Just do you and people will respect you for it. And get some sleep.“—Assata Terell

Don’t wait to get involved! If I could go back, I would join as many clubs as I could freshman year.“—Lexy O’Keefe

Your network can never be too large.”—Kristin Clark

Try harder.“—Katherine Shkreli

Start interning early! There are people who will say you can’t or shouldn’t intern until you have a couple years of college under your belt; don’t listen to them!“—Courtney Pelot

Live in the moment because four years goes by way too fast!”—Olivia Gracey

To always try new things, you never know what new passion you might stumble on.“—Shelby Lewandoski

If you’re curious, then go explore! Don’t let anyone hold you back from finding yourself in college.“—Sidney Salvador

Don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to do just yet, or if you feel like you don’t have it all together—it happens to more people than you think and it’s totally okay!”—Julie Jimenez

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That change is a good thing! Don’t be afraid to take the road less traveled or explore things out of your comfort zone.“—Rachel Zydyk

Take every chance, opportunity and risk.”—Michelle Igdalev

To make the most of college academically and socially. Get involved in everything you can because college goes by very quick.“—Jenna Swanholm

Go to class!!“—Sheeva Izadi

There are no shortcuts for hard work.“—Tanya Khan

Don’t be afraid of your lack of experience, everyone has to start somewhere.“—Meagan Sapashe

Don’t sweat it! Don’t overthink about things you need to get done, they will work out the way they should.“—Kathryn Reaven

“Do what you love and never compare yourself to anyone else around you.”—Elizabeth Diehl

Believe in the beauty of yourself, your future is so bright.“—Jasmine Green

No matter how hard the obstacle you can over come it if you have faith in yourself.“—Brianna Fox-Priest

The moment you stop living for others expectations is the moment you will exceed them. Be authentic.“—Lauren Saltis

Enjoy the ride, find your passion and never let anyone deny you of that.”—Emily Lebsock

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The CollegeFashionista Mentorship Program
The CollegeFashionista Team
May 18, 2016

As previously mentioned, as part of CollegeFashionista’s commitment to empowering our readers and Style Gurus, we have launched the CollegeFashionista Mentorship Program. We have paired some of our current rockstar Style Gurus with CollegeFashionista alumni to act as mentors.

Each month, we will be checking-in with and highlight some of the mentor-mentee pairings to see what they have learned from one another through the process and sharing this insight with you the reader!

Eva Thomas, University of Minnesota

Eva Thomas

What is your favorite part about being a mentee? My favorite thing about being a mentee is talking with someone who was in my shoes not too long ago and who has very similar goals to mine! It’s great to have Erika there for advice and guidance, especially as I’m nearing the end of my last semester in college. 

What is one thing you have learned from your mentor? I have learned so many valuable things from Erika, but I think the most important thing she has taught me is to really go for your dreams and things will fall into place when the time is right.

Describe your mentor in three words. Funny. Helpful. Kind. 

Erika Harwood, Writer at MTV News

Erika Harwood

What is your favorite part about being a mentor? Being able to meet someone who’s like-minded and wants to work in fashion.

What is one thing you have learned from your mentee? I should try to make my Instagram cooler (she never told me this per se, but hers is so much better than mine!)

Describe your mentee in three words. Stylish (though that’s probably a given). Hardworking. Funny.

Sam Yohannes, Ryerson University

Sam Yohannes

What is your favorite part about being a mentee? Getting internship advice that applies across many fields from a CollegeFashionista alumna, who has gone through the post-grad job search and is now working in her field, has been invaluable and reassuring.

What is one thing you have learned from your mentor? Danielle taught me that having a range of responsibilities (i.e. social media mgmt., blogging, photography etc.) displayed on a resume is vital and can help set you apart from other candidates during the application process. Try your hand at a new task that may initially seem daunting—not only will it enhance the ‘experience’ and ‘skills’ sections of your CV, but you could end up liking and even excelling in it.

Describe your mentor in three words. Driven. Hardworking. Knowledgeable.

Danielle Nahan, PR Specialist

Danielle Nahan

What is your favorite part about being a mentor? Neither of us are based in New York and desperately want to be. It is nice to have someone in a similar boat. 

What is one thing you have learned from your mentee? This girl has an impressive resume. If you are looking for an intern, hire her. But really, it is great to hear about her determination and passion for the industry. She is proactive and it will take her places!

Describe your mentee in three words. Determined. Creative. Good-hearted.

Courtney Pelot, University of Wisconsin-Madison

CourtneyPelot

What is your favorite part about being a mentee? I love being a mentee because this is such a unique experience to learn, gain insight and grow. Danielle and I have had a blast getting to know each other these past few weeks, and she’s proven to be helpful and supportive in multiple facets of my life, from school to job hunting and pageant prep. 

What is one thing you have learned from your mentor? I’ve learned that everyone’s career path is different and that your first job might not be and doesn’t have to be your job forever.

Describe your mentor in three words. Supportive. Wise. Inspiring.

Danielle Smith, Wholesale Assistant Planner, Free People

 Danielle Smith

What is your favorite part about being a mentor? I always feel so uplifted after speaking to Courtney. She is a beam of positive energy! She is so passionate and full of energy and excitement all the time—it is contagious! 

What is one thing you have learned from your mentee? Courtney exemplifies what it is to be a go-getter. She has laser focus on the goals she is pursuing (such as becoming the next Miss Wisconsin!) and she truly gives all she has to the experience, knowing that the more she puts into it the more she will get out of it. 

Describe your mentee in three words. Sincere. Vivacious. Driven.  

How-To Dress For An Internship Without Losing Your Personal Style
The CollegeFashionista Team
May 17, 2016

So you have landed that dream internship. First of all, congrats! It is now time to make the most of this opportunity and let your talent, intellect and personality shine.

Presenting yourself professionally is just as important as completing your to-do lists and rocking those coffee orders. The good news is that you don’t have to sacrifice your personal style in order to make it “in the real world.”

Check out our guide on how-to dress for your internship without losing your personal style!

Stick to a single color palette. Wearing color and working in an office can go hand-in-hand. Loving the white on white trend? Great! Consider wearing white trousers and a classic button-down to make the trend profesh appropriate. (Photo via @freehandednonsense)

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Throwback office looks. Retro looks are always in—especially when it comes to ’50s and ’60s styles. Go mod for a look your boss can’t be mad about. (Photo via @hannahrosepittel)

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Focused flair. The office isn’t the place to rock a print jacket AND bold pair of heels AND six statement necklaces. Stick to one standout piece and build your look around that garment for flair that won’t flare the temper of your supervisor. (Photo via @kay_ng)

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Work the trends. Use the trends to your advantage. Oversized specs are majorly popular. Rock your four eyes for a look that shows you are serious about work and style. (Photo via @kelseykeena)

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Denim debunked. Unless you are working in finance, denim tends to be totally fine to wear to the office. Note—your internship is not the place for booty revealing cut-offs. A tasteful pair of distressed jeans or a button-down skirt are our picks for denim that works at work! (Photo via @nycxclothes)

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The one piece that goes a long way. When it doubt, a pair of heels can make an outfit suddenly more polished. Just be sure to store some slides or flat sandals in your bag so you aren’t slowed down when running those super important intern errands (cough, cough *taking coffee orders* cough, cough). (Photo via @sundaythredsblog)

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“When I Was 22″—CollegeFashionista’s Founder’s Advice to the Class of 2016
Sammy Walsh
May 12, 2016

Graduation time is upon us. And even though I graduated more years ago than I care to count, I have as of late been reflecting of being 22. This weekend, I will be attending the wedding of one of my closest friends I met freshman year of college. I will see faces I have not seen since graduation day and catch up with old friends that hold some great memories of my past.

Everyone there will have changed somehow.

Some people stayed in the Midwest, some moved across the globe. Others are married, some even have children; some have chosen to climb the corporate ladder and hold well-earned prestigious titles. No matter where we find ourselves today, we shared this special four-year college experience together and then left the comfort of familiarity and entered into the unknown. We all have our own stories now.

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When I was 22, I never would have guessed at this age I would be living in New York City, running my own media business and have met the love of my life. And if this all sounds like a fairy tale—believe it wasn’t without its stresses, failures and tears, I promise you. I spent a majority of my early-20s trying to plan every little detail of my future and attempting to control the uncontrollable. The reality is life doesn’t work this way.

CollegeFashionista started out of nativity at the age of 22 and my eagerness to try something no one else I knew at the time was doing. I have spent my 20s challenging myself in every way possible. I have learned to take ‘no’ as a way to push myself even further. I have learned the importance of strong mentors to help me avoid common mistakes. I have realized how meaningfully family truly is. I have lost friends that were toxic and gained new friends that fulfill me and bring happiness to my life. I have avoided comparing myself to others. I have appreciated the power of social media but also learned how to disconnect from it. I have learned the value of money and how budgeting is essential to your life. I have learned how important balance is to being successful.

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As you move to the next phase of your life I want to share some words of wisdom that I wish I had listened to upon graduating..

If you weren’t the person you wanted to be in college, start over. Don’t let the past define you.

Stop planning. The unexpected part of your 20s is the best part. You will hit a point in life where everything becomes routine. Enjoy the age and place you are at now.

There is no substitute for hard work.

Hit the pause button from time-to-time. Detach from social media, technology and be present. Life will move quicker then you can imagine.

You are the star of your own show.

And the biggest secret is that no one has it all figured out—not at 22; not at 29. So take a deep breath and GO!

Congratulations, Class of 2016.

CLASS OF 2016—”What was the most important thing you learned in college?”
The CollegeFashionista Team
May 11, 2016

Graduating is a mixed bag of emotions. You are sad to say goodbye to your friends as you disperse around the country (and world). You are scared about the uncertainty and the reality of becoming a “grown up.” But you are also looking forward to a new beginning, no more finals and living out your real life version of the show, “GIRLS.”

We here at CollegeFashionista are also emotional basket cases when it comes to graduation season. We must say goodbye to another batch of senior Style Gurus, as they become alum not only of their respective colleges and universities, but of CollegeFashionista as well. Whether they have been part of the CF family for a single semester or four years, we know that the Style Guru Class of 2016 is going to accomplish truly incredible things. We can’t wait to see what post-grad life has in store this talented group!

We are sending off our seniors in style. All month long, we will be bringing you features that highlight the thoughts and advice from the CollegeFashionista Class of 2016.

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We asked our senior Style Gurus, “What was the most important thing you learned outside of the classroom?”

Check out what some of these graduating rockstars had to say!

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“In college, you’re going to encounter tons of people who do not share your same worldview, sense of morality, or upbringing. This is okay—more than okay; it’s actually pretty cool.” —Sarah Yung

Making connections and building relationships with your peers, professors and industry professionals is the best way to have a successful personal and professional life.“—Ally Rohmann

Surround yourself with people that appreciate who you are and want to see you thrive. They are out there, but you have to go outside your comfort zone to find them sometimes.“—Kassee Keudell

“I learned to appreciate being alone. After moving to NYC for my co-op with no friends, I learned how to take myself on dates and explore a city by myself. It made the experience more personal!”—Emily Engle

“Respect yourself and learn to say no to others.”—Tiffany Lintakoon

I learned that you truly have to YOLO it sometimes and do things that’ll make you happy, regardless of the possible consequences.”—Bailey Wojcik

Confidence.”—Hannah Littlefield

Time-management skills.”—Maria Vastopoulos

To work harder, grind harder.”—Aramis Harmon

How far talking to random people can get you—whether that be professionally or socially.“—Holly Reimer

I learned that it’s okay to be yourself. You don’t have to fit into a mold of who people think you should be. You can be your true and genuine self and no one will judge you.”—Kaitlyn Fensterer

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I learned how to be a women, I learned how to be independent and do stuff for myself! Self love is the best love!“—Chandler Lewis

You might need a degree to get a job, but the most valuable thing you can do in college is get experience- whether it be through internships or clubs.“—Abigail Dobbertin

Good friends go a long way!“—Rachel Mendelson

Meet people from different parts of campus.”—Veronica Wayne

People are going to stare. Make it worth their while.“—Allison Keck

It’s okay to sometimes let loose every now and then. Don’t push yourself to the breaking point! Your family knows that you are working hard; your family is proud. Overworking yourself isn’t healthy! It’s okay to just have ‘me time’ where you relax and let go of everything.”—Teria Litman

Internships taught me so much! I’d definitely recommend interning as much as possible. Even if it doesn’t directly relate to what you want to do, you’ll learn people skills and about work environments.“—Tori Radday

Traveling solo made my soul come alive.“—Storm Tyler

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Making my health and well-being a priority, and saying no to people when I feel overwhelmed.“—Kamila Jambulatova

When one door closes, another one will open.“—Alexia Morton

You get what you put into it.“—Allison Keaton

Have a positive attitude and always be humble.“—Claire Larkins

How to be independent.”—Riannon Gibson

I learned a lot about who I am as a person.”—Emily Murray

Everyone is different and that’s perfectly okay. Not everyone has to have the same interests or opinions to get along. Cooperating and learning to work with those who are different than you is way more fun.“—Emily Austin

Be sure to take time to do the things you’re passionate about outside of school.“—Emily Lebsock

Say ‘yes’ to new adventures!“—Carlita Kelly

In order to do well in school/work, you must also do well in other aspects of your life, like staying organized and eating healthy.“—Hannah Gilmartin

Time management. You juggle so many different things in college, sometimes I didn’t even realize I was doing it. But, it’s a great way to create a balance and find what is most important to you.“—Martha Eelman

I’ve learned to trust myself more.“—Stefanie Marques Jordao

The most important thing is learning to grow.”—Nicolette Piccininni

One thing I learned outside of the classroom would be… how to value relationships. Ironically, going away to college created a better relationship between my mom and I. The distance was a killer, but it definitely helped me become better at communicating with loved ones and keeping my balance.“—Melissa Simon

Don’t leave things for last minute.”—Gabriela Candelaria

Being your authentic self is way more important than not and learn to be okay with change.“—Brianna Fox-Priest

Having good friends and good times are more important than straight As.”—Jessica Long

You are the master of your reality and have the power to make the most of anything that you would like to achieve. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.“—Charity Gates

CollegeFashionista’s “Office Hours” Podcast—New Episode Featuring Condé Nast Traveler’s Jayna Maleri
The CollegeFashionista Team
May 10, 2016

The official CollegeFashionista podcast is taking the internet by storm! As a top ranked and noteworthy podcast on iTunes, we are excited to share with you more episodes and continue to provide unique content you won’t hear anywhere else!

Writing, travel and style? Is there any other better trifecta—especially when it comes to a job? Bringing a smart young face to the new role of Style Editor at Condé Nast Traveler, Jayna Maleri joins Amy this week. They cover everything from the next “it” city to what it’s like day in and day out at Condé Nast.

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Whether you are walking to class, taking a study break or unwinding in bed, you can access these “Office Hours” at your convenience. Check us out the latest episode and all episodes on iTunes, Soundcloud and the Sideshow Network.

Get ready to get schooled in style (and learn a thing or two in the process).

Top 5 Reasons Getting the Lunch Order Right Is Key to Future Success
The CollegeFashionista Team
May 05, 2016

As we head into the end of the semester, those all important summer internships and first jobs are right around the corner! And while you hope that your new role will land you a byline, some on-air screen time or even a shout out from the CEO, the reality is a lot of your time will be spent making the work lives of everyone around you better. But instead of looking at making the daily coffee run or taking of lunch orders as menial tasks,WhoWhatWear and Clique Media’s, Hillary Kerr, explains there is more to learn from this task than the fact that there are 37 ways to order a latte.

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There are a handful of things in life that are inevitable—death, taxes, and ugly bridesmaid dresses—including one work task you’re sure to be assigned as an assistant or intern: getting the lunch order. It seems like a drag, for sure, especially in Los Angeles, where people are almost legally required to get Sally Albright–ordering-pie levels of complicated (“I’d like the pie heated and I don’t want the ice cream on top, I want it on the side, and I’d like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it, if not, then no ice cream, just whipped cream, but if it’s out of the can then nothing.”), though obviously no one in this town orders dessert.

For an educated, qualified, ambitious individual, having to deal with someone’s lunch order can feel reductive, and it’s easy to see it as an annoying responsibility that’s not actually teaching you anything or helping your career progress—but that’s simply not true. Here’s the good news: There is a direct correlation between getting the lunch order right and succeeding in your career, and here’s why…

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1—You’re Learning to Pay Attention to Details, and Details Are Everything.

Dressing on the side, white-meat only grilled chicken, iced skinny latte with five pumps of sugar-free vanilla and light ice—whatever the order, you have to get it right down to the smallest detail. It’s true for lunch, and it’s just as true for work projects. The ability to execute any task flawlessly is essential at every stage of your career, and the sooner you realize the way you handle small responsibilities tells your boss how you will handle larger responsibilities, the better.

2—You’re Learning How to Effectively Communicate.

Being able to really hear what your employers are saying and being able to efficiently, effectively communicate with them is a hugely important skill you simply must master. I can’t tell you how many times miscommunication has completely derailed a project, and it’s incredibly frustrating when you realize that a deadline was missed or a sale was lost due to people simply not understanding each other. That’s why you have to start practicing the fine art of communication as early as possible, and being able to correctly understand and place someone’s lunch order is a great, relatively low-stakes way to hone that skill.

3—You’re Learning How to Delegate.

One of the crucial skills everyone has to master at some point in his or her career is being able to delegate effectively. As an assistant, you’re hopefully learning this by working with interns and overseeing their projects, but the lunch order is another great place to advance that skill. Even if you’ve clearly communicated what you want, you still need to check the work you’ve delegated, since ultimately it’s your responsibility that things are done correctly. Keep that in mind when you’re picking up lunch. Instead of just grabbing the order and heading back to the office, take the time to double-check that the restaurant followed your (hopefully) clearly communicated instructions. You asked for a turkey and cranberry salad, hold the cranberries, add walnuts, hold the goat cheese, with the dressing on the side, but is that actually what’s in your bag? Don’t assume; do the smart thing and double-check it.

4—You’re Learning How to Troubleshoot in Advance.

The most valuable people in any company are the ones who know how to think ahead and can anticipate potential problems before they happen. This is true in business; this is true in lunch orders. Since we’re talking about lunch orders, after you’ve placed the order and checked to make sure it was executed correctly, it’s time to think ahead. Before you return to the office, take a second to think about what else your boss might want, even if she hasn’t explicitly asked for it. Whether it’s a side of oil and vinegar, just in case your boss doesn’t like the dressing she ordered, or making sure there are napkins and utensils in the bag, getting ahead of potential small problems is always a smart move.

5—You’re Learning How to Be Resourceful.

No matter how clear you were over the phone or how detailed your Postmates order was, at some point in your lunch-ordering process, things will go wrong. Rather than solely presenting your boss with a problem, be resourceful and give her solutions, too. For example, if the item she ordered isn’t available, rather than just saying that, give her three similar options at the same restaurant, or similar options at other restaurants that are nearby. Show that you’re thinking about ways to fix the issue, rather than assuming she’ll have the solution. Even if she doesn’t take your suggestions, she will still appreciate the fact that you’re being resourceful and trying to find alternative ways to get what she wants. Best of all, that ability to think on your feet and be proactive will serve you well in all aspects of your career, long after you’re responsible for anyone’s lunch order.

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For more amazing advice and words of wisdom for Hillary, check out her new book “The Career Code” which she co-wrote with her WhoWhatWear Co-Founder, Katherine Power.

Photos via @hillarykerr

HOW DOES SHE DO IT? Katie Sturino on Being an Entrepreneur, Blogger and Famous Dog Momager
The CollegeFashionista Team
May 02, 2016

Thriving in one role is challenging enough. But simultaneously juggling and achieving success in multiple different careers takes serious dedication, super hero talent and major hustle.

Enter Katie Sturino. Some know her as PR entrepreneur; some may know her as the body positive blogger behind “The 12ish Style.” Many of you probably recognize Katie from her furry companions, Toast, Muppet and Pants. We here at CollegeFashionista know her as the true definition of hard work and a major source of inspiration.

When we caught up with this fashion insider, we obviously had a million questions. Our biggest question—how does she do it all? (And with style and grace to boot!)

We caught up with Katie (and her famous pups) as she discussed the importance of time management, the power of hard work and what she has learned along the way.

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CollegeFashionista: You have a successful blog; are the momager to Toast, Muppet and Pants; and have your own PR agency. First of all, do you sleep? ? Second of all, walk us through a typical day. 

Katie Sturino: Ha! I do sleep, but I manage my time very efficiently. I do not have a lot of free time to just chill with friends or go braindead on the internet…I am trying to make more space for that because you need downtime. Every day is different. The only thing that is constant is my morning routine of getting up around 7 and taking the dogs outside. Muppet jumps out of bed as soon as I do and Pants waits on the edge of the bed for me to lift her off…Toast stays buried under the covers and gives me the death stare when I come to her with her collar. We all head to The Elk a few blocks from my house for coffee and dog treats. Then it’s meetings or photoshoots or conference calls or hopefully a few hours to write and respond to emails. I wish I had a better routine. I try and meditate a few times a week at MNDFL and take workout classes as often as I can. 

CF: All of your outlets are really authentic and so “on brand,” how do you keep up and segregate each role? 

KS: I realized recently (and maybe I should have seen this before) that the dog accounts are all different parts of my personality. Toast is a model/diva, Muppet is jealous and a little nuts, and Pants is silly and wishes she lived in Tokyo. Their personalities really do stem from their own behavior but the voice is mine. People always ask why I don’t post 12ish on the dogs accounts more, but I think that people who come to a dogs page to see a cute face don’t want to feel like there is a person behind it pushing an agenda. 

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CF: What inspired you to start “The 12ish Style”

KS: I was featured on “The Man Repeller” in a story about dressing for your body type and saw all of the positive comments I got about my shape. It was the first time in my life that I didn’t feel like the only curvy girl in the room. It clicked for me that I should be helping other women feel good about their own bodies. 

CF: What is your advice to others look to achieve a body positive attitude in their own life? 

KS: There is some self acceptance that needs to take place—women of every size need to look in the mirror and make peace with themselves. Let it go. Enjoy the beach and stop looking at your thighs wishing they were smaller. I know its easier said than done but women of all sizes are so critical. Its time to put the energy into something more useful and positive. 

CF: What has been your biggest career “pinch me” moment? 

KS: I have been getting recognized recently which has been so crazy! The women who have come up to me have thanked me and told me how amazing it is to see their own body represented in the fashion space. 

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CF: What has been your biggest learning experience?

KS: I cannot do everything myself and I am not great at everything. Its about finding what comes naturally and outsourcing those other needs to people who are great at that skill.

CF: What are three things everyone should have in their closet? 

KS: An amazing kaftan for the beach, a great fitting pair of white jeans and a camel colored coat. 

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CF: Finish these sentences: “I am always up for…”

KS: Getting ice cream.

CF: “I am never up for…”

KS: Karaoke.

CF: What is your advice for someone looking to create their own brand (either personal brand/blog or company)? 

KS: You need experience first. Because of the few breakout stars that made it without any prior experience, I think there’s a common misconception amongst girls that they should just become a brand straight out of the gate. Working and learning from other people is so vital in shaping your path.

The CollegeFashionista Mentorship Program
The CollegeFashionista Team
Apr 27, 2016

As previously mentioned, as part of CollegeFashionista’s commitment to empowering our readers and Style Gurus, we have launched the CollegeFashionista Mentorship Program. We have paired some of our current rockstar Style Gurus with CollegeFashionista alumni to act as mentors.

Each month, we will be checking-in with and highlight some of the mentor-mentee pairings to see what they have learned from one another through the process and sharing this insight with you the reader!

Meagan Sapashe, University of South Florida

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What is your favorite part about being a mentee? My favorite part about being a mentee is having someone to talk to about post-graduation options. It’s nice to have a straightforward opinion from someone who isn’t biased one way or another. Plus, she went to the same university as me!

What is one thing you have learned from your mentor? I’ve learned a lot from my mentor, especially about the transition from university to career. She has also given some #RAD advice on interviews and resumes.

Describe your mentor in three words. Creative. Unique. Driven.

Aisha Hatter, Marketing Manager at CollegeFashionista

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What is your favorite part about being a mentor? It’s really cool that someone is interested in hearing my advice. I feel like I was so recently in Meagan’s position and it feels good to be able to offer a perspective from the other side. I also love that she’s a USF Style Guru because that’s where all of this craziness began for me.

What is one thing you have learned from your mentee? I’ve learned so much from Meagan – she’s much more practical than me and takes the time to weigh her options instead of just jumping at the first thing she sees. I really respect that about her.

Describe your mentee in three words. Smart. Visual. Creative. ­

Andy Jackson, Delaware State University

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What is your favorite part about being a mentee? My favorite part about being a mentee is being able to receive advice from someone who has already been through the difficult parts of getting to where they are now. I love hearing stories of what James went through, and how he succeeded in getting what he wanted!

What is one thing you have learned from your mentor? I have learned that you don’t have to go to the best school to get where you want to go or graduate from the top of your class. As long as you’re hungry, prepared and using your best manners, you’re able to do anything.

Describe your mentor in three words. Thoughtful. Relatable. Funny.

James Michael Vela, Fashion News Assistant at ELLE Magazine

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What is your favorite part about being a mentor? Being a mentor means so much more than offering advice and tips on how to make it in the industry. Andy and I share so much in common and it’s been fun getting to know someone whose Instagram feed I obsessed over for quite some time now.

What is one thing you have learned from your mentee? Great styling tips and the coolest place to score the best vintage in Brooklyn, obviously.

Describe your mentee in three words. Enthusiastic. Funny. Approachable. ­

CollegeFashionista’s “Office Hours” Podcast—New Episode Featuring Teen Vogue’s Elaine Welteroth
The CollegeFashionista Team
Apr 26, 2016

The official CollegeFashionista podcast is taking the internet by storm! As a top ranked and noteworthy podcast on iTunes, we are excited to share with you more episodes and continue to provide unique content you won’t hear anywhere else!

 

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Not all New York Editors are created the same. Case and point? Elaine Welteroth has a unique point of view that mixes style, beauty, fitness and that “cool” factor that she not only shares in her stories, but also on her enviable personal Instagram account. Teen Vogue’s Beauty & Health Director, Elaine Welteroth, sits down with Amy to chat about the difference between a Glamour girl and Teen Vogue babe, plus the newest trends from Fashion Month.

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Whether you are walking to class, taking a study break or unwinding in bed, you can access these “Office Hours” at your convenience. Check us out the latest episode and all episodes on iTunes, Soundcloud and the Sideshow Network.

Get ready to get schooled in style (and learn a thing or two in the process).

CollegeFashionista’s “Office Hours” Podcast—New Episode Featuring NYLON Editor, Marissa Smith
The CollegeFashionista Team
Apr 12, 2016

The official CollegeFashionista podcast is taking the internet by storm! As a top ranked and noteworthy podcast on iTunes, we are excited to share with you more episodes and continue to provide unique content you won’t hear anywhere else!

 

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Print versus digital? What is the future for each? These are major topics buzzing around the fashion industry. In this latest “Office Hours” podcast episode, Marissa Smith, Market Editor at NYLON, sits down with Amy to engage in a conversation about the roles and benefits of print and digital as well as how to keep a happy and healthy work/life balance.

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Whether you are walking to class, taking a study break or unwinding in bed, you can access these “Office Hours” at your convenience. Check us out the latest episode and all episodes on iTunes, Soundcloud and the Sideshow Network.

Get ready to get schooled in style (and learn a thing or two in the process).

DREAM JOB—Millennials Share The 25 Most Desired Companies to Work For
The CollegeFashionista Team
Apr 07, 2016

With graduation looming closer and closer, graduating seniors and pretty much every college student is stressing about finding a J-O-B. And while the reality is that most recent grads will accept any position that pays for their coffee habit and gets them out of their parents’ house; ideally landing the dream job is the goal.

WWD recently polled a group of millennials asking them the simple question—”What is the most desired company to work for in fashion?” While the responses listed more than 200 companies, one theme was consistent—the choice was usually made for highly-emotional and passionate reasons. Translation? Millennials want a job that not only pays the rent, but they feel personally invested in as well.

WWD ranked the top 25, sharing with the world where millennials hope to land on the letterhead post-graduation. Check out the list below!

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1—Chanel

2—LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton

3—Christian Dior SE

4—Alexander Wang

5—Diane von Furstenberg

6—Kate Spade

7—Marc Jacobs

8—H&M

9—Burberry Group plc

10—Prada S.p.A

11—Nike

12—Hermès International Société

13—Tory Burch

14—Calvin Klein

15—Kering SA

16—Armani

17—Urban Outfitters

18—Donna Karan

19—Levi Strauss & Co.

20—L’Oreal

21—Under Armour, Inc.

22—Quicksilver Inc.

23—Brunello Cucinelli

24—Coach, Inc.

25—Lululemon Athletica Inc.

CollegeFashionista’s “Office Hours” Podcast—New Episode Featuring Kristie Dash of “Allure”
The CollegeFashionista Team
Mar 15, 2016

The official CollegeFashionista podcast is taking the internet by storm! As a top ranked and noteworthy podcast on iTunes, we are excited to share with you more episodes and continue to provide unique content you won’t hear anywhere else!

 

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The latest episode features the beautiful mind and advice of Kristie Dash, digital beauty editor of “Allure.” It seems there is no beauty trend this Fashionista hasn’t tried and totally nailed. (Hello, gorgeous white-blonde hair!) Besides being our go-to for product recs, insider hacks and SnapChat LOL moments, Dash is also seriously gifted in the work ethic department. In the latest episode of “Office Hours,” she chats with Amy about how working hard (like really, really hard) has helped catapult her career, even at a young age!

Naomi Mdudu:The Lifestyle Edit

Whether you are walking to class, taking a study break or unwinding in bed, you can access these “Office Hours” at your convenience. Check us out the latest episode and all episodes on iTunes, Soundcloud and the Sideshow Network.

Get ready to get schooled in style (and learn a thing or two in the process).

CollegeFashionista’s “Office Hours” Podcast—New Episode Featuring Blogger Lainy Hedaya of “Haute Inhabit”
The CollegeFashionista Team
Mar 01, 2016

The official CollegeFashionista podcast is taking the internet by storm! As a top ranked and noteworthy podcast on iTunes, we are excited to share with you more episodes and continue to provide unique content you won’t hear anywhere else!

 

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The latest episode features the super chic Lainy Hedaya; the face, fashion and brains behind the blog “Haute Inhabit.” We chatted with this blogger about growing her brand, her incredible experiences (like traveling abroad with Jimmy Choo) and the changes she’s seeing as blogging grows to new heights! If you are a fan of fashion blogsor dream of starting your own—be sure to gain some invaluable insight you simply can’t learn in the classroom.

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Whether you are walking to class, taking a study break or unwinding in bed, you can access these “Office Hours” at your convenience. Check us out the latest episode and all episodes on iTunes, Soundcloud and the Sideshow Network.

Get ready to get schooled in style (and learn a thing or two in the process).

Photo credits: Sonia Beyda, Jeff Thibodeau, Adam Katz Sinding

The CollegeFashionista Mentorship Program
The CollegeFashionista Team
Feb 24, 2016

As previously mentioned, as part of CollegeFashionista’s commitment to empowering our readers and Style Gurus, we have launched the CollegeFashionista Mentorship Program. We have paired some of our current rockstar Style Gurus with CollegeFashionista alumni to act as mentors.

Each month, we will be checking-in with and highlight some of the mentor-mentee pairings to see what they have learned from one another through the process and sharing this insight with you the reader!

Emily Lebsock, Ohio State University

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CollegeFashionista: What is your favorite part about being a menteee?

Emily Lebsock: My favorite part about being a mentee is that I love learning about Lizbeth’s experience in the fashion industry and hearing about the path she has taken to where she is now. Finding out the similarities between our interests and passions while soaking up all of the wisdom she has shared with me so far has been such a great opportunity. She has made me feel very inspired and excited about taking on the future after college!

CF: What is one thing you have learned from your mentee?

EL: To not doubt yourself or compare to other people and to get out of your own head when you’re hard on yourself. Be true to who you are as a unique individual and share yourself with the world! She really has helped me be able to see myself better to be able to showcase who I am.

CF: Describe your mentor in three words.

EL: Super sassy, hard working and kind-hearted.

Lizbeth Hernandez, blogger and founder of IMLVH.com

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CF: What is your favorite part about being a mentor?

Lizbeth Hernandez: My favorite part about being a mentor is getting to know some with the same passions and interests. It’s so nice getting carried away with topics Emily and I both love and are passionate about. Another favorite is being able to share different learning experiences that I’ve experienced in college and after graduating, which I hope helps certain transitions or experiences be a bit more bearable. 

CF: What is one thing you have learned from your mentee?

LH: I’ve really loved hearing what I have done through her eyes. It has helped me learn, that although my accomplishments thus far may be small to me, they’re something to be proud of.  

CF: Describe your mentee in three words.

LH: An individual, motivated and talented. 

 

Anna Coke – University of Kentucky

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CF: What is your favorite part about being a menteee?

Anna Coke: My favorite part of being a mentee is getting to know my mentor and hearing all the advice she has to give. I also LOVE that my mentor is Sammy! I am so passionate about CollegeFashionista and I’ve looked up to Sammy for so long, so it’s really cool to get to talk to her on a regular basis and to be able to learn from her.

CF: What is one thing you have learned from your mentor?

AC: One thing I’ve learned from Sammy is the importance of listening. I think before I started this program, I was too focused on exactly what I could do. She’s taught me that I need to also focus on what others are doing as well so that I can learn from them, because I really do have so much more to learn.

CF: Describe your mentor in three words.

AC: Kind, passionate and RAD! 

Sammy Walsh – Marketing Director, CollegeFashionista

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CF: What is your favorite part about being a mentor?

Sammy Walsh: I feel like I have learned so much while working in fashion and living in NYC, and I love getting to share the information I wish I had as a college student with someone I really respect and care about.

CF: What is one thing you have learned from your mentee?

SW: I love learning about Anna on a more personal level and hearing stories about her job, boyfriend and classes! She’s even cooler than I thought possible. Anna is also a great inspiration – I see myself in her, and she reminds me why I began working in fashion in the first place.

CF: Describe your mentee in three words.

SW: Charming, thoughtful and genuine. 

CollegeFashionista’s “Office Hours” Podcast—New Episode Featuring Hannah Bronfman
The CollegeFashionista Team
Feb 16, 2016

A few weeks ago we unveiled our latest project—the official CollegeFashionista podcast! This undertaking has become like a child to us and to see the response from our Style Gurus, readers and listeners has been incredible. Now as the #1 Fashion and Beauty podcast on iTunes, we are excited to share with you more episodes and continue to provide unique content you won’t hear anywhere else!

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The latest episode features DJ, turned model, turned entrepreneur, Hannah Bronfman. As one of our favorite and most inspiring people we follow on Instagram, Hannah sits down with Amy this week to chat. They cover the transition from your early 20s to your late 20s, share some tricks any burgeoning entrepreneur will love and the intersection of music, fashion and fitness.

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So whether you are walking to class, hitting the gym or unwinding in bed, you can access these “Office Hours” at your convenience. Check us out the latest episode and all episodes on iTunes.

Get ready to get schooled in style (and learn a thing or two in the process).

Photos of Hannah by Masha Maltsava.

FASHION INSIDER—Grace Beauley Hunt, Executive Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Magazine
The CollegeFashionista Team
Feb 03, 2016

At some point or another we have all dreamed of having the fashion dream job: working at Vogue. Grace Beuley Hunt is living/working/thriving/hustling in the dream job of dream jobs as the Executive Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief. (Anna Wintour. Maybe you have heard of her?)

It takes a lot of talent, smarts and grace (pun intended) to obtain such a coveted position. And Grace, a Hobart & William Smith Colleges alum, has all of that and more!

We caught up with this major girl on the rise and discussed everything from books to meatballs. Get to know a little bit more about this month’s fashion insider below!

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Most worn item in your closet? My J.Crew featherweight cashmere crewnecks. They’re appropriate for every occasion and the comfiest sweaters in the world.

What book are you currently reading? I’m about halfway through an advance copy of Stephanie Danler’s debut, “Sweetbitter,” and without giving too much away, the voice of the 1st person narrator (a young female waitress getting her life off the ground in NYC) is sharp, surprising, full of amazing food and wine intel, and beautifully-written.

What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Get the coffee brewing and take a hot shower. Without either component, I’m out of whack all day.

Always up for…weekend trips! Growing up in Brooklyn, nature has always been exciting and luxurious to me–a very literal interpretation of the grass is always greener, if you will.

Never up for…Sports Sundays. There is no prospect more boring to me than spending an entire free day indoors…in front of a television set. (My boyfriend and I disagree comically on this one).

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Hardest part of your job? Multitasking!

Most rewarding part of your job? I’ve always been in love with this magazine. Now from the copy, to the clothes, to the people who bring it to life, I get a front row seat.

Best way to decompress? A glass of good white wine and a home-cooked meal at my parent’s house—preferably the meatballs from the Frankie’s Spuntino cookbook which are tears-of-joy delicious.

Proudest moment of your career? My first byline.

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What is one thing you know for sure? However much garlic a recipe calls for, double it.

If you could give your 18-year-old self advice, what would it be? So many things would have been useful! Weeknights will get serious soon enough, so start leaving the library at a reasonable hour. Don’t drink anything neon. Call your family every day. Don’t worry so much about “the big picture” because all of the seemingly random work experiences that come your way (and make you second guess yourself) are giving you a new set of skills and connections that will help you get where you’re going. Say yes, keep moving and keep the faith.

CollegeFashionista’s “Office Hours” Podcast—Get Schooled In Style
The CollegeFashionista Team
Feb 02, 2016

At CollegeFashionista, we are constantly looking at ways to bring innovative content and connect with our audience. We are thrilled to announce our latest secret project—the official CollegeFashionista podcast!

 

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Trust us—these are the only “Office Hours” you will actually want to attend. In each episode, CollegeFashionista’s Founder, Amy Levin, chats with inspiring fashion and beauty insiders about the industry, career paths and what they have learned along the way. Some of our special guests include entrepreneur and fashion-insider, Hannah Bronfman; Allure editor and beauty savant, Kristie Dash; and SELF Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief and wellness rockstar, Joyce Chang. Listeners can expect to gain invaluable insight and inspiration on furthering their own careers while getting access to conversations you won’t hear anywhere else.

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So whether you are walking to class, hitting the gym or unwinding in bed, you can access these “Office Hours” at your convenience. A new episode launches twice a month! Check us out on iTunes, SoundCloud or directly below.

Get ready to get schooled in style (and learn a thing or two in the process).

CAREER CORNER—Does Where You Go To School Matter?
The CollegeFashionista Team
Jan 27, 2016

Much like our quest for a pair of jeans, delicious cookie and suitable mate, the search for the “perfect” school is a challenge. Do you choose a large state university or small liberal arts college? What about fashion and design schools? Much like choosing distressed over dark, the choice of where you go to school is highly personal.

This decision is difficult for any college-bound kiddo—but it is especially confusing for those interested in going into the fashion industry. So often there is a misconception that you have to go to school in a major city or a design school to get your foot in the door. While we aren’t here to debate the merits of each type of school or make the decision on where you should attend for you, we are here to debunk the rumor of where you going to school making or breaking your future career.

The reality is that where you go to school matters, but only a little bit. You know what really matters? YOU! If you are dedicated, smart, open, creative, hardworking, passionate and willing to hustle (like really hustle), that will speak way more to your ability to have a successful career and land a j-o-b than the school listed on your resume.

To illustrate our point, check out where some of our favorite fashion influencers went to school. Some may just surprise you!

Whitney Port, TV Personality, Designer and Author

School: University of Southern California

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Aimee Song, Fashion and Interior Design Blogger

School: Academy of Art University of San Francisco

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Sophia Amoruso, Founder of NASTY GAL

School: Community College Drop Out

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Tory Burch, Fashion Designer and Businesswoman

School: University of Pennsylvania

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Amy Astley, Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue

School: Michigan State University

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Stacey Bendet, CEO and Creative Director of Alice + Olivia

School: University of Pennsylvania

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Scott Schuman, Founder/Blogger/Photographer of The Satorialist

School: Indiana University

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Leandra Medine, Founder and Author of The Man Repeller

School: The New School, Parsons

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Diane von Fürstenberg, Fashion Designer and Chairman of the CFDA

School: University of Geneva

Aya Kanai, Executive Fashion Director of Cosmopolitan Magazine and Seventeen

School: Oberlin Collge

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Rachel Zoe, Stylist, Designer and Author

School: The George Washington University

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Hillary Kerr, Co-Founder of Clique Media (WhoWhatWear.com, Byrdie.com, DomaineHome.com)

School: University of Southern California

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Giuliana Rancic, Fashion Influencer and TV Personality

School: American University

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Steve Madden, Namesake Designer and Businessman

School: University of Miami

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Natalie Massenet, CEO and Founder of Net-A-Porter

School: University of California, Los Angeles

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Vera Wang, Designer and Businesswoman

School: Sarah Lawrence College

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Annie Leibovitz, Photographer

School: San Francisco Art Institute

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20 Questions – Cynthia Rowley
The CollegeFashionista Team
Jan 13, 2016

Adventurous, spirited and f-u-n. These words not only describe the designs and fashions of one of our favorite brands, Cynthia Rowley, but also the namesake designer herself!

Cynthia has gone from Art Institute of Chicago alum to designer, author and creator of a global lifestyle brand. Through her success, Cynthia has continued to remain true to her energetic spirit. And it’s certainly contagious!

Always up for an adventure (and, as we found out, a dare), we caught up with Cynthia and played a quick round of “20 Questions.” Read on to learn some more from the iconic Cynthia Rowley, including her secret talents, pitching ability and surprising thoughts on brunch.

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Most worn item in your closet? Cut-off jeans that are about ten-years-old.

Three things every person should have in their wardrobe? See above, plus shoes you LOVE and a sexy dress that you can style a little more conservatively if you have to.

Color you wear the most? Denim.

What book are you currently reading? “Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life” by William Finnegan.

Person you last followed on Instagram? My sixteen-year-old daughter @crybabykit.

Most surprising website you visit on regular basis? My own website, checking in on things.

What is on your nightstand? It’s kinda messy. Notebook and pen, magazines, books, electronics, sleep mask…

Always up for…a dare.

Never up for…brunch!

Favorite dessert? “S’moreos.” I invented roasted marshmallows smooched between an Oreo.

Best gift you have ever received? Robb Pruitt’s painting of a mother and baby panda.

Favorite city in the world? C’mon!? There’s only one!

I never leave the house without…shades

Movie you laughed the hardest during? Triple tie: this weird vampire movie What We Do In The Shadows, Superbad, and Bridesmaids.

Movie you cried the hardest during? Bambi – gets me every time!

A talent or skill you wish you had? Doesn’t everyone wish they could sing like Adele?

The last hobby you picked up? Bass guitar – I’m so into it!

Most random fact about yourself? I threw out the first pitch at a Cubs game and nailed it.

If your life was a song, what would the title be? “Time Of My Life” by Toploader.

Proudest moment of your life? Besides the birth of my own kids… I’m a really good matchmaker and a couple of years ago, friends that I fixed up really DID name their first born child Rowley after me.

Photos by Roger Tully via Tully Productions and @cynthia_rowley on Instagram.

A BEAUTIFUL MIND—Jenny Bailly, Allure Beauty Director
The CollegeFashionista Team
Dec 03, 2015

Confession time—one of our guilty pleasures is trying out new beauty products. “Hoarding” isn’t the right word for it, but we definitely help keep Sephora in business if you know what I mean. We are constantly hitting up our friends and colleagues in the beauty industry for their insight on the latest and greatest in make-up, hair and skin products.

So instead of keeping all this insider intel to ourselves, CollegeFashionista is launching a new series with some of our favorite beauty experts at Allure. Not only are they spilling (some) of their beauty secrets and sharing their must-have products, but you will get to know more about the person behind all the “beautiful” knowledge.

Next up is Allure’s Beauty Director, Jenny Bailly. We can’t help but be drawn to anyone who loves beauty research as much as we do—and Jenny gets to do this for a living (plus, like, 1,000 other things that we aren’t sure how she fits it all into a day). Read on to learn what this beauty maven always has on hand and her surprisingly inexpensive “splurge.”

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CollegeFashionista: What does your job entail at Allure?

Jenny Bailly: I lead an eight-woman team of brilliant reporters and writers—and true beauty junkies. As the Beauty Director, I have to make sure that we’re on top of every new product and innovation in the industry, and I spend a big chunk of my time going to launch events and meeting with dermatologists, makeup artists and hairstylists to find out what’s coming down the pike. Another big chunk is spent reading and editing every piece of beauty copy that goes into the magazine. Allure approaches beauty with uncompromising journalistic rigor. If we cover a new eye cream—even in a brief caption—it’s been tested by multiple people and we’ve vetted the ingredients list and any claims with independent chemists and dermatologists. I also spend some time painting my nails at my desk and braiding my colleagues’ hair. (But, really, not that much.)

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CF: What is a talent or skill you wish you had?

JB: In my next life, I want to be able to sit at a piano and play the “Goldberg Variations.” Or at least “Happy Birthday.”

CF: What are three things that are always in your purse?

JB: A Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment (currently in rotation: Cherry), a roll of Tatcha blotting papers and a mini tube of L’Occitane shea butter hand cream. (I also try to remember my wallet, iPhone, maybe house keys.)

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CF: What is the most random fact about yourself?

JB: My first-ever art purchase was a five-foot-tall charcoal drawing of a rabbit. Fifteen years later, the artist and I are married with two children. 

CF: Fave beauty product under $10?

JB: I can only pick one? I’ll have to go with my favorite this week: L’Oreal Butterfly Effect Mascara. I play the mascara field a lot (job requirement) but came back to this one the other day and fell in love all over again. It makes my lashes look long, full and, well, fluttery. And it never smears.

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CF: Fave beauty splurge?

JB: Nine+ hours of sleep. That usually involves a babysitter and a hotel reservation so it gets pricey. But it makes my skin glow and my eyes shine. 

Photo credit: Instagram photos via @jbailly

WHAT I KNOW NOW—Alex Peacher, The Real Real
The CollegeFashionista Team
Dec 02, 2015

There is sometimes this misconception that once you graduate college, you have to lose part of your identity and become this robot adult in order to make it.

New Mexico State University alum, Alex Peacher, always stood out as a super cool chick during her time as a Style Guru. Her personality shined through her photos, writing and style. Once she graduated and migrated to the Big Apple, it seems Alex’s rad fashion choices and unique point of view have only gotten better as she has entered the real world.

We caught up with this rockstar to see what she has learned post-grad and how she is keeping it real as a Copywriter at The Real Real.

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1. Get Lost—My mom always told me that the best way to get comfortable with new surroundings is to get lost. Walk around, learn your neighborhood. New York city is a great place for this. I did nothing but walk the island up and down the first couple months I moved here. You never know what you’re going to find!

2. Be a Lone Wolf—Go to the movies by yourself, read in the park, write in a coffee shop—heck grab a beer at the local bar. These are very important years of your life and you want to make sure you’re happy with the decisions you make. Take time to think about who you are, what makes you happy and who you want to be down the line.

3. Explore—Check out as many local shows as you can! I always leave a show feeling refreshed and inspired.

4. Budget—Being financially independent is both exciting and scary. Having a realistic budget will cause less stress in your life. It’s all about balance. If I have a brunch heavy weekend, I’ll keep my week nights pretty quiet. I’ve learned to get pretty creative with with beans, rice and eggs when needed.

5. Don’t Get Discouraged—Finding a job after college is tough. You’re going to hear “no” quite a few times before you find something. Just remember that it only takes one yes to start a career.

FIVE WHO INSPIRE—CollegeFashionista’s Founder, Amy Levin, On The Ladies Who Inspire Her
Amy Levin
Nov 19, 2015

Whether you are a freshman in college or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, everyone has people they look up to. Some they may know intimately; others they may only know through admiration of their accomplishments. But having role models and sources of inspiration are important to achieving success in our own personal and professional lives.

In honor of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, we decided to ask our very own resident female entrepreneur—CollegeFashionista’s Founder, Amy Levin—to discuss the five women that inspire her daily life.

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1. Rebecca Minkoff, Designer. My interactions with Rebecca are countless. She has that “best friend” vibe to her that makes her easy to talk to and instantly approachable. I have probably asked her 10 times how she juggles being a designer, mom and wife while making it look so perfect and easy. I am a huge fan of her empire and am inspired by everything she is doing to innovate the fashion space.

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2. Kerry Diamond, Co-Founder and Editorial Director of Cherry Bombe and Restaurateur. This girl is one powerhouse. I had the opportunity to meet her over tea at Ladurée in SoHo and was totally in awe the whole time. She is super chic, has a downright cool aura and is whip smart to boot!

3. Joanna Coles, Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan. Interviewing Joanna Coles side-by-side on my couch in my TriBeCa apartment was definitely a highlight of 2015. This British-born magazine maven is someone I respect infinitely. She is one of those people who you feel their presence when they are in the room in the best way possible. The phrases “hard working” and “genuinely interested in others” sum up my feelings for this industry icon.

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4. Dany Levy, DailyCandy Founder. I have idolized Dan since day one of launching CollegeFashionista.com. She was at the forefront of digital media and daily newsletters with her brand, DailyCandy. Dany started something from nothing (which is not easy, folks). I met this petite, soft-spoken entrepreneur in the West Village and could have asked her questions for hours. She entertained my curiosity and is someone who should be complimented endlessly for what she created.

5. Brenda Levin, My Mom. She defines the word “confident” to me. She doesn’t care what fashion label she is wearing, what the newest designer handbag is or what other people are doing. She is happy with her life, her choices and care most about her family (and our dogs). In a world where everyone is trying to hold onto their youth, she gracefully lives at her age with content. (Which may the secret to aging as she is a natural beauty.) I aspire to be like her daily.

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