Selling Yourself: The Resume

by Jackie

Your resume is your first introduction to a potential employer. With the rise of social media and the decline of attention spans, infographic resumes are becoming more and more popular. They are attention-grabbing and will be sure to make you stand out. But, will bright colors and flow-chart shapes make you stand out for the wrong reasons? Are traditional resumes boring?

Vote for your ideal resume below!

The Infographic Resume

The Traditional Resume



Think Outside the Cubicle: From ‘What Now?’ to ‘Why Not?’

by Jackie

“Old enough to be cool, young enough to act a fool” is how my friends and I describe(d) our late 20s. The corny phrase was the best we could do to make sense of the amorphous period between the legal drinking age and the stamp of adulthood: 30. What are you doing after graduation? Is this guy serious? Can I afford to follow my dreams? Watching Shayla Racquel’s web series, “Quarter Century,” reminds us that we’ve all been there.

The budding filmmaker tells our stories through her series, so it was a privilege to have her share her own story with A*cute.


Filmmaker Shayla Racquel says everyone isn’t going to like what you’re doing, but follow your dreams for YOU.


What inspires you?

When I was born, I was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease. Having continuous sickle cell crisis, a stroke at 12 years old, and constant blood transfusions, I could have easily felt sorry for myself and written off my future of excelling and being on my own. Instead, filmmaking became my outlet and I allowed my illness to motivate me to give 110% to anything that I set my mind on.

God, my family, and my friends are also my true motivators, which helps me in turn motivate myself. my family and friends have supported everything I’ve done. Being a very spiritual person, I know that there is no limit to how far you can go with God on your side, and he has continued to bless me throughout this entire venture.

Nevertheless, it is not hard to be motivated and inspired by something that you have a passion for and that is truly in your heart.

When did you first become interested in film?

When I was 12 years old, I had a stroke due to my Sickle Cell disease. Film became my outlet from that particular aspect of my life. As a present to my grandparents during the holidays, I started making videos featuring all the grandchildren in my family. This became a tradition that we still hold today. From there, I made videos throughout high school and college.  Florida A&M University gave me plenty of opportunities to explore and hone my craft. That’s when I decided that I would like to make my filmmaking hobby into a career.

Did anyone ever try to dissuade you from following your passion? 

I had been making videos since I was little, so no one (especially not my family) has ever tried to dissuade me from being a filmmaker. However, when I first came up with the idea of Quarter Century, I pitched it to a number of friends. Most of them loved the idea, but I had a few who didn’t like it at all. When I asked why, I was never given a clear response. Of course it hurts, but that’s life. Everyone isn’t going to like what you are doing. Follow your dreams for YOU. YOU have to be the main reason why you want to do whatever it is you want to do.

If you’re doing it for the money, fame, or because someone else wants you to do it, you are going to get trampled by critiques, dislikes, and downright haters. It’s hard to dust yourself off from that; but, when you are doing it for yourself and not the gratification of others, no matter how much people dislike it, it won’t phase you. As you accomplish your goals you will feel even more complete.


“Quarter Century” follows a relatable cast of characters who are caught in the awkward stage of determining what it means to be “grown.”

How do you balance your day job with filming your web series? Continue reading

Thinking Outside the Cubicle: Working Art

Stephanie is turning her childhood dream into her reality.

by Jackie

Some of the world’s most acclaimed talents have been discovered in church. Stephanie Kiah’s skills, however, were to be seen, not heard. Armed with paper and a pencil, the young artist accompanied her mother to Sunday services, capturing fellow churchgoers in detailed drawings in her notebook. Unlike the forgotten doodles in discarded marble composition notebooks the world over, Stephanie’s childhood drawings were just sketches of what was to come.

When did you first become interested art?

After my mother discovered my drawings in church, my elementary school teachers recognized my talent, and I enrolled in the Gifted and Talented Art program. I took part in advanced art classes all growing up.

Art came as a natural choice for a college major, and I attended Norfolk State University where I graduated with a BA in Fine Art in 2009. Surprisingly, it wasn’t until after college that I grew truly passionate about my art.

When did you make the decision to turn your passion into a gig?

Discouraged after not being accepted into the grad program I wanted, working a string of dead-end jobs, and being unsuccessful at landing even a simple “good job,” I decided to relocate to a place where I could try to find myself again. For me, that place was Washington, D.C. Luckily I was able to stay with my cousin in the city for a while as I gained my footing. Once I moved out on my own, my art became a necessary source of income along with my other part-time jobs in order for me to continue living in the city.

What advice would you give other young professionals who feel stuck at a 9-5?

Continue reading

Think Outside the Cubicle: Feeding Your Passion

by Jackie

At graduation ceremonies the world over commencement speakers  invoke overused clichés that boil down to this: “Follow your dreams.” The often too-long speech can lose its luster in the real world, though. In the face of bills, under the  pressure to achieve, and behind life’s everyday stresses, dreams can fade into fantasies. Tomica Burke, head chef and owner of recently launched catering company TomCookery, refused to let her dreams die at the 9-to-5.


When did you first become interested in culinary arts?

I have been interested in cooking for as long as I can remember. I wrote my first “cookbook” as a senior in high school.  The recipes were based on the cuisine from my southern and Barbadian sides of my family.  That same southern/Caribbean fusion is what inspired my catering company, TomCookery.

Before striking out on your own, how did you balance your day job with pursuing your passion?

I am a lawyer by trade and the law is a jealous lover.  I has been quite the tenuous balancing act.  During my third year of law school, I started taking classes at the Institute for Culinary Education to refine my craft.  I entertained my friends at my home, and occasionally catered parties.  Once I started practicing law, however, it became harder to host parties and cater for friends.  I will never forget catering my best friend’s baby shower the same time I was working at the firm.  I started cooking  right after I got off work the night before the event.  I didn’t sleep at all and was a zombie the next day.  After that, I decided that I had to put a moratorium on catering until I quit my job. I wanted to be able to commit to cooking full time, because it was something I felt so passionate about.

When did you decide to turn your passion into a full-time gig?

I made the decision in phases.  I’m a risk adverse lawyer after all.  I got an opportunity to help a New York-based caterer for his holiday busy season.  After working at the firm during the day, I met him in the evenings to do parties.  I was living a double life, but it was exhilarating!  When I received my first check from him, I realized that I could cook for a living.  I may not make as much as I made as a lawyer, but I knew I could survive.  This gave me the courage to quit my day job and start building the TomCookery Catering concept. About a year later, we officially launched. I’ve never felt more fulfilled.


What advice would you give other young professionals who feel stuck at a 9-to-5?  Continue reading

A Peek in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

by Christina Charlery

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Over the weekend, I joined the massive crowd of fashion lovers at Lincoln Center for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Despite the storm that almost shut down New  York City, fashionistas, photographers, and celebrities filled fashion show seats. Of course everyone was dressed to kill, with an emphasis on trendy outerwear [you can even catch me featured on a popular blog in a cream coat].

On Sunday, I was able to attend three fashion shows; Lela Rose, Diane Von Furstenberg and Vivienne Tam. Lela Rose’s fashions embodied feminine flirtiness, highlighting bold color such as bright pink.  Diane Von Furstenberg took it back with 1970’s inspired clothing with a modern twist. Shoulder pads and bell bottom jumpers are back ladies! Last but not least, Vivienne Tam celebrated the Chinese New Year with bold, military inspired designs to die for.

Overall, it was a great fashion filled adventure! Check out a few of my pics below.

Lela Rose Fashion Show

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Diane Von Furstenberg Fashion Show

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My cream coat on The Fashion Bomb Daily:

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Leadership for Teen Girls

Guest Post by Tia Dolet

Crittenton Services of Greater Washington’s 124th Anniversary High Tea was a beautiful ceremony that celebrated the accomplishments of local teen girls and the professional women they look up to. Through the Crittenton Leadership Academy, the girls had been preparing for this event for months by learning the fundamentals of hosting, networking, dressing professionally and even table etiquette. In the end, their hard work paid off! I thoroughly enjoyed this year’s High Tea and, as an alumnae of Crittenton’s programs, was so proud of the poise and grace these ladies showed. The crowd was filled with so many professionals from all over the country who came out to support the young ladies of the programs. The highlight of the event of the event was definitely watching the honorees receive their awards.They delivered such powerful speeches and were an inspiration to all in attendance!

Honorees included: Soledad O’Brien (CNN Anchor), Linda Gooden (EVP, Lockheed Martin), Deborah Taylor Tate (ITU Special Envoy and Lauereate for Child Online Protection), and Marlen Esparza (National Boxing Champion and 2012 Olympic Hopeful).

Guest Speaker: Soledad O’Brien

Tia Dolet is an Actress, Singer, and Comedian from the Greater Washington DC area. She currently stars in “Raisin in the Sun” as Ruth. You can attend the play at the Bay Theatre Company in Annapolis, MD until  Saturday, June 2.

Part 1: Interview with British Actor, Femi

As told to Sherria by Femi Oyeniran

There has been a lot of hype in the news about British heartthrob, Idris Elba. But there are a ton of other British Actors who are building their careers to go global and mainstream. I had the opportunity to speak to British actor and entrepreneur, Femi Oyeniran. Femi talks about being a black actor in the UK, his latest projects and what inspires him. This is part 1 of 2.

1) What is your occupation?

I am an actor, director, writer, entrepreneur and all round hustler!

 2) What inspired you to pursue your dreams?

I was inspired to pursue my dreams when I was given the opportunity to appear in a film called “Kidulthood” and the sequel was coming out a few weeks after I finished law school. I thought if I don’t chase this dream now, I’ll never know what could have been. I suppose a key moment was when I met my personal tutor at university and she was telling me with a lot of regret in her eyes(almost tears) that she was once an actor and she had the choice to either do her final law exams or start work on a TV program. She obviously chose law and became an academic. The regrets in her eyes drove me to chase my dream.

Femi and co-star of Kidulthood, Adam Deacon

 3) What barriers are there in the UK for a minority to obtain quality roles in film?

Lots of obstacles but you have to side step obstacle. The fact is when you’re a minority you are the whim of the majority. This is reflected at all level of media. However, the arrival of the internet and cheaper high quality equipment means that we don’t have to wait to get given roles anymore. We make roles for ourselves!

 4) Tell us about Cut the Chat and how it started?

Cut the Chat is an online (soon to be TV) chat show that went live on January 2009. It was started by a group of people that were passionate about creating something different that reflected a different perspective of the British Black Experience. It has since been harnessed by myself, director Darwood Grace and producer/presenter Damon Elleston. It’s a chat show based in the barbershop – It’s basically “Barbershop” (the movie) meets “The View” (the chat show) with 4 black guys (myself [actor], Damon [barber], Lee Littleman [comedian] and Ace [BBC Radio Presenter])  who are doing really well within their chosen fields presenting. We have since gone on to develop a live format with a live audience which has been filmed at the world famous art gallery the Tate Britain amongst other venues.

*Editor’s Note: For our American readers, I would compare Cut the Chat to former MTV series, “The Shop.”

Cut the Chat Episode: Kojo [Choice FM Breakfast Host/Comedian]