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



Lunchtime Links

by Jackie

Get into these links while you dive into your salad.



Going natural can be overwhelming. There’s a million blogs, a hair typing system that resembles the periodic table, and enough products to leave your bank account as dry as a bad hair day. In the midst of all of this, I found and accompanying Instagram page, Shinestruck. Filled with pictures of everyday naturals (not so much the hair gurus), practical advice, and easy-to-follow tutorials, Shinestruck has become my go-to for everything curl-related.



Self-described as “a curation of beautiful everyday wears and wares,” is a hodgepodge of good taste. New blogger Mafara Hobson picks out what’s cool and fresh, from a vintage bike to a breakfast taco cook book, so you don’t have to. 


Undergrads and grads, this one’s for you.

The White House Initiative’s Year-round Internship Program offers an exciting experience for undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in improving education outcomes for African Americans. This is an unpaid internship working for the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

This internship gives students an opportunity to learn about the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. This initiative was launched by President Obama in July of 2012 as an effort to improve educational opportunities for African American students and increase overall rates for students completing college. 

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

5 Steps to Creating Your Authentic Career

Courtesy of

Ruchira Agrawal, Inner Veda

SANTA CLARA, CA — With the recent recession and string of corporate lay-offs, many have found themselves at a career crossroads, wondering what to do next in terms of work. While this can be challenging, it can also be an opportunity to walk towards your passions and dreams. This can be your chance to re-invent yourself including your work. What kind of a career will make you feel alive and meaningful?

Lots of people spend their lives involved in work they are unhappy about, perhaps the thought of making a career change seems daunting or they might not know what else to do. Staying in that place for an extended period of time can have a negative impact on one’s relationships, energy and well-being. If you’re contemplating finding an ideal career, find one that’s authentic and that fits who you are. Here are some steps to help you:

1. Make a conscious choice and work towards exploring your second career options.

2. Get to know yourself and get familiar with your strengths, passions, interests, and worth.

3. Listen to your intuition and take time to connect with it. See where it guides you.

4. Know what you want to do. Take time to figure that out and honor your inner truth.

5. Take action! Start exploring your career options and read career descriptions to see if there’s anything that feels like a good fit.

What NOT to Do at Your Internship

Courtesy of New York Women in Communications

Steer clear of these internship “don’ts” this summer!

 1. Don’t dress like you’re at the beach or heading out to a club.

Let’s make one thing clear: inappropriate dress is completely unacceptable. Excessive sequins, short shorts/skirts, flip flops, low-cut shirts, sprayed on pants and backless tops are NOT okay at work no matter how relaxed the dress code may be. The impression you leave on your colleagues and supervisors is just as important as the work you submit to them, so make sure your appearance doesn’t negatively affect their opinion of you.

2. Don’t be glued to your cell phone.

Your hours at an internship are not meant for catching up with friends and arranging your Saturday night activities. You are there to help out and learn, so turn your mobile devices off and focus on the tasks at hand. Not given any assignments? Use that time to walk around the office and network, or ask for more work!

3. Don’t sabotage your fellow intern.

Everyone wants to get ahead in the workplace, but it’s important to be a fair, honest coworker. Stealing assignments from other interns, “forgetting” to forward a message about a meeting, and ratting out a mistake is unethical behavior and will not get you as far as it will hurt you. Try to be a team player with the other interns and you may gain more in the long run. You might just make a new friend. And even if you don’t see him/her as a potential new BFF, still be kind and cooperate because you could working with (or even for) them in a few years!

4. Don’t complain.

You didn’t sleep last night. You’re cold. You’re hot. You’re hungry. You can’t believe you have to stay overtime. You’re bored. You have too much work…blah blah blah. Nobody likes a whiner so try to keep the moaning and groaning to yourself. Instead, voice how excited you are about a challenging assignment, new responsibility or how much you’re enjoying your internship. As the saying goes, “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

5. Don’t be a recluse.

Sitting behind a desk, toiling away on your assignments is symbolic of an A+ intern. Remember, though, that being in a workplace is not just about completing your individual work. It’s also about forming connections and relationships with your office mates. If everyone seems to be gathering for a coworker’s birthday or to celebrate the birth of someone’s baby, ask your boss if it’s ok to join in and share your well wishes.

And 5 Little Don’ts…

1. Don’t slouch in your chair/put your feet up on the desk (even if no one is watching)

2. Don’t sign into Facebook. Temptation is too great, so just shut it all down.

3. Don’t forget your manners!

4. Don’t take an excessive lunch break.

5. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

~Jacki Bryk

Columbia College ’13, English & Comparative Literature

Editor’s Note: I joined New York Women in Communications a year ago and I found the organization to be quite resourceful. This article is very helpful for those who are interested in starting an internship this summer. (Sherria)

Career Change Leads to Happiness

by Sherria

Time to go to work: Smiles!

After moving to New York City last year, I took a job that I thought would offer me a different perspective of the public relations industry. Although the job taught me a lot about the importance of prioritizing and managing client relationships, it wasn’t what I wanted to do in life. I didn’t wake up with a smile on my face and I didn’t have a clue as to where the job could take me in my career. Bottom line: It wasn’t the right place for me. Being involved with the media, talking about consumer products, integrating social media into the PR mix was my passion. Fortunately, the Universe knew what was in my heart and I was able to go after my dreams. It can be a scary world out there, especially when you don’t know where your next paycheck is coming from, but if you are driven and determined to follow your dreams, then don’t be afraid to go after the career you really want. Below is an article that popped up in my inbox. I thought I’d share it with you all.


Abridged: Survival Insight

PLAYA DEL REY, CA — If you’re currently unhappy in your work, it’s not uncommon for you to have the desire to make a career change. Lots of people are going through this right now, with the changes in the current job landscape. A career change makes a lot of sense, especially if you’ve been at your career since you graduated from college.

These days many people have outgrown their current career. You’re a much different person in your early years of working than you are five to ten years down the road. Maybe you were told by others at an early age what career path you should take. It may not have been what you wanted, but something you did because you didn’t want to disappoint anyone. You can only go so far in a career that does not fit your needs before you finally hit a brick wall.

Once you hit that wall, it’s often hard to face the fact that you need a career change. This can be scary for a lot of people. Many will remain in their comfort zone and stay unhappy rather than muster up the courage to try something new. Although it’s scary to break out of the mold, once you start doing it you’ll find that it’s not as scary as you thought it would be. If you’re considering a career change, conduct a passive and confidential job search to see what’s out there.

How will you turn your passion into a career? Comments Welcomed!

Blazing Professionals with Cool Careers


Yvonne’s career:

“I’m from the UK and work for an international firm that provides best practices research and advisory services to businesses. My title is  Account Management Associate. I support two Account Managers directly with their member organizations. We work with a wide range of organizations based across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“My day-to-day responsibilities consist of responding to member requests, scheduling meetings with members and looking for new business opportunities. I am usually the first point of call for our members and prospects, so member requests could range from logistics to creating reports for annual board meetings.


“Our busiest time of year is during the fourth quarter. At all other times things can slow down and become monotonous.

“Having the opportunity to research an organization and find alignment between the top priorities of the CEO and the services we offer.

Where to start

“I went to London School of Economics and Political Science. In the UK, we don’t have majors and minors like universities in the States. However, I obtained a bachelor’s of science in International Relations. My current position is a graduate position and my networks from university played a significant role in me even being aware of the opening. My degree and my continued interest in foreign affairs helps me understand many of the business decisions both my organization and our members make on a daily basis.

“If anyone is looking to apply for the type of role in which I’m working, they should look online for resources. In any job search, you should have a genuine interest in the organization and its work. That tip seems obvious, but sometimes recent graduates are so interested in getting a job that they don’t think about if the company is a good fit for them.

Style in the Office

“The dress code is business casual. However, if there is an external meeting, we dress in business professional attire.

“I express my personal style in the office by  using shoes and accessories to put a spin on my traditional work attire. I am a big fan of blazers, chinos and loafers- which are my overriding work wear theme.”

As told to A*cute editors by Yvonne. Special thanks to Yvonne for sharing her story with us. If you have any questions for her, please email us at and she will answer you as soon as possible.