New year, new CHICKS

coming soon

Hello 2017... hello CHICKS!

We are so happy for the new year and the THIRD Chicks Conference. Our team has already been hard at work brainstorming sessions, speakers and ways to make this year's conference the best one yet.

We hit the ground running back in October (if you can't tell we are very excited).

We just wanted to say hello and to be on the lookout for a couple of things.

1. The new look (new year, new logo right?) 
We have updated the CHICKS logo. It still has the same theme as the previous versions but a new feel in general. For the first time, CHICKS is under a new executive team. We loved working with the original leaders last year but they are all grown up and graduated! Since it is a new staff we thought we would change up the logo. How do you like it?

2. Speaking of new staff, we can't wait for you to meet ours!
Be on the lookout for a post telling you more about who is the brains and beauty behind CHICKS 2017. We can't wait to introduce you to our Executive Staff.

3. Blog posts
We hope to have (semi) regular blog posts here monthly! Sometimes life gets in the way of posting but if it is CHICKS worthy it will be on the blog section!

4. Conference Updates
Be sure to follow the website and our social media to be notified of any important conference updates! You will find all social media buttons at the bottom of every page. Be sure to give us a follow and shoutout! We love to talk to our fellow CHICKS on social media. 

That's all the things to look out for for now! We hope you are just as excited as we are! 

Talk soon!

What to Wear to CHICKS

 

Putting together an outfit can be #stressful.

Does this blouse go with these pants? Is this skirt the appropriate length for business professional? The questions that run through your mind about your outfit are endless.

The pressure of an interview or professional meeting only makes it harder. The good news is you can treat the CHICKS conference as your practice round for interviews, internships and jobs.

We want to see your business-casual bests, but we don’t want you standing in front of your closet the night before with “nothing to wear.” So, here’s some inspiration for your most #girlboss outfit yet.

 

If you like to wear the pants

http://www.polyvore.com/work_pants/set?id=195342223

Pants are fun and versatile. They’re perfect for unpredictable situations or fast-paced days filled with movement. If you’re new to the career scene, pants may make you feel most comfortable. You can go bold with bright colored or printed pants or wear neutral pants paired with your favorite blouse.

If you’re best DRESSed

http://www.polyvore.com/professional_dresses/set?id=195334579

Dresses make for an easy professional outfit. Some of us just don’t have time to pick out separates. Structured dresses provide the most security from wardrobe malfunctions, but you definitely don’t want to go full-on body-con. Stick with shift, sheath and A-line silhouettes.

If you’ve got sole

http://www.polyvore.com/professional_shoes/set?id=195324288

Many of us struggle with the choice between heels and flats. You don’t want your heels to be too tall, and you’re worried that flats aren’t professional. If you know how to walk in heels, a 3-inch or less boost can make you more confident. But, you can look professional in flats, and you should wear them if you’re uncomfortable in heels. Pointy toe and loafer styles look most professional. Most importantly, always wear closed-toed heels.

If you’re a trailBLAZER

http://www.polyvore.com/blazers/set?id=195332016

Blazers are the perfect addition to any professional outfit, but it can be difficult to find the perfect one for your body and your style. Don’t be afraid to try every style out there. If you try many styles and still can’t get it right, get a size larger than you normally would and have it tailored to fit perfectly.

If we see April showers

http://www.polyvore.com/rainy_work_day/set?id=195335700

We won’t let the rain ruin CHICKS, and you shouldn’t let it ruin your outfit. If the forecast calls for a little drizzle, just be prepared. Wear shoes you can get wet, bring rainy day accessories and avoid white clothing.

 

Finally, remember to dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Just because you can wear jeans and a t-shirt to your classes or current office doesn’t mean you always should. You’re not wasting money on clothes that you rarely wear; you’re building the girl-boss wardrobe of your dreams. 

Guys can be CHICKS too- Hunter Harley

What do you know about CHICKS conference?

CHICKS is a leadership conference for women empowering them to not only be proud of who they are, but also to work together to build a stronger community. The event brings in local leaders to discuss how their journeys in life led them to where they are now. I am friends with many CHICKS team members, and I am so proud of the amazing work they have already done and have yet to do.

How do you support CHICKS on our campus? 

I support CHICKS on campus by working with many contributors in and outside of student organizations. I have also offered assistance to the CHICKS team with event planning, if needed. I am very excited to attend CHICKS this year as well show that everyone should support one another regardless of gender.

Are you involved on campus? What organizations?

I currently serve as Student Government Director of Operations. In this role, I serve as the logistical person for all divisions when needing assistance with special events, on campus partnerships, and bringing an idea to fruition. I also work at the Darla Moore School of Business as a student ambassador. I frequently welcome visitors to the building by working events and providing tours to prospective students.

How do you want to help CHICKS grow in the coming years?

Over the next few years, I hope to work with CHICKS to expand outreach to all audiences including high school students in the Columbia area. This would provide those students with a great experience and the opportunity to meet a potential mentor before they head off to college or enter a career.

From Founder to First Job: Tatiana Chin

This time last year, the idea for CHICKS was just hatching in the minds of founders Venisha Pendergrass, Tatiana Chin and Liana Miller. Now, Tati is “adulting” out in the real world as a security consultant for IBM.

One of the biggest perks of her job? Her ability to travel. She’s been in the United Kingdom on a project for the past few weeks but will head out of the Queen’s domain soon. Where to next? She doesn’t know! The nature of her job is that she gets to city-hop, and she loves it.

CHICKS allowed Tati to combine her knack for helping others ignite their careers with passion for empowering women to create a truly one-of-a-kind experience. Since CHICKS, she believes she’s begun to think more strategically. In college, she says, she used to think of life in semesters and short chunks of time. Being in the real world has allowed her to transition to thinking in terms of long-term investments. Each move she makes is a stepping stone toward her future.

When asked about what the real world is really like, she laughs and replies, “It’s getting paid to do your homework instead of paying to do your homework!”

The downside to adulting? It doesn’t stop. Once you get going, adulting is the longest period of your life. You don’t get a real break until you retire, which is both terrifying and exciting at the same time.

Tati is a truly successful CHICK. When asked if she had any advice for future CHICKS attendees and for women as they begin to enter the workforce, she gave us three MAJOR keys:

1.     Ask questions—constantly. The key many successful professionals in the real world utilize is committing themselves to continuing to learn. Whether it be technical expertise acquired on the job or just life knowledge you pick up, never stop learning or questioning.

2.     Don’t take yourself too seriously. That’s it. It’s that simple.

3.     Be authentic and true to who you are. You don’t have to be a different person at work and at home. Of course you need to keep it professional, but your work environment should allow you to be yourself always.

To learn more about Tati’s life in the real world, check out her website: http://www.tatichin.com/

You can also connect with her on LinkedIn.

8 Things to Keep in Mind During Your Post-Grade Job Search

Job-hunting season is almost upon us.  I know the future seems scary, and all the uncertainty is sickening.  Hopefully these tips will help you avoid some of the mistakes I made when I went through the process last year. 

  1. Leverage existing connections.  You went to all those networking events, collected those business cards, and kept in touch with those people for a reason.  There's nothing wrong with shooting someone a quick note to say hello and ask them to keep an ear out for any positions coming available in the near future.  The more eyes and ears you have on the prowl, the greater your chances of finding something.
  2. Keep your business to yourself. When my first few interview requests started rolling in, I was so excited that I told EVERYONE.  Before I knew it, I had a trillion people calling me everyday asking if I'd heard back from this job or that one.  And then, when the rejection emails started rolling in (because they will), and I wasn’t so excited, I had a trillion people to call and inform that I didn't make the cut.  Listen, job hunting is stressful. And the more people you involve in the process, the more stressful it becomes.  Find 1-3 good friends, mentors, or family members that can help you stay sane.  As far as everyone else, just notify them when you get that offer (because you will).
  3. Don’t measure yourself by anyone else's standards. If I've learned nothing else this year, it's that everyone isn't built the same. What may seem impossible to one person, may be cake for you…and vice versa.  I had so many people tell me that my salary expectations were unrealistic for an advertising major.  My gut (and my research) kept telling me I wasn't crazy and that my goal was attainable, but for months I allowed everyone else's opinions to trump what I knew to be true.  Ultimately, I ended up with 3 offers, all of which exceeded my expectations and proved everyone wrong.  My point is that if you have a goal you feel is attainable, go for it.  Don't allow other people to get in your head and cause you to question your greatness.  Just because they can't fathom it, doesn't mean you can't do it. 
  4. BUT Beggars can't be choosers. At the beginning of my job search, I had all kinds of stipulations…but no job, or even job prospects for that matter.  If I came across an opportunity that didn't measure up to my conditions, I simply wouldn't apply. Dumb.  Anywho, one day I was talking to a friend about all the criteria my future job had to meet and he quickly brought me back to Earth.  If you have 8 different job offers on the table, by all means, nitpick all you want.  But until you have something, you (literally) cannot afford to be Picky Patty and sit up on your high horse waiting for your dream job to fall out of the sky.  Every interview, whether you want the job or not, is a valuable experience.
  5. Be self-aware. About 2 months out from graduation, I started to feel discouraged. I had had at least 10 different interviews and no offers on the table at that point. Did I expect to get an offer from every company that interviewed me? No, but 0-10 is a pretty sucky record. Rather than passively sitting back and shrugging the denials off, I decided that I was the common denominator in the equation and something needed to change.  I sought advice from HR professionals and asked them to do mock interviews with me so that they could critique my interview style and offer suggestions on how to improve.
  6. Do your finance homework.  Finding a job where you're going to grow and thrive is more important than making a whole lot of money starting out.  But at the end of the day, a girl's gotta eat.  My first job offer gave me the option to move to either Chicago or Boston. I knew I wasn't going to be joining The Money Team living in a big city with what they offered, so I wanted to make sure I was as well-informed, prepared and financially literate as possible.  Two of my favorite money resources during my job search were CNN Money's Cost of Living (COL) calculator and ADP's Take Home Pay estimator.  The CNN calculator allows you to input a salary and compare between 2 locations.  For example, if I currently live in Columbia, SC and am planning to move to Chicago, IL, using the CNN COL calculator would tell me what my Chicago salary would need to be in order to maintain the same standard of life I had in Columbia.  The ADP estimator is wonderful because it tells you what you really want to know - how much you'll actually bring home after Uncle Sam, your 401k, and benefits take their cut
  7. Ask questions. Sometimes we get so caught up in landing a job that we forget about everything that comes afterward.  Like, the fact that we actually have to go to this place, stay there and do work for 40 hours a week.  For that reason, interviews are a two way street - not only is the company interviewing you; you're also interviewing them.  Don't be afraid to ask tough questions. Of course the company is going to sell you on its highlights, but as a potential employee, you have every right to know the lowlights too.  My favorite things to ask in interviews are my interviewer's least favorite parts about the job/company, their take on the company's biggest weakness + what's being done to correct it, and what are the realistic opportunities for growth should I get the position.
  8. Almost nothing goes as planned, and sometimes life is better that way.  It's great to have plans, but know that the world isn't ending if those plans go awry.  Trust me.  There'll be bloopers and unexpected scene changes along the way, but those changes will open your eyes to new lessons and possibilities, if you let them.

If you've ever felt too young in the workplace...

If you grew up listening to ‘90s and ‘00s R&B, forget everything you learned because Aaliyah and Pretty Ricky lied to you.  Age is so much more than just a number.  Especially for you, and especially now.

On the first day of my big girl job, all that ran through my mind was “Girl. How the hell did you get these people to hire you? You talked a good game, but how are you actually going to deliver?  Do you even know what you’re talking about?” 

Petrified was an understatement.  As I went through the day, I couldn't help but think, “Holy shit. I’m only 22.  What in the world can I tell these people that they don’t already know and have known for years?”

First and foremost, be careful of those thoughts.  They’ll paralyze you and keep you in the same unproductive place forever – afraid to branch out, speak up or take risks.  Whether you’re an intern or the CEO, you have something to bring to the table.  And you have to genuinely believe that.

Secondly, your age, being young, is way more than a number; it's a gold mine.  Why?  Because you tweet, you snap and you sleep with your phone by your pillow at night.  Researchers and marketers are fascinated by these behaviors.  You hold the golden ticket because you live and breathe the millennial lifestyle, which is something companies are desperately trying to tap into.  We, millennials, are one of he most talked about generations of all time.  Use that to your advantage.

Disclaimer:  Keep in mind though, that you are only 1 of nearly 80 million millennials.  Be careful not to make generalizations based on your personal biases and preferences.  Use your God given millennial-ality to fuel insights, but be objective and consider everyone else as well.

A few other things to keep in mind:

1.    Nobody really knows how old you are.  Unless you walk around with a big ol’ sign that says, “Look at me! I’m 22,” your coworkers probably don’t know how old you are.  If you carry yourself in a professional manner and do your job to the best of your ability, no one will have reason to question your age or maturity.

2.    Nobody nobody nobody knows everything.  When you’re the youngest (and least experienced) person in the room, it’s easy to put yourself down and glorify the people that seem to have all the answers.  Always remember that nobody knows everything.  If they did, they wouldn’t need you.

 

I leave you with this:  there are millions of people your age that are taking the world by storm, why can’t you be one of them?

Post-CHICKS Euphoria

So you attended CHICKS2015? Did you like it? Did you love it? Somewhere in between? I’ll tell you as one of the conference staff members seeing months of preparation come together in this one fantastic day of learning, empowerment, and leadership. What I witnessed on April 25th was invaluable, what I participated in was invaluable.

The sessions, the speakers, everything was amazing! Not only was it available for one day, but the lovely ladies on the CHICKS Conference team will upload notes from all the sessions to the CHICKS Conference website. That way you can go back and remember what was said in Ms. Hanna DeBruhl’s interview skills workshop, or if you were in that session but missed Venisha’s session on “What’s the next step for CHICKS?” then it is at your fingertips. Every single session, available, for free. Again, invaluable.

I’m calling this feeling of, as Tati would put it, "career Juice" the “Post-CHICKS Euphoria”. That feeling you have because you have learned so much in that day that you can go out and conquer the world. That you can write that resume, completed that LinkedIn, ace that interview get that internship, and even better join the CHICKS2016 team to ignite the change you wish to see in the world!

See you next year lovely chicks!

- Katurah

Pre-conference reminders

#CHICKS2015 is upon us. Here are some things attendees should know in advance:

  • Check-in for the conference will begin promptly at 8:30 am in the Koger Center. The address is 1051 Greene Street, Columbia, SC 29201
    • It is located directly across the street from the Darla Moore School of Business. There will be signage and staff available to greet you.

  • Available parking:

    • Street parking on Assembly Street in front of the Koger Center

    • Street parking on College Street

    • Garage parking in Discovery Garage on Park Street (behind Koger center)

    • Limited lot parking in the lot at Koger Center

    • Limited lot parking in the lot at the School of Music

  • Follow us on Twitter and check in often. Use #CHICKS2015 to ask us questions throughout the event. 

  • If you registered more than one guest, please have them check-in with you at the same time.

  • There is no need to print a ticket from Eventbrite. You will check in at the Koger Center using your first and last name.

  • Since we want you to make the most out of your experience, please feel free to bring a few copies of your resume and/or business cards. However, this is optional. 

  • Attire for the conference is business casual. There will be a photographer for LinkedIn head shots, too!

CHICKS2015 is proud to announce that we will partnering with "The Menstrual Product Project". Please bring donations of tampons and pads for The Women's Shelter in Columbia.

The Procrastinator's Guide to Productivity

In a world where everyone brags about never getting tired and forever posts about being on their shit, let me be the first to admit that I procrastinate.  Especially when it comes making my ideas come to life. For 2015, I made it my personal mission to stop procrastinating once and for all. Here are a few practices that are helping me get there:

1.     Being strategic about who/what I follow on Instagram.  Think about how many hours you spend on Instagram over the course of a week.  Probably a ton.  When I'm already mentally done with whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing, I turn to social media for entertainment.  To combat this, I began making a conscious effort to follow all of my favorite bloggers, business owners, authors and inspirational people (basically anyone at the level I'm trying to get to) so that if I do get distracted, I'm looking at things that remind me of my end goal and help me get back on task.  It's way easier to stay focused when you have a timeline full of people making moves, rather than one full of party fliers, memes, and drama you can screenshot and send to your friends. 

2.     Working at my desk, rather than in my bed. This one is self-explanatory.  Sitting at my desk keeps me inspired and helps me push through even when I'm tired.  If I'm working in my bed and get tired, it's a wrap - the laptop is hitting the floor, the light is switching off and I'm sliding under the covers to go to sleep.

3.     Utilizing my Business Best Friend (BBF).  Since freshman year, my friend Nishikwa has been the one I turn to to bounce ideas off of and to go to networking events/workshops.  Talking about our dreams and encouraging each other to achieve them was a part of our friendship, it was just something we did.  I never realized the impact our friendship could have on our professional lives until I read this post about finding a BBF by The Alisha Nicole.  I realized that Shik and I were already BBFs, we just weren't using each other effectively - so we made our BBFship official.  In addition to whatever time we spend doing normal friend stuff, Shik and I schedule time to get together once a week, listen to Podcasts, write out our weekly business goals and hold each other accountable for getting them done.

 

Building your empire is optional.  By that, I mean that if you procrastinate on building your blog, business, or side hustle, nothing happens.  You're not going to flunk out of school, like you would if you missed too many assignments or get fired from your job, like you would if you didn't listen to your boss.  There's no real consequence, which makes it easier to put things off until tomorrow.  But we all know tomorrow doesn’t exist.  Do it now, get it done.  You'll thank yourself later.

Treat Yo' Self

Seriously, treat yourself. Not only to the career you desire and deserve, but also treat your body.

“Because your amazing body is the only body you will ever have. The same body you’ve had since you were a baby is the body you will inhabit when you are 75 years old” - Cameron Diaz, The Body Book

And it's true. Being conscious of the health decisions you make now impact how you live your life. It's not about a healthy “diet”, a 7-day cleanse or even a year of eating healthy and working out. The goal is forever. Always take care of your body. Always.

A year ago if you took me to a restaurant and asked me to order whatever I wanted, chances are I’d pick the big juicy burger, fries and a Coke. Now, it’s my favorite baby spinach strawberry salad paired with fresh shrimp or grilled chicken. On average, I was eating fast food about 4-5 times a week. And my body was seriously paying for it. I was always tired and my trips to the gym started and ended with me walking on a treadmill.

Since making the commitment to change my lifestyle, my body has done a 180. I also committed to only using 100 percent organic cosmetic products. In Europe, there are roughly 1,100 chemicals that are banned in food and cosmetics. In America, the FDA has only banned 10-- Yes. Ten. Just imagine every time you rub on lotion or swipe on your mascara that you're literally putting harmful chemicals into your body. Because we have such amazing capabilities as humans, naturally we can fight off and dispose just about anything...but that doesn’t mean we should.

Fall in love with taking care of your body and taking charge of your health. Just like building a resume or climbing to the top of your career, it’s a slow and steady race. Start small and I promise you the benefits will be as rewarding as landing your first big girl job. Not only will you feel and look amazing, but your mind, yes that giant muscle on top of your head that allows you to think, speak, walk, write and run, will be in its prime. As Malcom Gladwell explains in an interview with Anderson Cooper, it takes 10,000 hours to work at something until you reach mastery. Empower yourself to be the best person you can starting with a healthy lifestyle...and treat yo' self every day of the year!

"Career is like a bad boyfriend..."

A great line, among many, in this video says, "I don't know man, it's a long life...". In college, there is so much pressure to decide your entire career path at the age of 21 or 22. Society backs us to a wall and demands that we blueprint our entire life on the cuffs of just completing puberty. I love Amy's video because she admits that she loved being a waitress, and for a while, she didn't see another path for herself. This is encouragement for all of us out there who aren't 100% sure about what we want. Don't let anyone make you feel bad about it! 

Developing your career is a series of building blocks. Take small steps in the direction of your passions. Like Amy says, do "what makes you feel like a beautiful woman is hugging you to her bosom." Listen closely to yourself to reflect on the things that get you excited (and the things that bore you). Find a way to pursue what you love, no matter what it is, and incorporate that into what you do for a living. A career doesn't have to be a perfect ladder to the top; it's okay to zig zag a little.

If you start to panic that you're falling behind, just have peace in knowing that "it's a long life." Enjoy the ride.