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Internship Dos and Don’ts

By Casey Tsamis

March 15, 2018

Internships can be the greatest experience of your life and expose you to some amazing experiences in the real world. It’s great to have at least one internship before graduating, and
even better if you’ve had a couple more. Here is a full list of do’s and don’ts, from starting an internship to finishing it.

Do: Apply to a bunch

You have nothing to lose by applying to several internships. It’s good practice to send out a résumé and cover letter anyway.

Don’t: Try to get a paid internship as your first one

Look for experience first before money. That experience will eventually lead you to paid internships, and you’ll thank yourself for taking an unpaid internship.

Do: Ask questions during the interview

Ask what a typical day is like or what the dress code is. You want to seem interested in the job and ask important questions to your future supervisor. No question is a dumb question, either.

Don’t: Expect a virtual internship to be easy

Just because you can work remotely from your laptop doesn’t mean it will be an easy job. Make sure you give 100 percent to this and really plan your day to working on your assignments for the week.

Do: Tell your supervisor if you can’t get to something right away

If you received three different tasks you have to finish before lunch, and a different department asks for your help, it’s okay to tell them that you’re working on a couple other things, but can do it right after lunch. It’s better to communicate with people instead of promising something that you’re not sure will be done.

Don’t: Show up late

Especially in small offices, everyone will be able to tell if you come in late. If you know you’ll be a couple minutes behind, send an email and let them know you’ll be there as soon as possible.

Do: Stay connected once the internship is over

Keep in touch with people from the office once the internship ends, because you can use them as a reference once you start applying for jobs.

Don’t: Leave the internship without a thank you note

Buy a card for your supervisor and leave them a handwritten message on the card thanking them for their time and the wonderful experience you had. Also feel free to throw in a small gift if you’d like.

Casey Tsamis is a senior journalism student at Emerson College in Boston, MA. She is a Division III athlete as well as the Vice President of her sorority, Xi Gamma Nu. Casey spends her free time exploring the latest fashion and beauty trends, and her dream job is to work at Too Faced.

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Job Opportunities in Business that are Different from Investment Banking

By Megha Karthikeyan

March 8, 2018

There are many lines of work one can do in business, but the most popular job that people go into is investment banking. Banking can be a very intense job and people often think that it is the only job when going into the finance industry. There are many different opportunities to work in business that aren’t just investment banking like finance, risk, compliance, and operations. 


Finance can often be split into treasury and tax subdivisions in many companies. Treasury involves analyzing the company’s finances and looking at how the company is doing in terms of debt, equity, and general financial health. It is a very important job because they regulate the company’s budget and collaborate with other divisions. The tax subdivision makes sure that the company is following tax regulation and analyzes the profit and losses of the company. They are responsible for making sure the financial statements that are prepared are up to par for external and internal purposes. 


In some companies, risk is a part of finance while others have it as a separate division. In this division, you do a lot of risk modeling where you look at lending structures and measure liquidity and credit risk. A lot of the work in risk requires data analysis and research skills. Doing work in the risk division will give you a broader understanding of how the company runs and give you a chance to work with different people and on different projects. 


Compliance often has risk modeling aspects to the job but also deals with regulations and the law. They make sure that the private wealth management, securities, investment banking, and other divisions are following SEC regulations and that there isn’t any insider trading going on. Compliance can have various jobs within it like anti-bribery units as well as teams assigned to look at cryptocurrency markets and cyber terrorism. It is a very broad division with many different job opportunities, so depending on what you are interested in, compliance could be a good option for you. 


Operations makes sure that day-to-day functions of the company run smoothly, so people in this division work with employees from many different lines of work. They focus on efficiency and streamline various business processes so that divisions can do their work. This job will be great if you want to have a wide variety of responsibilities from financial analysis to designing processes. 

These are just a few of the jobs that exist in the finance industry that aren’t investment banking. Although investment banking is a great opportunity to work on deals and learn more about mergers and acquisitions, there are also other amazing jobs out there that will let you work in the finance industry. 

Megha Karthikeyan is from Vienna, Virginia and attends the University of Virginia. She intends to double major in Economics and Commerce at the McIntire School of Commerce with finance and information technology concentrations. Megha will graduate from UVA in 2020. She hopes to work in the finance industry as a finance or risk analyst, but is also looking at working in investment banking.

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Will Young College Women Have to Walk the Gender Tightrope?

By Eileen Zhou

February 27, 2018

In the professional fields of business, technology, healthcare, and education, women have made great strides in increasing their visibility and representation. But with each hard fought triumph comes another barrier to entry. Women in the corporate world and in college classrooms increasingly feel that they are walking the gender tightrope. 

So what exactly is this phenomenon? Well first, think about a time when you had to assume a leadership position and assert yourself. You most likely had to be strong, confident, and driven. That being said, women, in the process of gender socialization, are not taught or expected to be ambitious, assertive, or even the slightest bit aggressive. They are taught to be communal and caring, having the exceptional ability to read into micro expressions and accommodate others accordingly. As a result, when women take on leadership roles and exude characteristics that make up a great leader, they often act in direct violation with their generally accepted “roles.” And experience shows that this does not always sit well in the workplace. This “violation” can often paint women as rude, self-centered, and unsympathetic. 

Now that we have established this underlying phenomenon, what can women, especially young college women, do to navigate this seemingly impossible situation? 

Think critically about your qualities and contributions as a leader or team member

Identifying and addressing the gender tightrope does not inherently mean that all women must feel the need to be assertive and overtly powerful. It is instead important to assess your brand as an individual and the value proposition you offer to those you are working with. If you are a soft-spoken but analytical and considerate individual, those are equally important characteristics that make a great leader. Above else, feeling a sense of comfort with who you are and what you offer are essential to the framework of feminism. 

Rather than only learning how to walk the tightrope, engage in active dialogue about the double standard women face

While a highly progressive period is certainly upon us, the reality is that women function by very different standards still. Rather than teaching young women how to tread carefully so as to not step on toes, it is more important to ask the hard questions. Why do organizations feel that women only become suitable leaders when companies are sinking ships, a position that makes it impossible to succeed? Why is the act of anger expressed by women viewed so starkly different than when expressed by men? These are the conversations that are to be had in order to forge a better tomorrow for all individuals in the work place.

Try to avoid committing woman on woman hate

In a society where the workplace is still an uphill battle for women, the last thing we want is for women to be their own downfall. Rather than tearing other women down and feeling the need to vie for certain positions, we should instead build each other up and encourage women to take up leadership in any way that they can. Building success requires a mutual understanding of respect. 

Eileen Zhou is a Maryland native currently attending Cornell University. She is a sophomore in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management concentrating in finance and strategy. Through her major and campus involvements, Eileen has a keen interest in strategic thinking and a future in management consulting. Although business is her central passion, she tries to foster an eclectic and interdisciplinary approach to her coursework and career aspirations!

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New Year, New You

By Aury Cifuentes

February 1, 2018

Happy New Year Forte friends and beyond! May 2018 be YOUR year and if you made a New Year’s resolution keep on reading for some great tried and true tips on keeping them! If you are not a fan of resolutions and instead crafted some goals for 2018 then the article still holds true so you are in luck.

1.    Write it out!

While you might have done this already, writing your goals has been scientifically proven to be much more effective than just thinking about them. So grab your favorite pen and whether it is on a sticky note, planner, or poster writing can help you achieve what ever is on your mind. For example if you are trying to be healthier this year and one way to do that is to stop late night snacking, there is a tip to place a post it on places reminding you of this goal. But there are endless ways to really write things into existence so feel free to get creative with this one.

2.    Phone a friend

What if you and your best friend have the same resolution? While you might find a new gym buddy sharing your resolutions with your friend group is also a great way to create some friendly accountability. And for those of us with a slight competitive streak this can turn into a contest but remember to respect everyone’s limits and abilities when comparing your progress!

3.    Make a plan!

Let’s say you have a huge goal in mind but making a plan on the small steps you will take to achieve it is just as important. Maybe you need to meet with some key people or mark your calendar accordingly and that is where a plan can be your hidden trick to staying on track. This can also be useful for those of us who might need an extra app or two to do this planning and managing for us.

Remember, whatever your resolutions to keep and open mind that the mentality toward accomplishing them is just as important and any of the tips above. If you made goals for the year all of the above still apply so go get those dreams!

  Aury Cifuentes is a very bubbly senior at The College of New Jersey. As an Economics major with a concentration in Social Justice she is happily working on a capstone project, internship, and thesis this year. When she isn’t studying, Aury is actively participating in the community through the Bonner Service program and working closely with her E-Board as president of Women in Business this year.

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Beauty Products You Need For Your Next Professional Event

By Casey Tsamis

January 25, 2018

It’s always important to put your best face forward (quite literally) for a professional conference, networking event, or job interview. It’s sometimes difficult to find a product that will conceal under eye bags, but also seem like you’re not wearing tons of makeup. This list of beauty products will be sure to have you feeling your best and ace your next professional event.

This color corrector is a must-have since it can brighten any under eye area, and make sure you’re looking awake, refreshed, and ready to tackle on question that’s thrown your way. It comes in a small packaging, but the product itself lasts for months.

After correcting with BECCA’s corrector, polish it off with this concealer. This is perfect to hide any blemishes or to start the first step of contouring. The applicator brush creates a smooth, matte finish that will even out different skin tones and look natural as ever.


It’s definitely more on the pricier side, but for three products that can be thrown into your bag, it’s a steal. This trio includes a concealer, a bronzed contour stick, and a highlighter. Depending on the event or what industry the interview is for, a touch of highlighter on the cheekbones is completely okay. For all three stix, a little goes a long way, so use small amounts to start.

Drybar Travel Size Detox Dry Shampoo-$13
The travel size version of this product is perfect for fitting in your bag in case of a hair emergency. It has an amazing salon smell to it and will last for the next two days. Use this for the roots to mask any oils that may appear.

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara-$24
This award-winning mascara is good for opening the eyes by lengthening the lashes and giving a dramatic, yet professional, look to the eyes. It won’t smudge or dry out either, and it’ll last for four months, tops.

It’s hard not to be nervous or intimidated before an interview or an event, but it’s proven that you will automatically feel more confident in a professional space if you believe you look your best. These products are used to enhance the features, not hide them. Show your best self and you’re guaranteed to do well.

Casey Tsamis is a senior journalism student at Emerson College in Boston, MA. She is a Division III athlete as well as the Vice President of her sorority, Xi Gamma Nu. Casey spends her free time exploring the latest fashion and beauty trends, and her dream job is to work at Too Faced.

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Top 5 Tips To Implement Your Personal Brand

By Valia Glytsis

December 11, 2017

Thanks to those of you who joined us on our webinar about defining a personal brand (didn’t see it? Watch on demand!). While discussing branding is fun and energizing, putting into practice is critical for lasting momentum and success.

Below are some practical tips and mindset-based insights to help you stay on course as you navigate “what’s next” and continue to define who you are from the inside-out!

#1. Be the Boss of Your Thoughts.

Mindset is the glue that holds our personal brand together. The top invader of owning our brand is our mental chatter. This mental chatter shows up as imposter syndrome, playing small, feeling insecure, suffering from low confidence. Here are a few tips to tackle this inner critic when it decides to pop up and say ‘hello’ (by the way, it usually surfaces when you are courageous enough to take up more space and be BIGGER):

Name It.
This voice is completely normal and part of our human experience. It never goes away. However, you can objectify it and recognize that it is simply a piece of your thoughts, not an all-encompassing sense of self. Give it a name and a separate identity so you can remind yourself it is “other”.

Unravel It.
This voice gets scary when it takes a life of its own and begins to catastrophize our thoughts and feelings. It can only take hold of you if you buy into its narrative. Instead, allow it to unravel. Keep asking it: “And then what happens?” See how your worst nightmare eventually runs out of steam if you let it unwind. It can only go up from there when you realize that the worst case is actually kind of OK.

Ritualize It.
This voice can bleed into all aspects of your life if you allow it. Rather than have it consume you, give it its own ritual. During this time, journal about the voice, share what it is telling you out loud, read to it, and so on. By honoring it with ritual, you’ll realize that you can actually nurture it like you would do to a younger version of yourself (which is exactly what this voice represents – it’s here to keep you safe and secure!)

#2. Know What Your Stand For.

Our personal values are the fundamental point of differentiation in our brand. Even if you and I share similar strengths and passion, what is most meaningful to us and how we make our decisions is at the core of our inner truth. Revisit the branding webinar for more details on doing a personal values exercise – this work is paramount. Write out your personal values that are most prevalent right now.

WARNING: This work normally elicits thinking well into the future for “aspirational” values rather than “practiced” values. Aspirational values do not exist in our current reality and if we continue to strive for them in the day-to-day, we feel as if we are failing. Instead, be honest about your practiced values that are alive and honored in your current life chapter.

For example, give yourself permission to stand for “Excellence” rather than “Balance” right now. It is OK. In fact, it is truth and will allow you to make empowered choices and meaningful connections.

#3. Get Clear On What You Want.

All too often, I see women getting very vague and wishy-washy when asked what they want. This is detrimental to a brand. We think we are being “easy” by allowing more options and flexibility while, in fact, we are making it extra difficult for our audience to support us or open possibilities. Get very clear on what you want. And remember, this doesn’t mean you have to know what you want for the rest of your life. The magic words are: “for right now”.

What do you want for right now in your personal and professional path? For example, rather than saying: “I want a job in consulting”, you can specify, “I want a job in X company with a focus on digital strategy; I prefer a start-up environment where I can leverage my entrepreneurial skills. Working in San Francisco would be ideal.” The former tells me nothing about a personal brand; the latter tells me quite a bit.

Even if it feels unnatural, allow yourself to be targeted, specific, and clear on what you are asking for. You make yourself visible and allow others to be partners on the path.

#4. Ask Assertively and Own Your Space.

Nothing is more tragic than having a compelling brand (content-wise) and then shrinking completely when declaring your brand to the world! The magic tool here is assertion. There is a misconception that “assertive” is half way between passive and aggressive. In fact, assertive is nowhere on that continuum. Assertive is all about clarity. When you are clear, you speak succinctly with power and gravitas. A few pointers to clear up your verbal and written brand communication pronto:

Clear the Verbal Clutter.
That means no more filler words or hedging words like “just”, “kind of”, “maybe”. These words and phrases diminish your impact.

Stop Apologizing.
That means no more qualifying phrases to apologize for your opinion or the space you are taking. “Sorry to bother you but…” – sound familiar?

Punctuate and Pause.
That means take your space! Watch any tendencies to rush, pile questions, end a bold statement with up-talk, etc. If you believe that you deserve your space, your personal brand will shine. If you don’t give it its space, it will shrink in kind.

#5. Connect with Why.

Move beyond “what” you want to do and into “why” you want to do it. When we infuse our brand, our values, our choices with the power of why, we compel people with emotion, not just logic. Connecting with “why” allows for human vulnerability to be the glue between the rational objectives and professional goals we outline. “Why” engages people’s hearts, including your own.

If you have a hard time connecting with your personal mission and purpose, try thinking of it this way: A purpose is nothing more than where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep hunger. Keep connecting to what matters to you and where you find meaning. The puzzle pieces of your brand will then be brilliantly obvious to you when you spot them! Your work is to stay true to the uniquely distinctive you.


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My Role Model is a Woman Too

By Maria Flores Gandaria

October 24, 2017

The thought of opening my own business never crossed my mind until I was a freshman in college. My mother had two failed businesses so I believe that, at first, having witnessing those experiences first-hand truly discouraged me from even trying.

Initially, I would have wanted to open a coffee shop in front of Central Park; nowadays, I want to open my own national non-profit, and event planning business (catering and photography services included, of course!).

This semester, however, I have become the best version of myself; in desperate efforts of getting involved after having submerged myself in giving campus tours and providing academic advising to incoming students for two years, I no longer knew what to do after I had to kiss my Orientation Advisor nametag goodbye.

Luckily, the answers to my pleading would be found in an organization that was tabling in front of the gym.

I joined a professional event planning organization, and little did I know that my dues would be the key to a world of networking opportunities—one of the speakers we have had in the past would offer to pay for my International Live Events Association membership!

Such “keys” grants me access to workshops with experts in the industry, and leaves open plenty of space for academic and personal growth. We are always told that networking is a skill that we should foster throughout our years in college, and that statement has been as real as ever.

During one of our meetings, I met a local business and non-profit founder, Nycia Emerson; she is the face behind She Inspires. I had just experienced a panic attack earlier that day, and I thought of missing that meeting, I am glad that I did not because I was one step closer from figuring out one of my purpose in life.

I saw pieces of myself reflected in her, not only a passion for life seems to radiate from eyes, but she is also a mother; if it is written in the universe,  I would like to become a business woman and a mother too.

Like many of us, Mrs. Emerson started her business from the ground up, and it has been a long and difficult process—through the financial and personal difficulties she has still manage to thrive and succeed. Her confidence reminded me of the importance in embracing our talents, while acknowledging our weaknesses as well.

Let’s admit it, girls. We will never be Wonder Women, as nice as flying across the globe sounds, but we DO have the power of changing communities through our unique capabilities.

Because of Nycia, and the supportive group of young college women I get to work with daily, this past week I launched my first small photography business. I assume it is official since I just booked a client for next week.

Student by day, writer by night. Maria Flores is a Social Work student at the University of Texas at Austin, she is also currently pursuing a BS in Communication and Leadership. She is an advocate for mental health, and unapologetically proud of being an immigrant. Her goals as a writer are to become a voice for the voiceless and to change the world—in accordance with her school’s motto.

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My Summer as a Finance Intern at National Public Radio

By Megha Karthikeyan

October 5, 2017

This past summer I had the opportunity to intern at National Public Radio (NPR) as a Treasury and Risk Management intern. Working at a media company and doing financial analytics gave me a unique view of business in the media space. I got my feet wet in finance as a rising second year in college and learned valuable analytical skills through various computer tools.

The Application Process

The application to be a summer intern opened around the beginning of February and closed around the middle of March. There are about 50 interns at NPR with most of them being assigned to shows and podcasts. On the application portal, all the positions that were open were listed, and I found a few business-related positions that I was interested in, including Treasury and Risk Management. I had to submit a resume and cover letter, and then rank my preference of position from one to three (three is the maximum number of positions one can apply for). The cover letter is always important, but extremely important for a finance position at NPR. I think one of the reasons I got this internship is because of my strong cover letter which included why I wanted to work at NPR specifically and what skills and qualities I had that would make me a perfect fit for the job. I also had a very concise but informative resume that mentioned activities and skills that would make me qualified for the finance position.

After about two months, I got called for a phone interview with my future supervisor.  The main questions I was asked was why I wanted the internship and what skills and qualifications I had that would make me a good fit for the job. I was nervous because I was only a first year in college at the time and I knew that there would be many other qualified applicants who had more educational experience in finance. However, I spoke with confidence and mentioned that even though I was only a first year, I was a fast learner and had what it took to succeed in the internship. My supervisor then told me about possible projects that I would take on as an intern and how the Treasury and Risk Management internship worked. I made sure to ask him questions about his journey to NPR because this made the interview more engaging and conversational. I ended up being offered the job at the end of the call and accepted the offer a few days later.

The Internship

During the internship, I worked on a wide variety of projects including building a debt ratio database, completing an investment manager fee project, doing a credit rating peer analysis, and working with daily cash balances. I learned how to do Macros and analyzed data deeper using the graphing and charting tools in Excel. The biggest project I worked on was the investment manager fee project where I had to create a report to be presented to the NPR Investment Board about the fees NPR was being charged and the net return NPR was getting from its investments. I pulled financial data from over 50 investment managers and then input all the data into an Excel spreadsheet which I then analyzed. I also compared data from previous years and created a 5-year analysis about how NPR was doing financially. This was one of my favorite projects I worked on because I got to look at how NPR chose its investments and learned a lot about the sectors that it was investing in. I also got to learn about various investment benchmarks and how it applied to NPR’s investing strategies.

Other than the major projects I worked on, there were a few daily tasks that I assisted with like looking at the daily cash balances to make sure NPR’s reserves and working capital was strong. I also provided assistance to the accounting team by pulling audited financial data that pertained to the Treasury division. In this process, I learned more about how internal and external audits worked.

Fun NPR Events

One of the perks of being an NPR intern is being able to attend Tiny Desk Concerts. At these concerts, musicians perform songs that were produced for All Song’s Considered. One of the coolest musicians I got to see was Chance the Rapper. It was an intimate crowd of around 200 employees, so I got to hear him up close as he performed some of his most popular songs.

Being a NPR intern, you also get the opportunity to meet a lot of people in the media industry. We had weekly Brown Bag Lunches where we met with various producers and hosts of radio shows including Guy Raz from How I Built This and Audie Cornish from All Things Considered. Being able to learn about how they got into news and broadcasting was very interesting and it was a great way to network with people I may not have been able to connect with.

Tips for Future Interns

My general advice for interns, whether at NPR or any other company, is to ask questions. When I didn’t understand how to do a certain task after I had used all the resources available to try and solve the problem, I made sure to ask my supervisor for help. Asking questions not only helps you solve your problem, but it also shows your supervisor that you are involved in your work and can ask for help to make your work even better. As an intern, you can learn a lot from your managers, so asking questions early on and clearing up any confusion will save you a lot of time in the future and send a positive message to your boss.

Another piece of advice is have regular meetings with your supervisor or manager. I met with my supervisor many times to not only update her on my progress, but also ask her for input and feedback. During these conversations, we would end up talking about a new piece of technology or the news for the day. This helped me get to know my manager better, and she understood my background and interests. Getting to know you manager on a personal level is important and this can happen when you have regular meetings scheduled with your supervisor.

My NPR internship taught me so much about the treasury and finance industry and I learned so many new skills that I can use in future internships. I am very glad I got this incredible opportunity and encourage anyone interested in finance and the media to apply.

Megha Karthikeyan is from Vienna, Virginia and attends the University of Virginia. She intends to double major in Economics and Commerce at the McIntire School of Commerce with finance and information technology concentrations. Megha will graduate from UVA in 2020. She hopes to work in the finance industry as a finance or risk analyst, but is also looking at working in investment banking.

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