Monday, April 11, 2016


Search. Find. Apply. Interview. Wait. Repeat.

The vicious cycle of applying for jobs... I will say, it's difficult and nerve-wracking, but exciting to prepare for the next stage in my life. As a young professional, I'm energetic and motivated to find success in my next endeavor. As I've mentioned before, the name of my blog was created because of my city dreams: my goal of moving, living, and working in the city of Chicago as a PR pro.

I am proud to say I have taken the first steps toward this goal by securing and attending two interviews at PR/Communication agencies in Chicago! (AHHH!) Now, I just have to wait to hear back...patience is not my strong suit...

I'm writing this after-the-fact. I was crazy nervous beforehand and I felt like the pressure of the world was sitting on my shoulders. Interviewing is not an easy feat, but as trial and error goes, I have a few tips I think are crucial to successful interviews. Hopefully, these tips will help you impress the socks off of your next interviewers.


The people/person interviewing you will be able to tell almost instantly if you've done your homework. Bullshitting (excuse my French) doesn't work in interviews, so study up! Read the company's website, learn about their clients, the culture, the employees. Read their news releases and blog.  Find out whatever it is that sets them apart from other companies in the industry, whether that may be a unique business model or a certain focus, like product launch PR. Sometimes it helps to use Glassdoor to research a company. Occasionally, you can find questions other candidates have been asked during interviews. It's a nice little cheat sheet.  

Some questions I've been asked:

Where do you get your news?
What's your favorite brand?
How do you stay organized and manage multiple projects?
Walk us through your experience.
Why PR?
Why do you want to work here?

2. PLAN AHEAD (questions, outfit, travel, etc.)

Not only should you prepare questions to ask your interviewer (A MUST-DO), you should also prepare travel plans and your outfit. Maybe you have a go-to interview outfit, that's awesome! Just make sure it's ironed, pressed, and polished. I lean toward cropped dress pants with a blazer and a colorful blouse underneath. I feel best in black, so naturally, that's what I wear. I love adding a necklace and my fossil watch, too! (Remember less is more when it comes to jewelry!).

For my recent interviews, I had to take a train into the city and walk to the office building of the company I was interviewing at. It's always best to look these things up in advance so you know how to budget your time and if the weather will effect your plans. Don't be afraid to get there early! Punctuality is praised. 

Here are a few questions I tend to ask during an interview (just to give you an idea):

What's the work/life balance like?
What's the most difficult challenge that would face someone in this role?
What's the company culture like?

*Remember, interviews should be conversational, so ask questions as they arise**


You never know how many people you'll actually meet during an interview. Always be prepared to hand out resumes to everyone and anyone you meet. I would recommend having around eight on you at all times. Even better, print them on classy paper, like linen. Bonus points -- presentation is everything!

A common question in any interview is "Walk me through your resume." You better have one handy to do this (unless you've memorized it...awk?).


As a class assignment this semester, we were required to construct a hardcopy portfolio, which is a fancy way of saying a binder full of all of my best work from internships and coursework. The assignment was extremely meticulous and time consuming, but a total lifesaver in interviews!

I found that during lulls in the conversation, I could point to something in the portfolio and speak about the experience of creating it or explain the context of the project. Because constructing the portfolio is time consuming, future employers see that you took the time to put it together, and viola! You are instantly viewed as a hard worker (as opposed to a lazy one - YAY).

I also highly recommend creating an online portfolio. It's almost necessary these days! I think having a visually representative and online site is so beneficial to your personal "brand." It's something you can update even after graduation!

Check out mine!
I used WIX to construct mine and I highly recommend it. It takes a bit to get used to the tools, but it offers so many features that allow you to create a really personalized site that is representative of you.


The time of thank you cards has come and gone. After interviews, I immediately send a "Thank You" email to each person I've interviewed with. This means that I actively seek out contact information during the interview, whether that means grabbing a business card or specifically asking for an email address. 

I suggests writing down quick notes of unique things or points of discussion that you talk about with each interviewer. That way, when you send the follow up thank you email, you can tailor it to the specific individual. It's instantly more personal and memorable. 


Confidence is one thing you can't leave home without. Nerves are natural, but you have to mask them! Not only are employers looking for candidates with good experience, they're looking for people who will fit well with the existing team members, so be yourself and let your personality shine!

Other random tips:

Have a professional tote bag so you can carry all of your necessities.

Invest in a professional portfolio/padfolio (fancy folder) to keep your resumes in and take notes on.

Have a good, easy-to-write-with pen.

If you're walking to your interviews like I did in downtown Chicago, wear comfy shoes and change right before the interview. The last thing you need is blisters on your feet! 

It's nice to have extra makeup handy for touch-ups! 

Gum or mints... to get rid of the coffee breath (make sure you spit the gum out before).

Visit my "Strut Your Stuff" website for what-to-wear tips!

Talk to the receptionist. Make a good first impression while you wait.


Good luck on your interviews! Let me know if you have any specific questions!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


Happy March, friends!

I can't believe I'm actually saying that (!!!) Where has the time gone? There's only about two months left in my college career! Holy crazy.

Needless to say, I'm trying to make the most of my limited time left! As such, I decided to go on a spring break trip with my girlfriends, something I've never done before.

When your spring break is in February and you go to school in Minnesota, the only logical thing to do is to go somewhere hot, hot, hot. And, when you're on the brink of college graduation, you go to the place where you feel most like a kid again. Catching my drift?


My seven girlfriends and I spent 5 magical days relaxing in the Orlando, Florida, sun and exploring the four theme parks of Walt Disney World. I thought I'd share a few of my favorite parts from each theme park: Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and Epcot. 

Magic Kingdom
The most magical place on earth!
This park definitely made me feel like a kid again with all of the real-life fairytale moments (CINDERALLA IS REAL).
My favorite part: the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Adventureland. I literally wanted to leave then and there and go binge watch the movies.

Hollywood Studios
I have too much to say about this park! It was smaller than the others, so easier to hit a lot of attractions.
My favorite part(s): Tower or Terror! Such a fun and thrilling ride. I've been on it before and watching my friends freak out was too much fun. We also LOVED watching the Beauty and the Beast show. Magical.

Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom is like a zoo, but 100x better. I got to see a ton of animals and ride super fun coasters. We even went on a safari and I learned so much about African animals and the importance of keeping them safe.
My favorite part: The Lion King show and meeting Pocahontas! 

And last by not least...
Definitely the most "adult" park, especially because of the Countries of the World section.
My favorite part: Touring the different countries. Epcot is cool beyond words! Each country has a designated area and everything in that area is like it would be in that country. The costumes, the buildings, everything! I felt so nostalgic in this park. It reminded me of all of the incredible places I went while studying abroad. My favorite was Germany!

I had a dreamy time in Florida and loved every second at Disney, but don't be fooled! Days at the parks are so exhausting! Walking for miles, waiting in line, it's a work out! I'm glad I could experience all the magic again, but I won't go back for a while.

Have you ever been to Disney? What was your favorite part?

Now, it's back to classes (this is the busiest time of year) and job hunting!

Oh, and hello snow. I didn't miss you.

Monday, February 15, 2016


Desk Calendar: Nico and Lala / Heart earrings: Forever 21 (similar but smaller) / Wristlet: Coach (similar)

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope every one had a loved-filled day yesterday. I know I did. It's no secret that I'm a sucker for love...or anything mushy gushy really. I'm a softy through and through. #noshame.

I love an excuse to spoil my guy, but he always seems to outdo me! This year he surprised me with a beautiful bar necklace engraved with the coordinates of my home in Florence (the apartment I lived in while studying abroad). So thoughtful and so creative. Good job, J. I love it & you.

Valentine's Day also doubles as a very special day in my life. The day I met my best friend, Olivia. I was homeschooled until second grade and my very first day of school was Valentine's Day. Our teacher let us decorate cookies with frosting and sprinkles and it was a ball! I even remember what I wore: my sparkly Barbie overalls, obviously.

Olivia, the cute girl in the red plaid dress, gave me her cookie and it's been friendship ever since.

Fourteen years later and Olivia is still my bff who loves to share her cookies with me (I have a major sweet tooth). This year, we are celebrating our GOLDEN friendship anniversary. 14 years on the 14th. We never fail to go all out for this monumental holiday. It's bigger than our birthdays or Christmas. Just our day to celebrate our wacky friendship.

Per usual, Olivia spoiled me and got me a beautiful, gold Kate Spade wine glass to go along with the 3 tasty Club W bottles of wine. In love. The perfect gift.

Thanks to the awesome postal service, Olivia is still waiting for her gift to get to her...but I think she's really going to love it! (I'd tell you, but just in case she decides to read this, I don't want to ruin the surprise).

Needless to say, I love Valentine's Day. It's more than just a Hallmark holiday for me. It's a day where I get to celebrate love, friendship, and commitment.

Remember, even if you don't have a Valentine, GOD IS LOVE and "We love, because he first loved us." 1 John 4:19

Happy Valentine's day to everyone! (and especially to my forever Valentine & my best friend)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Happy Wednesday!

The temperatures have been chilly (or worse) lately, and walking outside has been especially brutal for my early AM classes and my late night walks back to my place after spending hours in the library (yes...some would call me nerdy). My solution has been to literally live in blanket scarves. I guess they're my winter thing. 

I promise, there's no such thing as over-wearing them, especially when you live in Minnesota. These scarves are the perfect accessory and are totally multifunctional (that's where the blanket comes in). And talk about fun to mix and match. I loved adding a pink speckled sweater to highlight the pink in this tartan red scarf. 

Now, let's talk about the perfect little black purse. I scored this baby at the leather market in Florence, Italy, during my semester abroad. Totally worth the money. It's a great size, and even expands to a fuller body or reduces to just a clutch if you don't want the cross body strap. The best for going out (lipstick, ID, phone...check, check, check).

OK. In other news, life has been eventful the past few days: 

  1. Grease Live was amaze-za-zing. #sorrynotsorry for humming Grease songs all week.
  2. My Big Fat Greek Wedding SEQUAL? Apparently I'm late to the party on this one. But nonetheless, this news is life-changing. amiright?! How many days until March 25?
  3. The Bachelor...To be Continued... (my friends and I made our "Bachelor Babe Bracket." Still hating Olivia. Still loving Lauren B.)
  4. I learned today that college snow days are definitely a thing. HELLO SNOW. GOODBYE CLASS. 

**Thank you to my model/best friend/roommate for posing for these pictures**

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


One week later and I am proud to say I survived the first week of classes, and I'm even here to tell you about the second. But I couldn't do it alone, which is why I'm sharing a few necessities that have helped me get through the first week of Spring semester and restore my weekly routine...

My back-to-reality necessities: 

Coffee in the AM...and tea after that. I've been pretty sick lately, and on top of that, Minnesota is doing that thing where it freezes, so I've been keeping warm with my favorite hot beverages. No shame in being a coffee addict. The only sad part is, my coffee is always cold by the time I get to class in the morning!! I'm on the hunt for a really good travel mug.

My planner, because no one can remember everything, and my mind is still on break. I write down everything from meetings, to assignments, to important dates. You can also find random lists and cute little doodles inside. It's basically my lifeline and best friend. 

Newspapers (all 4 of them). As a journalism and PR double major, reading the news is vital. I'll admit I'm still working on's easy to grab my phone and look through Twitter for news updates, but there's something I love about picking up a paper and reading it. Definitely a fan of print media! One of my 2016 goals is to be better informed citizen (and student and aspiring professional), which means reading a lot and reading often.

Mittens...and other cold weather accessories. Did I mention it's freezing here? Hat, scarf (sometimes two at a time), mittens, parka, boots. You name it, I'm wearing it. I'll do anything to stay warm!

The Bachelor because it's time to get together with my sweet girlfriends to catch up. Our weeks are so hectic -- each of us busy with something that fills our days to the brim. Monday nights are designated #girltime. I haven't watched the last few seasons, but I'm back on the Bachelor Nation train. What I love more than even watching the show is reading all the past contestants' tweets (I'm looking at you Lesley Murphy and Catherine Lowe). My favorites so far are: Amanda (the sweet mom) and Lauren B. (the cute, quirky flight attendant).

What gets you through rough weeks and restores your routine? Share any of my back-to-reality necessities?
Have a good week everyone...and stay warm!

Monday, January 11, 2016

hi, hey, hello

Stationary from the oh-so-talented Nico and Lala


My first post...ahh! It's been a long time in the making, and I'm so excited to get started!
Today is kind of a monumental day: my last first day of school...possibly ever. MY LAST SEMESTER OF COLLEGE. Let's just say...scared and excited and nerve-wracking (pinch me!!). As
my May graduation approaches (and it can take its sweet, old time getting here), it's time to kick it in gear and work on reaching my city dreams (PR job, city living, etc.).

City Dreams & Accessories is a creative outlet if anything else. A place for me to share what inspires me most, express my creative heart, and dream ridiculously big dreams... I promise there will be a whole lot of coffee, accessories, and freaking out along the way (because that's normal, right?).

Stay tuned for more posts as I journey through my last semester of school, one final Minnesnowta winter, a job hunt, and wherever else this crazy, beautiful life takes me.

xx, Caroline