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My Life on Mondays: “The Job Hunt”

Now that I've moved back to the East coast, I'm noticing a difference in the way college grads out here hunt for a job. I've reconnected with my best friend Abby, who graduated from James Madison University in December, and sure, we still get together to have lunch and go shopping, but while I'm working on independent projects, applying for unpaid internships and working retail to pay the bills _(read: handbag addiction)_, she is involved in a completely different kind of job hunt. Abby has an active profile on www.monster.com. She wakes up early in the morning to spend time fine-tuning her resume and searching for job postings online. She's attended numerous job fairs and recruiting events _(unheard of in the West)_ and has followed up with many of her contacts. She got a phone call the other day from a company interested in hiring her. Her response? "Well, I'd like to sit down together to discuss this project in detail. When are you available next week? Friday? Friday works well for me." _Who was this person???_ Then she hung up the phone and turned to me and said she wanted to go to the outlet mall because she was bored. _Now that's more like it._ Here was a girl who swore to me that she didn't want to be a part of the so-called "Corporate America," but she was spending all her spare time filling out and mailing in 30-page applications for city social work positions and local non-profits, not to mention that her boyfriend had a great job offer from a great company four months before he even graduated! Is it East Coast vs. West Coast? Or is it proactive vs. slacker? When it comes to putting yourself out there for hiring, am I missing the corporate boat? *The way I see it, job-hunting college graduates fall into one of two categories.* They're either searching for a job that they are qualified to do, or they are looking for the job of their dreams. And it's a constant struggle to decide which one you should look for: the job you _can_ do or the job you _want_ to do. Sure, the job you can do gives you health insurance and a 401K and something legitimate for your parents to put in their Christmas newsletter. But is it the job you thought of when people asked you "what do you want to be when you grow up?", when they told you to dream big little girl...the sky is the limit and you're the future?...Back when Abby and I were in Brownie scouts and the only "work" we had to do was to sell cookies door to door and fill our sashes up with merit badges that were relatively easy to earn... Which reminds me, I need to order Girl Scout cookies from Madeline down the street. And when she brings me my Samoas and Tagalongs, I'll be sure to mention to her that selling the most girl scout cookies gets you a white tiger stuffed animal and does not make you any more likely to get a job offer before you graduate from college. I'll also tell her that the horsemanship merit badge is a joke…that I'm 22 and I'm still terrified of ponies. I'll tell her that no matter how many of those merit badges she gets, she can't put a single one of them on a CV. And most importantly, I'll tell her to make sure to get business cards and character letters from anyone who tells her to dream big little girl. _*My Life on Mondays is an "independent project" written by Stacy Hinojosa, the Executive Editor of UniversityChic.com and a "job-hunting", handbag-buying, crying-herself-to-sleep college graduate._

UChic Tech Tip: How to Beat the E-Commerce System

And Why Argyle Never Seems to Work

Last night I was shopping online _(take note: online shopping is the new midnight snack)_ at urbanoutfitters.com and I found some red and gray argyle socks on sale for 2.99. I was happy. I put three pair in my cart, continued to checkout, entered my address and credit card number. Then it occurred to me that if I'm already paying shipping and handling, I should make sure there's nothing else I want from them. So I closed the page and went down stairs to get a snack... _(okay, so maybe online shopping really isn't the new midnight snack)_. When I went back upstairs a few hours later, _(okay, I watched some tivo)_, the socks were still there, but next to it in little red letters were the words, *"Out of Stock"*.
I called their customer service line, _(which by the way, is available until 2 a.m. for all you night owls)_, and they told me that it was "impossible" to order those socks, that people who _did_ order those socks might not even get them because there aren't any left. I was discouraged, *but then a beautiful thought occurred to me. I went into my internet history, and found the page where I had entered in my information to make the purchase*. I kinda figured it would tell me something like, "This Page Has Expired," but no, it let me continue adding my VISA number and actually let me order the socks. For a while the status of the order was, "Low in Stock, Order May Be Cancelled," but it eventually was processed and shipped. I beat the system. *Now for the sad part of the story*. I got the socks and when I pulled off the package sticker, it pulled out all the little argyle stitches. Very unfortunate...I returned them. It reminded me of just a few weeks ago when I got a pair of green argyle socks at J.Crew and after I wore them they pilled. I guess I'm into argyle lately. If you don't know what argyle is...like my friend who thought it was like cashmere, "Argyle? I bet that's expensive,"... argyle is that diamond pattern that is most commonly seen on golfers. *If you really want to see some beautiful argyle in action*, "check out this sweater":http://www.cabionline.com/FALL05/CEO/ceo3b.asp by CAbi (aka: Carol Anderson by invitation). I still haven't received my invitation....but when I do, I'm buying this sweater. If that turns out badly, then I guess I'll swear off argyle for life, which would be a pretty big deal considering I like to golf.

My Life on Mondays

I'm always on edge when I fly. I can never really fall asleep for fear that I will snore loudly or drool on the person next to me. Every bit of turbulence makes me think the plane is about to nosedive, I've even grabbed the arm of the person next to me, and ever since I saw a 20/20 on the ways people can steal your luggage at the security checkpoint, I am a ball of stress, my eyes glued to my bags on the conveyer belt while I blindly bump into the metal detector. To top it all off, I am _always_ certain that this time I fly will be the time I lose my luggage. To minimize my potential loss, I always pack the items that are most near and dear to my heart in my carry-on luggage. I have a huge hiking backpack that miraculously fits into the overhead storage bins, so in goes every piece of one-of-a-kind clothing I own, a vintage belt, three of my favorite clutches, two handbags I bought in Paris, my jewelry case, my college portfolio, any photo albums, and of course, my computer: home to thousands of photos, every word document I've written since 10th grade and all my beloved mp3s. This time it was even trickier since I was bringing two laptops with me. I usually store my computer in a smaller marmot lumbar bag I have that matches my backpack. My old computer, a Dell, barely fits, without room for much else. But now with the ibook, a photo album from my backpacking trip in Europe, a folder of UChic information and notes, and a plaque of my recently received college diploma, I was running out of room. Now the new ibook is teeny tiny, so I had no problem fitting it inside the lumbar pack, along with the album, my notebook and the usual carry-on essentials like my wallet, phone, mp3 player, gum, and a couple magazines. I put the diploma and the other laptop into a sleek black computer bag and wondered if I could get away with carrying on three bags. I decided to strap my lumbar pack onto my backpack...since they matched, it made it look like one bag, a _huge_ bag, especially since I had my sleeping bag strapped to the bottom. I looked like I was about to try Everest...carrying a black leather attache. I had nabbed a ridiculously low last-minute airfare, the only seat left on the plane, a middle seat, so when I arrived at the gate, I checked in at the desk to see if there were any available aisle or window seats. There were, and I opted for window since the extra leg room would allow me to stow both carry-ons I was attempted to sneak on and I wouldn't have to worry about the drool thing since I could rest my head against the window. I slowly backed away from the counter so the flight attendant wouldn't spot my behemoth bag. As soon as I sat down, they called my name over the intercom. _Panic._ I walked up there, sure that either someone in my family had died, or they had spotted my three carry-ons, one of which, was questionably large. The woman who booked my seat gave me a window seat that didn't recline all the way. One that did had opened up, and she'd upgraded me. I thanked her, and slowly backed away again...smiling. As soon as I sat back down, they called my name again. This time I knew the jig was up. But apparently, a family with a baby carrier wanted my seat, and they wanted to know if I would take a window seat on an exit row. _"That's like the best seat on the plane!"_ I said, _"Of course I'll take it."_ So that was it. I boarded, unstrapped my pack from my backpack so it would fit up above, triumphantly put my two computer cases under my seat and immediately went back to worrying about turbulence, nosediving and snoring. _*stacy hinojosa is a "recent" college grad and the executive editor of University Chic. Although she insists she'll never fly again, she's already planning a ski trip in March and a beach trip in May with money she doesn't have since she's still unemployed, unless you count a recent stint at Banana Republic. But she might get an upaid internship somewhere eventually, so that would change things slightly...minimally...but not really, no._

Uchic Asks: "What's Your New Year's Resolution?"

*New Year's resolutions are something I'm always on the fence about.* Are they dumb, are they admirable...I think it depends. I mean, there is always the perpetual, "I vow to lose weight, or get in shape" resolution. It's a proven fact that health clubs see their highest numbers of new accounts in the month of January. But that's a resolution I make yearly, so it almost loses it's potency. Then there are little resolutions, that are so small, they almost seem unworthy of being called a resolution. And then there are the resolutions that you know you're going to do anyway, so you make them one of your resolutions so it looks like you accomplished something when you do it. *I think it's time we put the solutions back in resolutions!* I want to know how to actually follow through with my lofty goals. So I'm going to lay them out on the table for you....tomorrow, after I've given them some serious thought. In the meantime, *what are some of your resolutions for the new year?* Go ahead, type it...add a comment, let us know what you're thinking of doing in 2006!

Uchic Asks: “What’s Your New Year’s Resolution?”

*New Year's resolutions are something I'm always on the fence about.* Are they dumb, are they admirable...I think it depends. I mean, there is always the perpetual, "I vow to lose weight, or get in shape" resolution. It's a proven fact that health clubs see their highest numbers of new accounts in the month of January. But that's a resolution I make yearly, so it almost loses it's potency. Then there are little resolutions, that are so small, they almost seem unworthy of being called a resolution. And then there are the resolutions that you know you're going to do anyway, so you make them one of your resolutions so it looks like you accomplished something when you do it. *I think it's time we put the solutions back in resolutions!* I want to know how to actually follow through with my lofty goals. So I'm going to lay them out on the table for you....tomorrow, after I've given them some serious thought. In the meantime, *what are some of your resolutions for the new year?* Go ahead, type it...add a comment, let us know what you're thinking of doing in 2006!

My Life on Mondays….oh yeah, yesterday was Monday

*What did you get for Christmas?* That's what I'd always call and ask my best friend at about 10:00 on Christmas morning. So I thought I'd ask all of you. Me? Well, Remember when I blogged a few weeks ago about changing from Windows to a Mac. Well, I did it. I got myself an ibook for Christmas....well, my parents helped a little....well, mostly. Let's call it a Christmas/Graduation/and your next two birthdays kind of present...plus I kick in $400 big ones. And let me tell you, I had sticker shock. Add up the cost of the ibook, a printer (since I get a rebate when I buy a computer), the Microsoft Office package, (with a similar rebate), the two-year insurance plan that you just "have to" get, 98 big ones for shipping and handling, well, all visions of iPods that were dancing in my head left immediately. Anyway, still haven't got it yet, which did make for a rather uneventful Christmas morning under the tree, but I'm really excited to start using my Macintosh. What I'm most excited for _(and you can be the judge of whether this is extremely sad or not,)_ is the ability I will have to use widgets. *Widgets are very cool gadgets that you can dowload to your Mac desktop.* There are useful things like a calendar, a clock, a weather watcher, calculator, music player, and here's also a post-it note. That's right, a digital post-it note that you can type on and stick to any part of your computer screen. One simple click and they disappear from view. Now, I feel like I should explain a little, my whole college life has been a collection of post-it notes. Randomly stuck on the shelf above my telephone with numbers, passwords, assignments, names, to-do lists, reminders to myself, and most lately, with ideas for UChic articles _(I even got into a fight with a friend sophomore year regarding a post-it note she stole from my computer)_. Sometimes I'd put them on a bulletin board, othertimes, I'd tape them to my ceiling so I saw them when I woke up. I'd stick them on the outside edges of my laptop, where they were sure to fall off several times, plus the fact that I could never shut my laptop. Anyway, these widgets are a dream come true. Seriously. Sadly. *stacy

Happy Non-Denominational Winter Celebration!

!http://www.universitychic.com/files/wreath.gif! *Since apparently this has been the holiday season of all things Banana Republic*....I felt it only right to wish everyone a "Merry Winter"... _yes, that is what our signs at Banana Republic say_. Although, my co-workers have taken to wishing customers a "happy non-denominational winter celebration," even though most of the people shopping wish us a Merry Christmas. Well, here *at University Chic, we want to wish you a "very merry whatever you'd like."*

UChic Movie Review: King Kong

!http://www.universitychic.com/files/kong.jpg! *This is a great movie!* I went to see King Kong yesterday and I was shocked. I have never seen any special effects like the ones in this movie. There were times that I had to catch my breath, and other times that I was afraid of heights...in the movie! Trust me, I am not one for long action epics _(I was dragged to the Lord of the Rings movies)_, and I only saw them once. But this is a movie I would see again. *Yes, it was long,* but it never bored me. It was visually stunning, intense, poignant, and even funny at times. I am shocked to say it...but I loved King Kong.

My Life on Mondays

My life on Mondays....my life on Mondays......where to begin. Let's start with a little story. On Wednesday, my friend and I decided to drive up to Park City, Utah for the day to visit all the trendy art galleries, cool boutiques and yummy restaurants. There was only one problem, his car wouldn't start. He was really frusturated because he's just shelled out $400 dollars to fix it. I offered to drive my car and half way up the canyon, my car started making a very funny noise. I laughed it off...my car is pretty old and, well...it's not the quietest vehicle. Heading home, the noise intensified. Every time I slowed down, every time I sped up, when I turned right, when I turned left....pretty much all the time, except if I was driving in a straight line. Coming out of the canyon, I knew I had a problem on my hands. *The wheels on the car go ca-clunk...ca-clunk...ca-clunk*. As I dropped him off at the campus library, people were staring at my car. And it wasn't _"Hmmm...I wonder if her car is okay"_ stares, it was the way you stare at someone who's El Camino just backfired loudly in the parking lot of 7/11. I decided not to risk driving the hour home on the freeway to my house late at night. I stayed in town and took it to a mechanic in the morning. Apparently, there was nothing holding my right front tire on. The wheel barring was broken. That's about $250. It was rubbing up against the hub, which explains the ca-clunking. That was another $100. And the hub was rubbing up against the brakes, that would be....I didn't even want to think about it. _"Fix what you have to."_ I told him. Then I went back to my friends house and took a nap. *The damage came to $400*, ironic since it was the same mechanic who "fixed" my friend's car. Also ironic since that's about the sum of the purchases made on my Banana Republic credit card. _This could be a problem._ Seeing that I was visibly upset, the mechanic commented on how he hated his job. _"I'm in the bad-news business."_ Serves me right for having an old car. When I lived in London, I didn't have to worry about a car. I used public transportation to get everywhere I needed to go.....and public transportation took me everywhere I needed to go. Everything else was within walking distance. Yes, big-city living appeals to me because of this. No need for vehicle insurance payments, rising gasoline prices, unexpected breakdowns and expenses, not to mention the price of the car itself. And then take into consideration the likelihood of dying in a car accident.....but counter that with the increasing number of public transportation terrorist attacks. And even though I can't think of a worse time to have car problems in my life right now...I don't think that there is every really a good, or even, okay time to have your car break down. It's just one of those things I have to accept. I've exhausted myself arranging for rides, borrowing cars, paying bills, returning clothes, trying not to miss a work shift. And all the while, thinking that somehow...all of this anxiety could be avoided. Yes....I probably could have stopped driving the car sooner once it started ca-clunking....but I can't kick myself for that. If anything, I should be kicking myself for too many charges to Banana Republic. For ever leaving London. And for believing for just one second that being out on your own in the real world could be relatively hassle-free.

7 More Shopping Days Left, and speaking of all things techy…

"!http://www.universitychic.com/files/shop.jpg!"://www.universitychic.com/taxonomy/term/109 UChic writer, Marina, aka: tech genius...has written a new article about "the best tech toy gifts"://www.universitychic.com/taxonomy/term/109. Make sure to check it out!
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