Thursday, April 17, 2014

Beyond Store Walls

Hello Again!

This week I wanted to talk about a few things that are involved with my Co-Op other than my in-store responsibilities.  As I move forward in the weeks to come I will talk a little more about what I do on a daily basis but I wanted to give readers a sense of what Co-Op is like otherwise.

Like I said in my previous post, I take the subway to work.  Philadelphia makes it very easy to use public transportation and Drexel has a hand in it, of course.  For the month of April, I purchased a Student TransPass through Drexel.  I highly recommend that other students purchase a monthly TransPass if they are commuting to Center City or other parts of Philly on a regular basis because it makes life so much easier.  Rather than having to count coins and make sure you have subway fare, you can just slide your pass and be on your way.  It also eliminates the stressful parking situation that occurs in every city.  Septa also offers a student discount so why not take advantage of it!

Something else that I enjoy is the time I get to spend with my dad while in Center City!  Nicole Miller is located in the Bellevue on South Broad Street and my dad is a professor at the University of the Arts, which is also located on South Broad Street.  If I am able to get to work early or if I don't have to rush to lacrosse practice right after work, it is nice to be able to catch up with my dad.  We enjoy trying different, small eateries around the area and just enjoy each others company before or after a busy workday.  One of our favorite places is Little Pete's on 17th and Chancellor!

I must say, I do feel rather grown up these days.  I am working for a brand that is largely successful and recognizable and am scheduling lunch dates to catch up with my family.  I am starting to get a taste of what life might be like after Drexel and I like it so far.  I know that I will miss the familiarity of classes and practices but life after graduation may not be looking so bad.

Thank you for reading!

- Josie

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Breaking Barriers

  It has been an eventful week here in the beautiful Dublin! For starters, I have broken my wrist and now have to wear the bulkiest, electric blue cast for next six weeks.It does not match any of my outfits! Here is my ridiculous story:
It was a gorgeous Thursday night when the three Drexel boys arrived at my 'posh flat' in the college populated, Rathmines. We hit a couple pubs and continued on our way, for no reason at all, I was getting a 'piggy-back ride' (shoes did not hurt, I was not tired, just messing around) and the rest is history. Well, the actual act of breaking my wrist happened as I caught my entire body weight on
it as I was falling off of the 6'5 giant. I stayed out that night, attended an EUSA program meeting the next morning, where the boys were telling me to show my blown up wrist in hopes of cutting out short but I sat through the entire, repetitive presentation then directly following the not-so imfortmative session, brought attention to my black and blue lim. I got an earful about how I should have called the EUSA emergency number and several perplexed expressions when the board of directors realized how calm I remained through the entire accident. I genenerally handle pain very well and it takes a lot for me to complain about something. However, as the shock wore off (about two hour into my waiting room experience) I realized this was not normal. The woman that conducted our morning meeting stayed with me through hours of x-rays and castings. The first clinic I went to was extremely clean and modern with very accommodating people. As I was getting my temporary cast, due to the swelling it needed to be softer in order to continue to ice, the doctor told me I had to report to Mater Hospital on Monday morning at seven in the morning to wait to see an orthopedist. At first, I argued that I could not go on Monday, my first official day as the Wild Poppy Concept's intern but both the doctor and program director quickly shut that down. This is when the tears happened. Forget breaking bones, I had to miss the first day of my dream internship, the entire reason I am in this country. This is when I received the second batch of perplexed expressions. Thankfully, my employer is one of the nicest humans I have ever met and insisted she take me to tea that day, if I were feeling up to it. After four hours in the Smithfield Clinic, I had an ugly, soft cast and was on my way to the pharmacy to subside some of this pain.Throughout this mishap, I have learned many interesting things about the Irish healthcare system but nothing shocked me more than being told that codeine is sold over the counter. This confused and scared me because it is such a dangerous substance to tons of junkies I walk by on the streets of Dublin. I did not even think about buying it because I have taken it before in the US following a tonsil surgery and it made me extremely sick. I bought some Advil which does not do much for a broken bone so I have been just dealing with it sans medication. On Monday, as directed against my will, I reported to Mater Hospital, the Fracture Clinic, to wait for a reasonable five hours. You guys would not believe the amount of people that had broken bones this past weekend. I was making small talk with the receptionist, commenting on the business and his response was, 'this is not at all busy'. After being called into to see the orthopedic surgeon, I got my blue cast (I wanted pink but no dice) on and was told to come back in a week to discuss if I need surgery. Tears round two commenced. I will keep you updated on that status but let's hope it is not necessary!!
The only thing this cast is affecting is my outfits! I still am loving this city just with both feet planted
firmly on the ground!
Yesterday was my official first day of work. We do not have a central location, rather we travel to our clients. For the next couple of weeks, I am working with the Credit Union as we launch their new website and social media sites. The projects I am directly working on are paralleled to Computers for Design and Merchandising. I love how much I already knew going into these projects from our courses. I like working at different branches of the bank because I get to meet new people everyday. I am also learning the Irish banking system in the process.
This weekend, my older sister, Kaitie is coming to visit me. We booked our flights to Brussels and train to Amsterdam. Excited is an understatement!

Waving with a blue cast!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Picture worth a thousand people

I imagine many of you relate the world of online shopping. Scrolling through probably thousands of products, you barely look at the picture and you are already on to the next. Some products are by themselves and some are on models. But did you ever think about the amount of people it takes to get those products on the website? I certainly did not and last week I had my first real taste of a photo shoot.

Yet, this was not a glamorous photo shoot with beautiful models and exotic sets. The photos being taken were probably only going to be seen by a select few people, mostly editors from magazines and members of my team. I was handling products that would not be available for sale for months. During that time, the photos I take would be sent to editors that would perhaps request samples. There are probably only two or three products even produced at this point, all of which is my team's responsibility. The samples first come to the buyers, then to PR, then to editors, then back to the buyers. The clothing is not even on QVC and all this behind the scenes work is happening. From there, the samples are shot and re-shot, edited and re-edited for the perfect picture to go on the website.

Now think about the thousands of pictures we scroll through when online shopping. This cycle occurs for almost every object, at almost every company. Incredible.

My first week at QVC I learned the amount of time, people, and money that go into every aspect of our retail-driven lives. Everything I eat/wear/use has been a product of many people's hard work. When it comes to perspective and how integrated we are as humans.. it's pretty mind blowing. This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes "Everything you do in life is very insignificant.. but it's very important that you do it." Meaning, when it comes to the big picture, you may be a tiny speck of paint, but the picture would not be complete without it.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Importance of Juggling

One of the main life lessons that I have learned over the past three years at Drexel is about balance. Juggling school, extracurriculars, jobs, and a social life can be a tricky task. As a driven young woman, being busy comes naturally for me and I’m always volunteering to lead a committee or take on an extra project. Of course this is a great attitude to have, but I have learned, especially lately, how important it is to have time to relax.

As the Greek Week chair for my sorority, Delta Zeta, the past week of activities was the culmination of months of planning. Yesterday marked the last event of Greek Week and I’m extremely proud to say that my sorority came in second place! It’s a strange feeling to not have a few pressing emails on the back burner in my mind. Just as quickly as I finish one project I take on another. I just applied for a part time retail job to supplement my diminishing bank account. Commuting ain’t cheap!

I also am a Rho Gamma for Fall Formal Recruitment 2014, which basically means ‘disassociating’ from my sorority for the summer to act as a sort of guide for the incoming freshmen/upperclassmen looking to go greek this fall. I am SO excited to begin working with the other panhellenic women and to take on this new experience. This past weekend we had our first meeting. As an icebreaker were to tell the room what our spirit animal was and why. I said I was a bird because I have to wake up at the crack of dawn and migrate to New York three days a week.

On top of my Drexel commitments I write fashion and beauty articles for a blog called As a startup company it is amazing to watch the site grow and shift as we figure out our target readers and their wants and needs. It’s quite a different approach than that of Michael Kors, where everyone understands the target customer inside and out.

It looks like a lot on paper but after three years at Drexel I’ve become a pro juggler. Balancing is easy as long as you remember to make time for yourself. I try to take at least one day a week to relax. I usually spend it outside, walking around Philly with my boyfriend, or getting lunch with my girlfriends. This coming weekend I will be heading home to spend Easter with my family.

Until next week!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Beautiful Balance

Hello readers and fellow bloggers!

My name is Josie Quaile and I am a junior in the D&M program.  I am from the South Jersey area, which is just about thirty minutes over the bridge.  I am a student athlete at Drexel as I am a member of the Varsity Women’s Lacrosse team.  Some of my blog posts will include the balance that is required to be a student on Co-Op as well as an in-season athlete.  Spring is the main season for women’s lacrosse and right now we are in the most important stretch of our schedule.  Currently, we are competing in conference games and are looking to make our way into playoffs and championships within the next month.  With that said, my Co-Op schedule is a little different than other students’.  My Co-Op has been generous in working with my schedule and we are able to closely cooperate to coordinate a temporary system that is appropriate for the time commitment I am obligated to keep.  Once lacrosse is over, I will be working longer shifts and I will take on more responsibility at my Co-Op.

Moving on, I am sure you are wondering where I am working.  I am working in the Nicole Miller store at the Bellevue in Center City.  I am the Assistant to the Manager and take on some daily store operations as well as some ongoing projects within the store.  The NM store in the Bellevue, as well that the NM store in Manayunk, are privately owned by Mary K. Dougherty of MKD&Associates.  For this reason, the Bellevue and Manyunk locations work together a lot and have great communication.  I am also pleased to say that there are multiple Drexel D&M students throughout the Nicole Miller Philadelphia offices and stores and I am always happy to see some of my classmates!

To get to work, I take the Market-Frankfort Line.  Drexel’s campus has great access to the subway so I am able to hop on right at Market Street and get off at City Hall.  It’s just a short walk from City Hall to the Bellevue and the walk is becoming enjoyable as the weather continues to improve!

I am really looking forward to my next six months at Nicole Miller.  I have already learned a lot during my training days as well as my first few official days on Co-Op.  I am also excited to understand more of what goes into running this type of business as well as take on more responsibility as I define my role on the NM team.

Please check the blog weekly to follow my journey and others as we become more acquainted with our Co-Ops!

- Josie

A beautiful Nicole Miller bridal gown I was able model on the 19th floor of the Bellevue!
(Photo Credit: Redfield Photography

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

50% Irish

Hi Bloggers!
I'm Samantha, a transfer student to Drexel University who was definitely skeptical about the whole idea of co-op until now! In collaboration with our Design and Merchandising major and the International Co-op team, I have been granted an amazing opportunity to go abroad for the first half of my internship.This is my first time out of the United States and it is a slight culture shock! I am in Dublin, Ireland for the next two and a half months and if it were not for immigration laws, I would honestly never leave! (Not that I wouldn't miss Drexel or the fabulous Urban Building!!)
A little fun fact about me: I have never, in my 22 years of living, had my own room; I shared with my amazing little sister for my entire childhood, was put into a forced triple at Ithaca College, and up until recently shared a bedroom in the wonderful University Crossing. However, in my life abroad, I am living in an amazing one bedroom apartment in a part of town called Rathmines. It is about a ten minute walk into City Centre (equivalent to our Center City). Rathmines has a smaller village on one side where my I have claimed as my running route and on the other side of my apartment is a smaller town with a couple pubs, a grocery store, and a couple vintage stores that I spent a lot of time and money in already! I invested in a dress from 1972 and when it comes back from the tailor, I will most definitely post a picture!
The program I am associated with is called EUSA. The team of directors have been nothing but helpful and accommodating. Three other Drexel students are here but we all have different employers. Somehow, I am the only girl but regardless we all were fast friends! It is definitely helpful to hear a familiar accent amongst all this Gaelic talk! 
The people in Ireland are obscenely nice and are always interested in Americans! The locals help us out by sharing the "posh scenes" and reasonable prices! One thing that is completely shocking is the television shows. For starters, there is absolutely no filters for curse words on public channels such as MTV and E! Nudity is allowed and basically encouraged on these reality shows and once the clock hits 21:00 (getting used to military time) all of the commercials are directed towards the risqué adult market.
I have only met my employer once, today for tea and I cannot be more excited to start work. I am interning for a marketing firm called Wild Poppy Concepts. From the meeting today, I have three projects to begin with. The only details I have right now is that one is a beauty line, a wedding dress company, and lastly a bank. I start officially on Monday so I will be able to go in depth then!
Until next time! Cheers!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Reality TV and QVC

Well it's been a week in the working world. My first "real" job. A "real" person, as I like to call myself now.

My name is Monica O'Hara. I am a sophomore at Drexel and I just started my first co-op at QVC. I work in the Public Relations department. I grew up in West Chester, PA which is ironically where QVC headquarters is. I live at home and commute a whole FIVE minutes to work (a lengthy ten with traffic).

When I was offered an interview at QVC, I was over the hill. I learned everything about the company to prepare for the interview; where they were located, their sales stats, who was the CEO, their core values, anything I could get my hands on. I confidently thought I knew everything going into the interview. Low and behold, my first question: What was my favorite QVC brand? I had no clue. Out of all the research and preparation for my interview, I had totally forgot to look at the brands they carried. I had never even seen the show. I thought I was done for when I heard that question. "Honestly, I have never seen the show. I know you have celebrity lines such as the Kardashians and Heidi Klum." And the only reason I knew this: reality TV. Yes, I am a reality TV junkie.

I finished the interview with confidence and an ongoing pray I could recover. Right when the interview was over, I speed home (I would say I was home in 2 minutes flat). Ran to my laptop and started researching QVC brands. I emailed the three women I had interviewed with all personalized emails and different QVC brands I admired.

I pulled through and was offered the job.


My first day at QVC I saw Joan Rivers. Now I can exaggerate and say we met, but I really just saw the top of her head. Through a window. On a different floor. Regardless, I still saw her and it was pretty cool. I knew this would be a great premonition of the exciting opportunities before me. Once I was acquainted with my cubicle, (which did not take very long) I started to get a feel of how the PR department works. More importantly, I started to realize how many people it takes to make one single job happen.  My first week alone I encountered strict deadlines, photo shoots, missing products, and met some really amazing people. Working at QVC is going to be an amazing experience for me and I am truly excited about the weeks that are ahead of me. My main goal over the next six months is to really learn as much as possible about anything and everything I encounter. And hopefully to learn QVC brands that do not involve reality TV.