The Sophisticated Gal is officially 6 months old today! I can’t believe it’s already been half a year since I’ve started my blogging journey. While 6 months may not seem like a lot to some, I love reflecting on my journey so far. From where I started to where I am today – I feel like I have come so far! Plus, I have connected with so many of you and it is honestly the best part about having a blog! Whenever I get a comment from a reader saying that my post helped them out in their career, it makes my day 🙂
In honor of my 6 month blogiversary, I decided to do a Q+A on my blog today and keep reading for a special GIVEAWAY! Thank you to everyone that sent me questions on Twitter and Instagram, I had so much fun answering all of these questions!
This post contains affiliate links *
What inspired you to choose your major in college?
This is actually a pretty funny story. When I initially started college, I thought I wanted to be a teacher so I started taking a few Elementary Education classes and soon realized it just wasn’t what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I was a swim instructor in high school and worked with a lot young kids, which I loved doing! I really enjoyed working with kids but when I sat down and thought about it for awhile – I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a teacher.
I was always business-minded and my father was an entrepreneur, so I got to learn what it was like to run a business from him. My dad worked in a finance role when I was pretty young but then decided that he wanted to run his own business. He had a few different business, including a construction company, seal-coating business and then he was also a partial owner of a local tavern. I hung out with my dad a lot when I was younger and so I feel like I got all my entrepreneurial skills from him. After I decided that Elementary Education wasn’t for me, I decided to go with what I felt in my gut was the right thing for me – Business!
I really enjoyed marketing, so I decided that I would try to get into the Smeal College of Business at Penn State. Unfortunately my advisor told me that I had decided too late and I couldn’t get into the Smeal College of Business because there were so many prerequisites I had to take before the end of the semester (aka it was TOO LATE). Of course at the time, I thought this was the end of the world. That my dreams had been totally shattered. So after a pep talk from my college roomie (shout out to Mary!) and my boyfriend, they convinced me that going for Advertising was very similar to Marketing and that in the end, it was more about my experience than anything else. Turns out, it was one of the best decisions I ever made because I found that I LOVED Advertising!
Me outside the College of Communication building at PSU 🙂
How did you start your career journey and get to where you are today?
I like to think that my career started in college. My junior and senior year of college I had internships during the school year and in the summer that taught me so much about myself, especially as a young professional. In my junior year, I had two internships during the school year. One was as a Sports Marketing Intern with Penn State Athletics and one as a Marketing Intern for a local marketing agency in State College. Working these two internships and managing all of my school work is definitely where I learned how to hustle! I really loved my Sports Marketing internship and I got to do so many cool things because of it, but I realized that I didn’t want to pursue Sports Marketing after I graduated. I love sports, especially college football, but I knew that I wanted to keep sports as a hobby for me and not make it my full-time job. The other marketing internship I had was actually the first time I started working with websites and this is where I got some experience in the technology space. I got to help create websites for local clients, which was a huge learning experience and definitely helped me with my job today!
The summer before my senior year, I got an internship at a digital advertising agency and this is where I learned a lot about the digital advertising industry. I was offered a full-time job with this company after I graduated college and I stayed there for a little over a year. I decided that I wanted to move on and go elsewhere, which is when I went to the company I’m at now. It is a full-service advertising agency, which has been a huge learning experience for me as well. I started as a Digital Project Manager and worked on new website projects for our clients. Recently I moved into a Product Manager role to manage the products developed by my company. If someone would have told me I’d become a Product Manager, I would’ve thought they were joking! I never imagined as a college student that I would become a Product Manager, it isn’t exactly something you “go to school for” but I really enjoy it! I enjoy working in the technical space and deciding what features we release – it’s pretty cool!
Maybe one day I’ll write a post on what it’s like to be a Product Manager – if that’s something you are all interested in, let me know in the comments below 🙂
What does your morning routine look like?
Having a side hustle plus my full-time job, I try to take advantage of every minute I have! My boyfriend wakes up earlier than I do for work, so I typically wake up shortly after him and I’ll check in on some social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) and reply to some comments then I’ll break out my laptop and get some blog work done for about 20-30 minutes. Sometimes I’ll workout in the mornings as well, it just depends on if I can drag myself out of bed in time 😉 After I do a little bit of blog work, then it’s time to get my booty in gear and get ready for work! I get to work around 8:30 every morning, which is earlier than most of my co-workers. I love getting to work earlier so I can get some of my harder tasks done while it’s quiet and I’m able to concentrate more!
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned since you started working?
This is a hard one! I think the most important thing that I’ve learned since I started working, is that it takes time to learn how to use your voice in the real world and to work your way up the corporate ladder. When I first started, I remember getting frustrated that I wasn’t being ‘promoted’ but in all honesty, promotions don’t happen very frequently and I had to learn that. If you’re not getting a “promotion” after a year, that’s not a sign of failure AT ALL! Like I said, promotions don’t happen that often in your career – I don’t know why I had this thought in my head when I started working but I quickly learned that wasn’t the case.
Blogging & Personal
What’s your favorite thing about blogging?
My favorite part about blogging is meeting so many new people! I may not get to meet them all in person, but I feel like I really connect to my audience and other bloggers. Whenever I get a comment that one of my articles helped one of my readers with their career – it reminds me exactly why I started The Sophisticated Gal! It is the most rewarding thing ever 🙂
What’s been your biggest blogging hurdle?
My biggest hurdle I’ve had to get over in blogging was not allowing myself to get caught up in the “comparison game”. Sometimes as a blogger, especially as a newer blogger, you feel like the numbers are so important and when I would see others that had more followers or comments than I did – I definitely got jealous. I felt like I was doing something wrong, when in fact I WASN’T! Every blogger has their own journey and I absolutely love the community I’ve built. You all mean the world to me and I wouldn’t have it any other way! At the end of the day, it isn’t all about the numbers – it’s about the connections you make.
What are some of your skincare essentials?
I have some VERY sensitive skin! In fact, I always joke around that if I use the wrong detergent or something that I’ll end up breaking out in a rash (#sensitiveskinprobs). It happens to me too often! So when it comes to skincare, I try to be very careful about what I put on my skin.
For daily cleansing, I like to use the Neutrogena Acne Wash. I’ll typically do this at least once or twice a day – depending on how much my skin is breaking out. After I wash my face, I like to put on a moisturizer to get my skin to be less dry (because it can get really dry if I don’t). Currently I’m using the Neutrogena Face Moisturizer with SPF. Skin cancer runs in my family, so I am a firm believer in using sunscreen and I am always looking for skincare items that have SPF in them! That’s why I love the Neutrogena moisturizer!
Once or twice a week, I like to use an exfoliating scrub or face mask. Lately, I’ve been using an exfoliating scrub more than face masks but I think I’m going to start using face masks again soon! My absolute favorite exfoliating scrub is the St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub, it always makes my skin feel so smooth and you don’t have to spend a TON of money! What could be better than that?!
I am so grateful for all of my readers that have been following along on this journey of mine and to show you all how grateful I am, I’m giving away a FREE Resume & LinkedIn Update from my Etsy store to one lucky winner! That is a $70.00 value, for FREE! Whether you’re looking for a job or not, it is always important to have an updated resume and have a LinkedIn that you’re proud of!
You can enter the giveaway by doing one or more of the following entries 🙂 You can do each of these entries once per day. The giveaway ends on Wednesday, 9/14 at midnight EST and a winner will be announced on Friday, 9/15!
This giveaway is now closed *