Monthly Archives: September 2012
September 18, 2012
Countless songs begin with the words “trials and tribulations.” This never sounded applicable to me until I endeavored to grow my personal brand, Missfits, LLC. When one of my best friends, a fashion student at LIM College, approached me with the idea, I was glad to be sitting. How on earth could I contribute to anything fashion/stylish/trendy as a nursing major? I like to stick to what I know: the functions of the renal system (sorry, too graphic?), covalent bonds and spicy tuna and mango sushi (my mind always diverges back to food).
However, after a long, awkward forty-five second pause I smiled and said “Yeah, let’s do this.” Little did I realize at that point how much of my time and effort would have to go into this business just to get it off the ground. Luckily, my brother has matured some (at the ripe age of 28) and doesn’t hold “IOU’s” over my head because he has helped manage all of the legal elements of beginning a business (he’s a lawyer—which really translates into being the “golden child”). In fact, I guess I really hit the jackpot when he and my ex-lawyer-boyfriend had a legal discussion over dinner that my sister-in-law later informed me would have set me back a pretty penny had I been from another bloodline.
While I’ve gotten an incredible amount of help from my family and friends, I still dedicate all of my free time to keeping the books, ordering inventory from wholesalers, checking in with boutiques that currently sell the merchandise, reaching out to potential sellers and maintaining the website (along with all of our social media outlets). However, despite how much I put in, I’ve gotten even more out. There’s nothing quite like spotting a girl in my local Starbucks sporting the Greenwich Village Collection or a well-known fashion blogger reaching out to do a feature on the jewelry. And although I’ve had countless “trials and tribulations” since the company was legally registered last August, they’ve all contributed to lessons I’m grateful to have learned young and a satisfaction unique from all of my other accomplishments.
September 5, 2012
Throughout my internship at MWW, I was in constant communication with my fellow interns working on a collaborative project. It was a great team effort—we all brought unique perspectives and experiences to the table to create an engaging and catchy plan for a client’s PR strategy. Overall, it was one of the more enjoyable group project experiences I’ve had. The only thing about it was that I never met my teammates face to face—as they were all working in offices thousands of miles away, I was only ever able to communicate with them via phone and email.
MWW has nine incredibly interconnected offices spread out over seven states spanning coast to coast. Long-distance collaboration is the norm, and it is rare not to hear cross-country calls being conducted here in the Chicago office. Teams work as cohesive units despite the challenges of remoteness. Modern technology makes amazing things possible: not only can one converse across the country using a telephone, but can also have video conferencing, real-time presentations transmitted to offices over the web, and screen sharing for real time collaboration on projects. Easy air travel makes it possible for team members to fly to different offices and different events to conduct business in person. The more time I spent at MWW, the smaller the country seemed to become.
MWW’s interconnected office strategy makes a lot of sense in today’s world. I have experienced firsthand how easy and important it is nowadays to overcome distance. My extended family has never lived in the same city as I have, and recently we have been flying to Colorado to visit my Grandfather. None of my high school friends live near Chicago, where I now live and attend school, but I have regular Skype sessions with all of them to stay connected. This summer, many of my college friends did not stay in Chicago, but I was able to chat with them on the phone, via email, and over Skype. They are now a core of people I can look up if I find myself visiting different cities.
Naturally, it’s not ideal to be far away from people you care about, just like it’s not ideal to be far away from colleagues with whom you’re collaborating. In the modern world, distance isn’t so bad. There are a myriad of ways to overcome it that can enable one to stay incredibly connected, whether that connection is work-related or personal. Furthermore, there can be advantages to distance. Having offices set up across the country enables MWW to better serve clients in regional markets. Having friends who are living in different cities enables me to explore the world and share my friends’ local experiences. It makes the world smaller, and more accessible.