Dress for Success and Kimpton Celebrate 10-Year Anniversary!

    ATTENTION ALL EXTREME ALTRUISTS!

$1,000,000 TRAVEL PACKAGE FROM KIMPTON HOTELS & RESTAURANTS KICKS OFF 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION WITH DRESS FOR SUCCESS

“SUITE SUCCESS” PROVIDES DELUXE ACCOMMODATIONS TO BIG SPENDING BENEFACTOR WHILE HELPING GET WOMEN BACK TO WORK 

New York, NY (September 22, 2014): Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is celebrating its 10-year anniversary as the official accommodations of Dress for Success® Worldwide with a bang by offering one big spending benefactor an opportunity of a lifetime.  The Suite Success travel package provides jet-setters deluxe lodging and VIP treatment at all of  Kimpton’s 61 boutique hotels in 26 U.S. cities and, at the same time, helps to get more women throughout the country back to work.  All of the proceeds from this $1,000,000 travel package will benefit Dress for Success.

The schedule of this charity-driven expedition can be determined by the travel-loving do-gooder.  The purchaser of The Suite Success travel package will receive air travel for two and a two-night stay in the finest accommodations offered at each Kimpton hotel. This package allows for this humanitarian so dedicated to bettering the lives of others to finally take some time for themselves at  all of Kimpton’s stylish, warm and welcoming hotels located in the most desirable cities throughout the country. Once this package has been acquired, it will be considered fulfilled after one full year after the purchase date, up to December 31, 2015, or once a stay at each of the 61 properties has been completed, whichever is first.  Only one stay at each hotel is permitted.

From the Presidential Suite at Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge, MA, to the Starlight Suite at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco, CA, this high-flying supporter will be able to rest easy from coast to coast, knowing that their travels assist women on their journey to economic independence and self-sufficiency.

“While many may only spend a night or two at a hotel, Dress for Success has found a true home in Kimpton,” said Joi Gordon, CEO of Dress for Success Worldwide. “Walk into any Kimpton hotel or restaurant and you will be surrounded by the most inspiring personalities and the ideal examples of professionalism. The entire Kimpton team exudes the very qualities that we instill in the women that walk through our doors every day.”

The proceeds from the travel package will go directly to benefit the services and programs of Dress for Success, which provides professional attire to disadvantaged women and teaches them the tools to help them get back to work and assist them in remaining employed, as well as progressing in their positions until they have reached their desired level of professional achievement and personal fulfillment.

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants originally partnered with Dress for Success as the official accommodations provider in 2004 for the organization’s inaugural Success Summit, a three-day leadership conference hosted for the women that it serves around the world, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this past July at Kimpton’s  Hotel Monaco in Alexandria, VA, and Hotel Monaco in Washington, D.C.  Kimpton provides a 15% discount to Dress for Success supporters booking with the rate code “DFS” and donates $10 per night back to the organization on those reservations.   Providing more than just hotel rooms and monetary support, Kimpton also provides actual jobs to the women of Dress for Success.

“We are so proud and honored to celebrate our 10-year partnership with Dress for Success with this unique offer available only to one generous Dress for Success supporter,” said Kathleen Reidenbach, senior vice president of marketing at Kimpton.  ”Our contribution enables someone to join us in our mission to put women into positions of economic and social empowerment. We look forward to taking the best of care of the benefactor of this special package in our inimitable Kimpton way of warm, sincere and welcoming hospitality.”

Interested parties can contact Katie Murphy at katie@dressforsuccess.org or (646) 233-4954 for more information on how to purchase travel package.

About Dress for Success

Dress for Success is an international not-for-profit organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Since starting operations in 1997, Dress for Success has expanded to more than 135 cities in 16 countries. To date, Dress for Success has helped more than 775,000 women work towards self-sufficiency. Visit www.dressforsuccess.org to learn more.

About Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is the leading collection of boutique hotels and restaurants in the United States and the acknowledged industry pioneer that first introduced the boutique hotel concept to America. In 1981, Bill Kimpton founded the company that today is renowned for making travelers feel genuinely cared for while away from home through thoughtful perks and amenities, distinctive design that tells a story and inspires a sense of funat each hotel and a sincerely personal style of guest service. Out to help people live full, balanced lives, Kimpton aims to inspire with touches like yoga mats in every room, complimentary coffee and tea to start the day, hosted evening Wine Hour, in-room fitness programming and complimentary bike rentals. The award-winning restaurants and bars are led by talented chefs and bartenders that offer guests a chance to dine like a local. Kimpton also leads the hospitality industry in eco-friendly practices that span all hotels and restaurants, and is consistently ranked as one of the top companies in the Market Metrix Hospitality Index, Upper Upscale Segment, for Customer Satisfaction. The company is highly-regarded for its innovative employee culture and benefits and has been named a Fortune magazine “Best Place to Work” five times since 2009. In 2014, Kimpton earned JD Power’s best in customer satisfaction award for the second consecutive year. Kimpton is continuously growing and currently operates more than 60 hotels and nearly 70 restaurants, bars and lounges in 26 cities. For more information, visit www.KimptonHotels.com.

 

Contact:

Katie Murphy

Dress for Success Worldwide

(646) 233-4954

katie@dressforsuccess.org

September: The Rules of Going Back to School

Knowledge is power and there’s an abundance of lessons to be learned through the experiences that life throws at us.  Regardless if they’re good or bad, we always walk away knowing something about the world, or simply about ourselves, that we didn’t know previously.

And sometimes those real life lessons lead you down a path that you never expected… until you’re taking your first steps back onto that campus and entering that classroom door again.  For some, maybe only a short time has passed, but for others, it might even be decades since finding themselves in an academic setting.

Choosing to continue your education can be a hard decision to make, but the rewards can be immense, both in your professional and personal life.  So for those women who decide to give college the “’ole college try,” this month’s edition of the Dress for Success Blog is dedicated to you.

Regardless if you’re walking down the school hallway or up the steps of an office for a job interview, we hope that what you read here inspires you to continue learning– and striving to always be your best self!

Joi Gordon, CEO of Dress for Success Worldwide

Christy Turlington-Burns: The Model Student

From the covers of Vogue to public health poster child, Christy Turlington-Burns is a model in every sense of the word. Though she hates the label—and all labels, really—she’s been globally recognized since the age of 18 as one of the original supermodels. Now a mother of two, social-entrepreneur, director, author and activist, to name a few, Christy sat down with Dress for Success to share why she believes success must be earned and how her decision to go back to school helped chart a diverse career course that affords her the status she’s now most comfortable with: role model.

A graduate from one of the top universities in the country, Christy will be the first to tell you she was not the best student in high school. Discovered as a model at the young age of 14, she didn’t have much time to map out her future like many of her classmates, but as the saying goes, experience is the best teacher.  While many of her peers were still receiving an allowance from their parents, Christy was traveling the world and probably making more money than their parents.

At first, she was only modeling on school breaks and summers, but as she neared the end of her teenage years, Christy’s career took off and she was working full-time, leaving little room for traditional schooling.

“I didn’t think I would model for more than a few years, but things never slowed down and it got harder and harder to stop when I was doing so well. I wanted to make the most of the opportunity,” says Christy about her decision to focus on her career and forgo the academic path that many young adults are encouraged to pursue.

By the time she entered her twenties, Christy was part of an elite modeling trio dubbed the “holy trinity.” Along with Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista, the group became the breakout supermodels in the 1990’s. A fresh and buzzworthy term at the time, “supermodel” referred to the rare handful of women who were prized for more than just their looks, but were regarded for their overall star quality, securing not just jobs as walking mannequins, but garnering top-notch endorsement deals from international brands—positions that were once reserved for only a handful of elite actresses and musical acts.  But this, too, was another label that Christy did not care for.

Unsatisfied with the instantaneous success modeling brought, Christy knew she needed to forge her own path. Five years later, arguably at the height of her career, she decided it was time to walk away for a while.

“As soon as I was out of high school and modeling full-time, I knew I would go back to school. I always wanted to be thought of as more than a model—because I am.”

Setting out to prove herself, Christy enrolled in New York University Gallatin School of Independent Studies and earned a bachelor’s degree in Eastern philosophy and comparative religion. Though it was a huge risk walking away from the lucrative career she spent the last 10 years building, Christy still maintains that it was the best decision she ever made.

“I don’t know if any of the careers I have had would have been as meaningful to me had I not gone back to school when I did.”

Christy credits her mother for inspiring her to pursue her degree and keeping her grounded through years of chaos growing up in the public eye. Her mother, Maria, was a flight attendant and went back to school for her bachelor’s degree in her fifties.  Watching her mother courageously start a new chapter later in life encouraged Christy to act on her instincts and pursue her true interests while she was still young.

While in school, Christy’s father passed away from lung cancer. A long time smoker, Christy developed her own habit at an early age. Fueled by his loss, she began to share her struggle to empower others to quit. Here, she found her voice advocating for public health and began a career campaigning for smoking prevention.

Although she was innately ambitious, Christy’s education gave her passion legs and over the years her personal experiences became inspiration for some of her most meaningful work. In 2003, she suffered a post-partum hemorrhage after the birth of daughter that led her to create her first documentary film “No Woman, No Cry.” The film was aimed at raising awareness for maternal mortality and the global maternal health crisis. Two years later, she founded the non-profit Every Mother Counts, an organization dedicated to making child birth safe for all women.

Modeling on and off throughout her life, Christy can still turn heads, but now she does so more strategically, directing them towards the causes she truly supports.

Although she did not follow the tradition educational trajectory, Christy believes the challenge of returning to school as an adult was actually an advantage that gave her the confidence to forge her own career paths. Going back to school on her own terms, Christy recognized both the literal lessons she studied as well as the ones she learned about herself, that are often lost on many younger students.

“I learned that personal success is about using all you have within you to overcome adversity and that kind of success is the most gratifying. By the time I graduated, I knew I had so much more to do and share with the world,” she says.

Despite a career in modeling, Christy is anything but still. At 45, her resume reads as though she’s already lived a few different lives, but she would never confine herself to a piece of paper.

Recently resuming a longstanding role as the face of the campaign Eternity for Calvin Klein, Christy turned the attention to Every Mother Counts aligning the philanthropic initiatives of the fashion powerhouse with her non-profit. Dedicated to spreading maternal healthcare programs globally, Christy’s constantly meeting with health leaders around the world and says her classroom these days just doesn’t have any walls. Following a nontraditional route from the beginning, Christy’s education model has no ceilings.

Get a Handle on Your Homework with These Tips

Coming home at the end of the day usually means that your time to unwind is about to begin and you can finally kick off your shoes and let your stresses just slip away. But when you’re back in school—and trying to balance your academic load with your work schedule and responsibilities at home—chances are, your day is far from done when you walk through your front door. So what about when you return from a long day and still have homework to do? Navigating those piles of laundry, cooking dinner and trying to catch up with family while watching the news can be distracting. So we’ve compiled a few tips to help you de-stress and actually increase your productivity at home:

  • Turn off Entertainment Tonight and turn on some classical music. Research shows that music affects both the mind and body, improving everything from sleep quality to cognitive performance. Specifically Baroque classical music, which refers to composers such as Johann Bach, was shown to improve work life quality by increasing both efficiency and accuracy.
  • Houseplants are not just for decoration. We know that fresh air and nature are proven des-stressors, so why not bring the same benefits indoors. Adding some greenery will not only liven a space, but also help to purify the air by absorbing harmful toxins and releasing oxygen into the room. Try a snake plant, they are low maintenance and do not require a lot of sunlight. Also known as “mother in-law’s tongue,” this quintessential house and office plant is known for its air-filtering quality, reducing the amount of formaldehyde in the air, prevalent in most household cleaners. The physical result? More breathable air and fewer headaches.
  • Set the mood. Studies show that burning essential oils can help to lower stress levels and release tension. Both lavender and chamomile are popular oils, touted for their soothing abilities and even doubling as sleep aids. Not into the scent? Try putting a couple drops of the oil into your tea at night for the same benefits.
  • Clear the area. First remove everything from your desk or workspace so you can visually see the space you have to work with—then clean it. After, organize all your materials and file them away. Do not keep loose papers on your desk. This physical de-cluttering mentally clears your mind and frees up the space needed for actual work to be done. Try a similar cleaning of your virtual desktop. Organize necessary files on your computer into folders and trash the rest. Limiting the number of icons on your screen will reduce visual clutter that can create a subconscious mental chaos and increase stress.
  • Get back to basics. Try physically writing rather than typing. This seemingly archaic skill is proven to actively engage your brain in the writing process, improving concentration and helping you focus on what’s most important in the moment. Writing also cuts down on distractions while working. A computer houses a world of temptation— short breaks to surf the web in between sentences can easily disrupt thought flow. Added bonus? Handwriting can also help ward off the inevitable headaches caused from staring at a computer screen too long.

Now study up, so you can ace that test!

The Two Fall Handbag Trends You Need Now

Guest post from Rie Yano and Jie Zheng, Co-founders of Material Wrld

We all know the confidence boost that can come from a perfectly pulled together outfit. You walk a little taller and feel like the best version of yourself. You’re ready to conquer anything. Head-to-toe styling creates a polished look, and always requires a little piece of arm candy to complete the look. We broke down two of our favorite fall handbag trends that will make you feel like a million bucks, whether you are heading out to dinner or to a big job interview.

 1.)   Don’t Be Flat. Texture Tease.

The first trend we are loving is all about texture. This season’s hottest bags feature everything from slick patent leathers, rich animal embossing, intricate weaves, and nubby fabrics that evoke opulence with every wear. A textured bag can make even the flattest outfit pop. Pick textured bags in deep or neutral colors and avoid venturing into the vivid color spectrum, which can risk your NEW handbag looking less than luxurious.

 

 2.) Be Bold. Rock White After Labor Day.

If texture isn’t your thing or you are ready to add additional pieces to your collection, our second trend seems to break all Fashion 101 rules. Yes, it’s time to be bold and ditch one of the oldest rules in the style book…wear white after Labor Day! These crisp clean bags add a polished look to any ensemble and work all the way through winter. For a groundbreaking fall look, pair one of these white bags with an outfit composed of whites and creams, and accent the look with one jewel-toned piece, such as an oxblood-tone belt or emerald blazer. You’ll instantly feel pulled together and ready for the fresh, fall season.

Whichever trend you choose, make sure to rock it with confidence and pride!

As co-founders of Material Wrld, the ultimate luxury fashion trade-in service and Dress for Success partner, Rie Yano and Jie Zheng help women refresh their closets by offering a convenient way to mail in designer apparel and handbags they no longer wear to earn upfront gift cards and shop new. With over 130 accepted apparel brands and 30 top handbag designers like Burberry, Celine, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors and Prada, they see their fair share of new trends come into the showroom.

Malala Yousafzai’s “I Am Malala”

If anyone knows the power of words, it’s Malala Yousafzai.  Nominated for a second time this year as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, you’ve most likely heard of the fearless girl who took a bullet for women everywhere while defending her rights to attend school. But you might not have known Malala has been an advocate on the international stage since age 11, putting the spotlight on girls and women amidst the longest, most exhaustive war in our history.

Penning her memoir at only 16, I Am Malala, opens with the day she was shot in the head by a member of the Taliban, an Islamic extremist group, who targeted her for spreading secular beliefs. For most of us who are only familiar with Afghanistan through the media’s coverage, Malala leads us through the war-torn region of Swat, once a lush, tranquil valley she called home, to offer a different view.

Here, we are introduced to Malala’s family, where she pays particular tribute to her idealistic father, Ziauddin, who raised her to be ambitious and curious in a culture that values sons over daughters. A hard lining advocate for education and leader in his community, Ziauddin founded the school that Malala attended around the idea of reinforcing human potential rather than gender norms.  Valued for his principles and conviction in a town terrorized by extremist ideology and repression, Ziauddin and the Yousafzai family were (and remain) constant targets for the Taliban as they spread their militant rule over the valley.  Amidst the senseless killings, school bombings and threats, Malala only grew more empowered: reading, studying and giving speeches her father helped her write to advocate freedom through education.

Throughout, I am Malala stays true to the author’s admiration for books and captures a unique view of the oppression that girls and women face in different parts of the world. An empowering piece of history, Malala’s memoir proves she is more than a poster child for the cause, but rather an active voice calling on all of us to realize our power. Admitting she forgives her own assailant, Malala’s perseverance and steadfast morals ascend hatred and fear. Her memoir is a physical testament that power and change are rooted in knowledge and serves as compelling reminder to never stop educating ourselves.

The Success Diaries: Erica Silbiger

Dear 16-year old Erica,

I know you don’t believe me and you probably won’t ever, but EVERYTHING WILL BE OK. Right now your biggest fear is getting through freshman year of high school. Does my eye shadow match my outfit? Why can’t I have a car like everyone else? Life is so unfair. Calm down. In about a year, your life is going to change and you will experience real fear. Real struggle. Real life or death situations. Things are about to get real. Yes, you’ll have a car and you’ll work your butt off for it. You’ll work two jobs until you graduate from your master’s program. And, yes, you’ll get a master’s degree. Right now, you don’t even know what a graduate degree is and when this upcoming year is over, you’ll think just getting into college will be impossible. You’ll mess up A LOT. Your grades will drop and you will consider giving up on college. With the support of your family and friends, you’ll turn it around in just enough time to get accepted to the only place that you’ve ever wanted to be: Florida State University. Several times you will feel like you are at your lowest low and, almost every time, you will be wrong. And when that happens, remember these few things to help you get through it:

  • Breathe.

First and foremost, relax. (Don’t roll your eyes at me!) You’ll do and say a lot of things on impulse. The best way to avoid doing that is to breathe. Even one deep breath is enough time to rethink your next move. It’s enough time to HAVE a next move. It’s a moment completely to yourself that no one else can have. It puts you back in control of your movements and emotions. Just breathe. Now, breathe again.

  • Spend every moment you can with the people you love.

It’s easy to be naïve when you are so young. It’s easy to not understand things like cancer, divorce, Alzheimer’s, and death. But you want to know what’s not easy? What’s not easy is losing someone you love to something you have no control over. What’s not easy is being so naïve that you didn’t have a chance to say good-bye. You will learn from this and you will grow from it and you will be motivated to run a marathon. (Ok, breathe. Not any time soon. Whew.)  You’ll lose certain meaningful relationships due to situations you can’t control and never get them back, no matter how hard you try. You’re not a kid anymore and you need to let go.

  • Cherish your friends. They are there for a reason.

Soon you’ll learn who your true friends are. You’ll push a lot of people away and most of them will leave because they don’t yet understand struggle and aren’t ready to grow up. You won’t have a choice. Some of them will stay and refuse to be pushed away. Those people will stay with you and even at 27 will be by your side no matter what. These people will become your rock and your support system. In a few years you’ll realize the importance of what they’ve done for you. But for right now, just let them in. Let them help. Trust me; they know you’ll be there for them when they need you. And they will. They will need you. Be grateful for the people in your life. Your family, friends, teammates, and coaches will help you in ways that most of the time you won’t even notice. Always remember that they have your best interest at heart. They want to see you succeed as much as you want to succeed.

  • Take it one day at a time.

Stop trying to think about what you’re doing next week or next year or even tomorrow. You will soon learn that planning for the future is moot as things will change, drastically, several times. Think about what you’re doing today. How are you going to get through today? That is most important right now. In a few years, you’ll have the luxury of planning and knowing things in advance. But not right now. Right now you need to focus on smaller things like getting out of bed and putting one foot in front of the other. Learning how to do this will be an incredible skill to have later on.

  • Find an outlet.

Remember earlier when I said that you would be motivated run a marathon? You will. You’ll run 13 before you turn 28—two of them ultramarathons. Google it. Just not during lunch. Now go back and read #1-4. Every single piece of advice I’ve already given you will be crucial to running these races. There will be times when your day is so bad that nothing will make it better. You’re wrong. Go for a run. I know this sounds ridiculous but there is NOTHING a run can’t fix. It will work for you now, and it will continue to work 10+ years from now. Remember when I said you’ll go to graduate school? It will be hard and there will be a lot of homework. It will stress you out to no end, but then you’ll go for a run and get right back to it. Running will teach you how to conquer pain and defeat. It will teach you to work hard for your goals. It will make you dream big. Really really big. More on that later.

  • Never take “no” for an answer.

Ah, yes. You already follow this one, I know. Soon you will redirect your stubbornness towards your ambitions. No, not making the school soccer team and track team (spoiler alert: you will); I’m talking about getting into an Ivy League school for a master’s degree. I’m talking about running a half marathon, and then a marathon, and then an ultramarathon, and then training to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I know I sound crazy to you right now and you’re shaking your head no, laughing in disbelief. And that is the same face people will give you when you voice these ambitions. You’ll talk about graduate school and people will tell you it’s just not plausible. “You’ll never get in. You did? Oh… well, you’ll never get enough scholarship money to pay for it. You did? Oh… give me a minute to think of more excuses.” You’ll get injured and someone will tell you that you can no longer run. It’ll be like someone cutting your heart out and saying, “Yeah, sorry, you can’t have this back. Ever.” Remember when I said getting into college will seem impossible? Get ready to really laugh. You’ll get into Harvard. No, seriously. You’ll have the dri-fit shirt to prove it. Because, you know, you need more running shirts so you can train for your marathons– in New York. I’ll save that for later. Don’t want to overwhelm you too soon.

  •  Take advantage of education.

You have no idea how lucky you are. You are in a great school with nothing but resources surrounding you. Take advantage of it! Learn as much as you can. And when you get to the wonderful and amazing place called Florida State University, take advantage of everything available to you on campus. Make the most of those four years. Get involved. You will get into the University of Pennsylvania BECAUSE you went to FSU. Not in spite of it (which some people will tell you. Ugh.). Never lose that thirst for knowledge. When choosing between something else and education or when others try to tell you that it’s not the logical choice, ALWAYS pick education. You’ll have some hard decisions to make about your education, but mom will give you some advice that you will never forget. She will tell you that it’s something no one can ever take away from you and she’s right. You can lose the slip of paper that says you walked across a stage (you won’t… all three are hanging in your office right now), but no one will ever take your education away from you. Always look for opportunities to learn more. Scout out professional development opportunities. Insegnare a te Italiano. Vous enseigner Français. Ok, I didn’t say you’ll be great at it, especially not French. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to learn. When you get to the Big Apple for a job, you’ll get wrapped up in creating a name for yourself. You’ll work at NYU and then become an assistant director at Columbia. Yes, the university. You’ll focus pretty closely on your career. You’ll put off going back to school. And then one day you’ll realize that having a master’s isn’t enough. You’ll want more. You’ll NEED more. You’ll want a doctorate. Once again, people will tell you “no” and that now is not the right time or that you should wait. I don’t think I need to tell you that at this point these words will no longer affect you.

  • Never forget where you came from or what you’ve been through.

Right now life seems hard, and maybe for a 16-year old it is. It’s going to get harder and these experiences will make you who you are. First it will make you weak. Then it will make you stronger. Soon it will make you so strong you’ll be resilient and stubborn. Yes, you are already incredibly stubborn, but this will be a productive stubbornness– for the most part. Your family is collectively the MVP of your life. Like I mentioned before, you will lose some relationships. You will also gain two best friends: your brother and sister. Don’t worry, you’ll have a lot of really great friends, but there is no one else in this world that will get you more than they do. You’ll move. They’ll move. Things will change, but they will be by your side through all of it. And you will be to them.  Moving to New York sounds terrifying and it will be. It will chew you up and spit you out more times than once. It will also become where you call home. Your love/hate relationship will only get stronger and in the winter you’ll start looking up flights to warmer climates. GO. TRAVEL. A LOT. See the world. But you’ll always come home.

  • Love yourself.

People will try to change you and you’ll doubt yourself. Don’t. Remember what you’ve been through and the person it made you. Don’t dwell on the past and these experiences, learn from it. Don’t let anyone call you weak or tell you you’re not good enough.  Be grateful for your haters; they fuel the fire. YOU ARE AWESOME. Yes, always strive to be better. You’ll become a perfectionist. Never lose sight of what you have and what you can do. Many times you will feel invisible and inadequate. You are not. People can see that you doubt yourself. Others can sense your fear and self-loathing. STOP. You can’t expect others to respect you until you respect yourself. You rock. Tell yourself that every day if you have to. There is a fine line between cocky and confident. Be mindful of that line and stay behind it. Don’t be afraid to pat yourself on the back once in a while, because you deserve it. And then get back to work. Stop searching for validation. You will be searching for a long time and will end up disappointed. Let me save you some time and energy: you are validated!

  •  Drinks lots of water.

Because…well… it’s good for you.

Erica Silbiger is the Assistant Director of Admissions for the Columbia School of Social Work. Her goal is to provide support and guidance to students in higher education and to aid in their personal and professional development. She has a B.A. from Florida State University, an M.S.Ed in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MDP Certificate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with her sights now set on a PhD in Cognitive Studies in Education. She is a marathoner, ultramarathoner, starting to dabble in triathlons, and aiming to complete a full or half marathon in every state. You can follow her race reports and training progress here: Eat, Sleep, Travel, Run, Repeat.