Author Archives: Brendan

Make More Mistakes

In life, we will all have experiences that won’t go exactly as we want them to…most likely this will happen more than once. Sometimes small details are forgotten, the timing just isn’t right, or you made a mistake. Mistakes are tough to swallow – for me at least. I would tend to say I lean towards being a perfectionist, which means I don’t like making mistakes. Often times being a perfectionist is beneficial to me, because it pushes me to work my hardest and give my best effort. Yet when that inevitable mistake is made, I am very hard on myself.

As a student, its integral to make mistakes. If we were all literally perfect, there would be no point for us to be in college, to be taking classes and learning new information – because we would know it all already! Even so called perfectionists like myself need to make mistakes because that is the only way to learn. I wanted to share with you a recent “mistake” I made, how it affected me, and how I am using this to learn and move forward.

Over the past few weeks, I have been interviewing for internships for next semester. I had an in person interview with a major television network in one of their digital production departments. I felt very confident going into the interview (despite my butterflies) about my resume and my skills that were applicable to the internship. From the moment I walked into the interview, I felt a connection with the women I was to speak with. We were laughing and established a great rapport. The interview went very well, I shook their hands and thanked them for their time and off I went!

With this certain company, when they contact you letting you know about the outcome of the interview, they give you feedback as to how your interview went and pointers on what to do better. A few days later, I received my email and was very upset to find that I didn’t get the internship. They said my interview went great, and it came down to me and another candidate. The determining factor was that the other candidate had sent a follow up email to the interviewers and I hadn’t….

Immediately my heart went into my stomach. I can’t believe I forgot to send a follow up email! I have done multiple interviews and ALWAYS send a follow up email – how had I forgotten?! This is where the “beating self up” begins, and asking myself “What as I thinking? Or what wasn’t I thinking?!” I couldn’t believe that had I not forgotten to send an email thanking them, I possibly could’ve had the internship. How could I be so stupid??

And this is where I had to stop myself, take a step back, and flip the way I was looking at this. Despite being disappointed and embarrassed, there was nothing I could do to change the situation now. I know I gave my best during the interview, and for some reason I had forgotten to follow up. Its okay. I’m not going to die. The world isn’t going to burn over. I’m just not going to intern with that company at this time. Simple as that. ITS OKAY.

This mistake, that seemed so monumental in the moment, was such a learning experience for me. Although it came with temporary uncomfortable feelings, I walked away from it learning something – that I will never NOT send a follow up email. That will always be a priority from here on out, when entering the job market.

This event opened me up to a bigger idea – that in my life, I need to make more mistakes. That its OKAY. I need to sometimes fall down, so I can get up a bit bruised, but a heck of a lot stronger and smarter. Life isn’t meant to be understood – and boy do I not always understand it. But I believe that moments like these, and many others, happen at a specific time for a specific reason, so that I can LEARN something specific. I can’t always be Brendan the Perfectionist. It won’t always work that way. I will make mistakes, I will learn, and I will always be a gracious, positive, hardworking person. And that’s what truly matters.

Thanks for letting me vent a bit. I tell you this story to prevent the same thing from happening to you. I hope this lesson applies to more than just thank you notes, but bigger things as well. Its also ironic because I’ve written a blog post in the past about sending Thank You notes after interviews – and look who forgot 😉 Well, I’m human. And it’s okay.





Brooklyn Flea + Smorgasburg!

I hate to say it, but before this past weekend, I had never been to the Brooklyn Flea Market or Smorgasburg. As a (part-time) New Yorker, it seemed like a disgrace! I have always heard such wonderful things about the variety of delicious, funky, new foods that are offered there and my mouth would water on the spot. Or when someone is wearing a unique piece of clothing, half of the time they found it at Brooklyn Flea. Now, as a senior, being here for almost 4 years, I HAD to make the trip to Brooklyn to experience it for myself.

IMG_8581The Brooklyn Flea has grown into one of New York City’s top attractions, operating flea markets every weekend of the year that feature hundreds of top vendors of furniture, vintage clothing, collectibles and antiques, as well as a tightly curated selection of jewelry, art, and crafts by local artisans and designers, plus delicious fresh food. The delicious, artisanal, Brooklyn based foods are what makes up Smorgasburg.

Since the next few months will be getting much chillier, the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg has moved to an indoor location in Sunset Park, BK. Its only open on the weekends from 10 am to 6 pm. With 150 vendors, Brooklyn Flea is the ALWAYS a fun idea for a Saturday or Sunday. Multiple Saturday’s and Sunday’s 😉IMG_8569

I just wanted to share a few of my favorite spots at Brooklyn Flea and the yummy treats I enjoyed!

IMG_8570dAns Parents House

Ask anyone who knew me growing up, I was always obsessed with toys. Figurines, play-sets, knick knacks, Barbie dolls, GI Joes – you name it, I had it. So, when I stumbled upon dAN’s Parent’s House at Brooklyn Flea, I was in heaven. Walking into the pop up shop is a trip down memory lane. The nostalgia and pure joy that comes over you is crazy. Dan’s collection of toys is remarkable and if you’re like me, I’m sure you’ll find a toy you once owned too! 

IMG_8573Ramen Burger

A juicy beef burger. Between two RAMEN NOODLE buns. Deliciousness. Joy. Perfection. Love. Children Laughing. Puppies. Basically, all of the feels you feel while eating one. I’ve been dreaming of them ever since. That is all.

I’m blanking on the actual vendor where I bought a super cozy, retro LL Bean fleece for these chillier weekends, but believe me, there are some great pieces to add to your wardrobe at Brooklyn Flea.

I recommend bring along some cash, and bringing along some friends! You’ll have a wonderful day!


From Student to Alumni

The term alumni always felt so foreign to me. Alumni reminded me of 30 year class reunions and gray hair. Technically, I knew what it meant, but it was always weird picturing myself as an alumni…I was either a student or I wasn’t. When I graduated high school, I was onto bigger and better things at college. There was no time to be an alumni of my high school.

Until this past weekend…:)

My best friend had the idea months ago to put together an Alumni Cabaret for any one who had been a part of the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Drama Program (my high school’s drama club.) Drama club and music were my LIFE in high school. My fondest memories during high school came from my time spent in drama club, in rehearsals and performing in the shows. And most importantly my best friends in the world were made in drama club.

Fast forward to this past weekend, all the plans were made, the alumni interested in performing were there with songs, we rehearsed, laughed and had a wonderful time. We had performers from all the way from the class of 1955 to current day students. It was so amazing to see the range of people and talent that went through my high schools drama club and to be all together in one space. The show went swimmingly! Many community members came to support us, and we raised about $600 for the drama program! After, I saw so many familiar faces who have supported me all the way and I was so, so appreciative to be able to talk with them.

Performing as an alumni made me think how I will be an alumni of FIT in just a few short months. AHHH! Very very very very crazy to think that. But it’s true! I will be another success story coming out of FIT. I will be among names like, Brian Atwood, Nanette Lepore and Calvin Klein – all of course notable FIT alumni! The power and prestige this school and its alumni has is exciting and comforting. To know I will have a degree from FIT gives me hope that I have a bright future ahead of me!

FIT is the community and set of networks that has helped me launch myself and my career, and it will always be there for me through the FIT Alumni Network. There is a specific office at FIT, the office of Alumni Relations, that maintains and enhances connections with former students in order to support the FIT alumni network. They host educational, cultural, and social events for alumni and always keeping them informed about college events that may be of interest! Another great perk is that alumni are encouraged to use the many resources available to them, including the Career and Internship Center, the Gladys Marcus Library, The Museum at FIT and the School of Continuing Education and Professional Studies. These things don’t just disappear once you walk across the commencement stage.

You can follow the alumni network on Facebook or subscribe to the exciting Hue Magazine, which is contributed to by FIT alumni and keeps you up to date with who’s doing what. If you are an FIT alumni and would like to sign up to stay informed, update your records here!

FIT has made such an impact on me in my three years here so far. I can only imagine the impact it will have in the years to come.


Adopt Don’t Shop!

This past weekend I took a quick trip to Southern Connecticut to visit my older brother, Sean, and his girlfriend, Tammy! It’s always great seeing and spending time with my brother, and its super easy to get to Connecticut from NYC. The weather was picture perfect – a fresh, crisp fall day. I was too excited to be wearing a sweater 😉

Tammy, is a regular volunteer with an organization called Pet Rescue. I was always envious of the puppies and kittens she was able to spend time with, so I told her I would love to come be a part of one of the organizations event’s! Luckily, Pet Rescue was having a fundraiser that weekend!

Pet-Rescue-logoPet Rescue is an animal shelter who’s main mission is to aid homeless, abandoned and neglected cats and dogs, to nurture them in the foster care of volunteers, to provide veterinary care and socialization, and to place them in permanent loving and responsible homes.

All while my brother has been with Tammy, I’ve known her to have little special friends who are staying with her, whether it be a kitten with multiple sclerosis or a pit bull puppy looking for a home. Pet Rescue is not a formal shelter in this sense. It has a group of very loving volunteers who foster the animals for a time being until a home can be found for them. I so respect Tammy, and the other volunteers for fostering, because they provide a wonderful life for these pets and may have to give them up once a permanent home is found for them! It would be so hard for me to have to say goodbye, however, knowing they go to a new home is wonderful.

The fundraising event was so much fun! It was all outside, with live music, arts, crafts, food and drink! Multiple shelters had brought dogs of all breeds and ages that were looking for new homes. Many dogs found new homes that day, which is the major goal, and made me and many others very happy!

I kept calling it doggy heaven (for me) because I was surrounded by so many pups! I loved it :) Here are a few pics of some of the dogs I met. Not the best quality because they were just as excited as I was, and wouldn’t stop moving haha IMG_8257 IMG_8269 IMG_8253 IMG_8252 IMG_8262








I cannot wait to have my own dog someday, and I’ve always wanted to rescue. But volunteering at this event made me realize even more how important it is to “ADOPT DON’T SHOP”, when looking for a new furry friend. There are so many abandoned dogs and cats across the US that need a home and are perfectly cute, loving, smart and healthy. It also sparked the need for me to volunteer for something I’m passionate about…and I think this may be it!

If you or anyone you know is looking to adopt, definitely look into Pet Rescue! Or if you’d like more information on volunteering! Follow their Instagram for new pets looking for homes.

Where do you volunteer? How does it make you feel? Let me know in the comments :)

Have a great week! – Brendan :)


College Hacks!

While I was away from the blog this summer, a thoughtful blog reader sent a package to the Admissions Office addressed to me. I wasn’t able to pick up the package until a few weeks ago and I was very excited to see what was inside!

I was mostly surprised to hear that a package was addressed to…me! And that it was sent from a mysterious reader of the FIT Admissions Blog! The gift inside was a book called “College Hacks: Any procedures or actions that solve a problem, simplify a task, reduce frustration, and make college totally awesome” by Keith Bradford. What a perfect book! I’m in college, I love useful tips and tricks…it’s like this person knew me so well 😉

College Hacks by Keith Bradford

College Hacks by Keith Bradford

It was an extremely thoughtful gesture, and something I never expected to happen while being a blogger. I shared the book with my fellow bloggers and we hope to all pick up some new “hacks” from the wealth of information filled inside. If you are the person who sent this book, or happen to know who did, please comment below! I would love to give a personal thanks and put a name to this mysterious gifter :) If you prefer to stay anonymous, please know that I love the book and will definitely be putting these tips to use!

Whether you’re in high school, entering college, or in college, many of these tricks could be applied to your life. I thought I would share a few of my favorite tips listed in the book. Remember, all “hacks” were thought up by author Keith Bradford. Enjoy!!

  1. Can’t afford Microsoft word? Get OpenOffice. It’s the same thing except it’s free and has a lot more features.
  2. Writing down your worries before taking an exam has been proven to actually boost your test scores.
  3. Late for class and need to tell your professor a believable lie? Include an embarrassing detail about yourself. Nobody will doubt a story that makes you look dumb.
  4. Study your notes within one day of taking them. Retention rates are 60% higher then.
  5. Dorm room a little stinky? Put dry tea bags around your room. They will absorb the unpleasant odor.

I could go on and on – this book is great! I hope these help! :)