Category Archives: Off Campus

A Thank You Goes A Long Way

I am a firm believer in the power of gratitude and a simple “Thank You.” Not only does it prove to bring good things into my personal life, but my professional life as well!

I’ve had family members who worked in administrative jobs tell me, they would hire one person over another due to a simple Thank You Note after interviewing. It may seem absurd, but the act of taking the time to personally thank the interviewers can change your career!

I’ve kept this advice close to heart while being in New York and have applied it wherever I can. When I finished at my first internship, I sent a personal, hand-written Thank You note to my boss for the wonderful experience I’d had.

I just recently finished a different internship and did the same thing. When I was interviewing for new internships the following week, I picked up some more thank you cards in preparation. Once I got home from those interviews, I wrote out the notes and sent them on their way.

The notes mean more than one may think. It shows a level of maturity, and respect that so many people unknowingly lack these days. It sets you apart from many others as a polite and gracious person, who could end up being the perfect fit into a company.

Don’t know where to find a companies address? Often times it will be located on their website. Or, if you’ve been communicating specifically with one person via email, they may have their office mailing address attached within their email signature. Last resort, speak to the doorman of the building! They may know where you can find more information on mailing addresses!

Thank you goes a long way!

Notes From the 6 Train: Just Call Me DJ Aya

So as I mentioned before, winter break is the perfect time to experimenting and trying new things. For me, music had been an outlet I’ve been in dabbling in. I’ve always been very connected to music (much like the music industry and the fashion industry, one is influenced by the other.) This holiday season I sent my closest friends a healing folder as a gift. As apart of this folder I created this mix (my very first mix guys.) And I am excited to share it with you all! Below is this precursor to the mix. The link is included below.

“I get to share something with you that’s super, very important. As some of you may or may not know, I have begun DJing, and I am thrilled to be sharing my very first mix with you! You were my inspiration, brilliant, talented, dynamic women. I wanted to create something that was drenched in this very essence of the ultimate, awesome, omnipotent feminine energy. Initially, I was going to make this mix composed of only women artists. But that idea didn’t last long as, as I know just how important it is honor the holy feminine AND masculine (I am so lucky to know a plethora of women who embody both energies in such a beautiful way it felt absurd for me to bar that type of musical love.) On the last note, I want to mention that this mix is about how you feel, how you should be love and loved upon. The songs in this mix represent all aspects in life (I hope), when you’re feeling sassy or soulful or even when you’re even feeling uncertain about who you are/your purpose, I wanted it to be just as multidimensional as you. I hope you enjoy listening to it (and turning up to it) as much as I loved making it for you. I present the first of many loved filled art and music projects to come!”

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

Brendan’s Guide to Winter Break

As I sit here writing, it is currently “blizzard-ing” outside my window. Oh, January. You look so pretty…but then I’m forced to go outside and I remember how cold-hearted you are. The excitement and joy of December seems like a distant memory. The holidays never seem long enough. However, it is now a New Year. Another year to move forward with your goals and aspirations. Another year to check those boxes off on your bucket list. Another year to live your best life!

Winter break in college is like a double edged sword. You can use it to your advantage, or let it take advantage of you. This break is the perfect time to reboot after a hardworking semester. We all can’t wait to get home and not have projects, or finals to worry about! Its a great feeling.

My first year at FIT, I was new to the “6 weeks off at Christmas through January, instead of one week off like high school, to do whatever you want with no homework or responsibilities.” It was awesome to have that much time off from school, and to be home with my friends and family. That feeling never goes away, I just approach my winter break’s differently now than I did back then.

My first winter break I was basically a blob. My couch and I became even closer than we were before, molding to each others shapes. Netflix was a great friend for those few weeks. And yes, I have wonderful human friends as well. We would get together, get food, go to the local Target, because the options are quite limited in wintery upstate New York. By the time my break was over, I felt gross, out of shape, like I’d eaten two years worth of Christmas cookies. I hadn’t accomplished much on a small checklist I’d made at the beginning of break. I had done my fair share of relaxing, to the point of exhaustion, which lead to more relaxing! A never ending cycle!

But hey, it was my first time and I was learning. That is why I vowed then to make my winter breaks more productive and beneficial to ME. Maybe some people have no problem doing nothing, cozying up in their home and snacking on Xmas cookies. I have now learned that these few weeks are the perfect time to make a list, and get things done. Things you’ve been wanting to do all semester, but may have not had time for. 

SO, if you feel like your break could have been a bit better, I’ve come up with a short list of tips for you to follow. 

1. Indulge in the Holidays

By no means am I saying to not fully relax and soak up the holiday season. Please do!! By that point in our year, we need the family parties, delicious meals and holiday movies on ABC family. Embrace your time with your friends and family who you may not see throughout the year. Give them hugs and tell them you love them! Give back, do something kind, spread the holiday spirit! EAT LIKE YOU’VE NEVER EATEN BEFORE!

2. Set Realistic New Year’s Resolutions

Once the holidays are over, it’s easy to slip into “Post Holiday Depression,” as I like to call it. The hype is over, the Christmas tree is plopped at the end of your driveway. After New Years, write a list of some things you really hope to do within the upcoming year. Big picture resolutions like “WIN THE LOTTERY,” may be a little unrealistic. Think of personal goals you’d like to attain. Say something kind to someone every day, Read more books, Go to a concert. I find that smaller, positive goals are easier to check off my list! That way, when you look back next year you’ll see how much you’ve accomplished. The energy you enter into the New Year with is a great indicator of how your year could turn out. This year I want to take more Bikram Yoga classes and eat healthier foods! I can do that :)

3. Find Enjoyable Hobbies

If you live where it snows, you know some days seem longer and more mundane than others. Its too cold to be outside, or the roads are too icy to drive on. Looks like your spending the day at home! This is where hobbies come in handy! I re-learned how to knit this winter, and have been really enjoying doing that. I’m working on some belated Christmas gifts. I also have been pecking away at the “Books I want to Read” list. (Is it obvious that I like to create lists?) Find what passes your time without feeling like you’re just passing time. Make sense?

4. Get a Job

If you’re like me (or most kids my age I know) you’re a typical “broke college student.” I’ve had a job since I was 15, even throughout college. Personally, I enjoy to work for my money. It feels so much better spending it when you know how hard you worked ;) I understand some may not be home long enough to find, apply, and get a job. Luckily, I have a job that I can come back to whenever I’m home, at a local bistro. Since I’m home for a few weeks, it’s the perfect time to build my bank account back up before the next semester. I don’t have much time for a job in the city anymore, with school and interning. If you have the option to work a few shifts while you’re home, do it! It keeps you busy AND gives you some spending money!

5. Review Your Upcoming Semester

We’ve all had that nightmare where you walk into school (usually in your underwear) and don’t know where any of your classes are, you’re completely unprepared, and everyones pointing and laughing at you. Let’s not make that nightmare reality, shall we? MyFIT has many ways for you to learn about your classes before actually sitting down at your desk. I like to screenshot my schedule on my phone, so that when the first day comes, I have a visual. It’s a big help for locating room numbers, because I never remember! I also enjoy looking at who’s going to be in my class. It’s always comforting to know you have a friend in class on your first day. Log onto MyFIT, click the Student tab, scroll down to “My Courses,” click “Click here to enter,” click on your course title, then click “Members” under Personal Tools. It shows you a full class list! It helps to subdue any nerves and get you excited for the upcoming Spring semester!

Everyone is different. Everyone approaches things differently, even our college winter breaks. Long story LONG, do what makes you happy and makes you feel good during this time! For me,  enjoy feeling like I’ve accomplished things over break. I hope that some of these tips are helpful to you! Please enjoy the rest of your winter breaks, and HAPPY BELATED NEW YEAR!

xx,

Brendan

Final project

IMG_0197                                     ( That’s my professor Peter along with my classmates )

Hey everyone! Finals are finally over , along with final projects! This semester was my last semester as an interior design student. That’s right, I am switching majors! I couldn’t be more excited to join the international trade and marketing major. But before all the new fun begins I had to finish my final fourth semester interior design project.

Fourth semester one of your projects will be designing a light fixture which you will then have to use in a restaurant you design. The light fixture for my project was based off Julie and Julia the movie. ( which you can see along with directions on how to make it in my next blog post ”  How to engineer a light fixture” .

So for restaurant I was assigned Texas BBQ which includes sloppy ribs , cowboy boots and all things big and Texas haha. So I decided to put a little spin on it and design a higher end bbq restaurant.

IMG_0148 (1)This was a screen shot from when I was working on it. My best advice to all incoming interior design students learn Photoshop, lumion, sketchup, all rendering programs as soon as you can . it will make your life so much easier! For this project I used sketchup. I feel that it is very easy to learn, I taught myself with the book ” google sketchup the missing manual” and  by just playing around endlessly. FIT does teach you programs as autocad and revit but not until your bachelors will you learn how to render in these programs and you need to know how by atleast third semester. Also photoshop is offered but not required to take.  The more programs you learn and add to your skill set can only help you not only at FIT but in the real world. Most interior designers aren’t using Revit completely yet and that’s a great skill to have to bring to a company.

Overall my restaurant came out pretty good for my second attempt at using sketchup. I used a lot of dark woods and creative ceiling solutions with all sustainable elements. NEVER FORGET THE CEILING OR THE LIGHTING ! most students do and that’s critical to show you truly understand the floor plan and overall design of the space.

The interior design program was challenging but worth every second of hard work. It has taught me things I know people in other design programs have no idea about. Maybe after my bachelors in marketing I will go back to interior design , only time will tell.

Goodbye FIT interior designers, I will miss you all so much you became my family, along with my  amazing professors ! But its time to start the new chapter of my life!

Xoxo

Kailee

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Notes From the 6 Train: Watch Your Way to Inner Peace

The Cruise

This is about the life of a New York city tour guide, Timothy “Speed” Levitch, who gained a cult-like following during the stint of his time working at Apple and then Grey bus tours. He passion for life, New York and his heartfelt soliloquies captured the attention of so many bus riders that he was worthy enough of a documentary.

Listen to his eccentric philosophy that can challenge your perceptions of New York and the mundane daily life activities that we have all probably done at least once. He also talks about New York architecture and the lives/ homes of famous writers and artists.

Waking Life

This is an animation about unnamed character who moves through the movie in a lucid dream. The main character is essentially stuck in a dream and spends floating from one speaker to another, absorbing whatever knowledge that have to offer, most of it about life, interconnectivity of human life, metaphysics, various artists, etc.

There’s even a small cameo from Tim “Speed” Levitch from the The Cruise (that’s how incredibly pervasive this eccentric tour guide was.)

I hope these tools gets you started on your quest for inner serenity once the weather becomes absolutely crazy. If you can find peace during New York winters, you might be the next Dali Lama.

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

Notes From The 6 Train: Read Your Way To Inner Peace

As a follow up to my most recent post I have a few exploratory works that may assist you in the your winter time of self discovery.

The following books are on the more metaphysical side, which is perfect since you will have the plenty of time to mull them over once the snow begins to pour down upon us. To align with the idea of looking back, we can use these creations to help us shape our future.

This is the version I purchased

This is the version I purchased

Tao Te Ching
I’ve read and caught glimpses of the Tao Te Ching but it wasn’t until this semester that I’ve read this holy text in it’s entirety. The Tao Te Ching is the primary text used by Taoists. I don’t use the Tao Te Ching for religious reasons, but as a guide and reminder as how to move through life. In the simplest terms, its simply to exist in the middle, displaying balance during the most ecstatic and the most challenging time times of life.

Here are a few chapters from the Tao Te Ching:

Chapter 9:

Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people’s approval
and you will be their prisoner.

Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.

Chapter 19:
Throw away holiness and wisdom,
and people will be a hundred times happier.
Throw away morality and justice,
and people will do the right thing.
Throw away industry and profit,
and there won’t be any thieves.

If these three aren’t enough,
just stay at the center of the circle
and let all things take their course.

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The Untethered Soul

This is one of my cherished books. It was gifted to me from a really important mentor in my life, (which if you don’t know have a mentor, not just a career oriented one, but also people who support your growth in other ways, be open to getting one).
This book is about moving outside of your immediate self and living life as if “there were a knife suspended above your head.” Because essentially, there is. Reading this book has the same of impact of having a near death experience, without the melodramatics, you end up with the same feeling of wanting to live your life to its fullest capacity.

I hope these tools gets you started on your quest for inner serenity once the weather becomes absolutely crazy. If you can find peace during New York winters, you might be the next Dali Lama.

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

Notes From the 6 Train: Holiday Trunk Show

Shop small!

I am all about it. I have never participated in Black Friday or Cyber Monday. I’m not a fan of being squished into large small areas with a bunch of rambunctious shoppers. I’d rather be in the house with my friends and family swimmingly in love, (and leftover food.)

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I am lucky enough to work with a company, A. Bernadette, that hold the same type of ideals as me. They don’t seek to be a huge, fashion monopoly, and instead value interpersonal connections with customers. These values were reflected in the holiday trunk show which was buy one, get one free for friends and family.

The trunk show was unlike any other I’ve ever been to. Since it was family oriented, (though it wasn’t my family, but my boss’s, it was super cute to see) we all cooked, ate together and shopped together. (Well, they shopped, I try not to spend allll my pay at the company I work for.)

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This holiday season has been much more family oriented for me than last year. This is a testament to several things; if you are new to the city and still feel alone, it’s OK. Community takes time to build, but if you are open, it comes. Secondly, I am confident in what type of work environment I thrive in and want to continue to work in after graduation. It’s important to honor what type of environment feels right to you and seek out that type of place. This sounds easy enough, but you’d be surprise what type of decisions are made once graduation starts drawing nearer. Once you learn what type of work culture suits you, pay attention.

Maybe then you’ll get invited to fun trunk shows and free food like me!

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

Stay FIT over Winter Break

The months of December and January are filled with celebrations, loved ones, yummy food, and resolutions.  Sometimes the yummy food and celebrations can interfere with the resolutions so I’m here to help!  Here are some ways to stay “FIT” over the long winter break:

  1. Join a gym/attend fitness classes
    Lots of gyms have special offers for college students from December-January so be sure to ask!  The big tip is to start going to the gym and classes BEFORE all the celebrating begins.  You’ll be able to enjoy yourself more and not necessarily feel guilty with the feast day comes.
  2. Drink lots of water
    While this is a general rule and I’m sure you’ve heard it all before, water will flush your body of toxins and any junk food that you’ve eaten over the holiday.  While drinking water won’t eliminate all the junk, it’ll help.
  3. SLEEP!
    Winter break is prime time for sleep so be sure to soak it all in.  We need our beauty sleep!
  4. Set short term goals for yourself
    Setting short term goals will allow you to stay focused on what you want and stay on track.
  5. Buy cute exercise clothes
    The cuter your exercise clothes are, the more motivated you will be to wear them!  Treat yourself during the holiday season and shop till you drop!
  6. Find a workout buddy!
    When you have someone to motivate you throughout the fitness process, you are more likely to stick to your goals and not veer off from your path.

    Have a happy and healthy winter vacation!

    Ashley

Notes From The 6 Train: TADA! (Theatre)

So, now that you guys know how I enjoy lights and slowly things I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I went to play performed completely in… Black Light!

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I went to see Anasi, The Spider at TADA Theatre a few weeks back. It was amazing! Anasi, The Spider is a series of stories that come from West Africa. He’s considered to be the God of all stories and also is the village trickster. Anasi is one the most popularized and important figures in Caribbean and African folklore.

This play was particularly important for me because I grew up on this story. My best friend’s father is a writer and storyteller and would tell this story at all the birthday parties and family functions. This tale is the most vivid story of my entire childhood.

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It was only fitting that the play was performed by children. (I know this sounds super corny but hear me out.) This was such a freeing night! Due to the fact that my friend and I were two of the only adults at the event (without children that is), we were completely uninhibited. The show was spectacular, the acting dancing and costumes were astounding. And the bet part was that afterwards, the kids played the drums onstage and we got to go onstage and dance.

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This was a nice break from all the projects and tests I’ve been preparing for. I realized that the next time I need a break, I will be heading to the nearest kids theatre where we can all dance freely with no judgement. Finding new ways to take a break from school stress is exciting.

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

Thanksgiving Emotions

Thanksgiving is one of the most emotional holidays in my opinion.  By emotional, I mean there is a total range of emotions that fluctuate before, during, and after Thanksgiving.  Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Keep reading/watching as I take you through the endless hysteria happiness that is Thanksgiving.

Sitting in class the week of Thanksgiving:

Packing your bags to go home:

Getting on the bus/plane/train/car:

Seeing your family/pets for the first time in ____ weeks/months

And then the reality sets in….

Smelling the food and preparing yourself

Smelling the food in the oven

During the feast…


40 minutes post-feast

Happy feasting and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Ashley