Saturday, 23 August 2014

The Reality Of Life After University.

"You will be lost, you will be alone, you will change.."

I'll be honest and say that I was incredibly naive to think that life after University would be sunshine and rainbows, so after quickly being thrown into the very real world, I was terrified to discover that things don't pan out how you want them to. There are thousands of graduates currently in the same boat feeling very lost and afraid because no one ever tells you about how difficult life post university is. It took me a while to post this because I wasn't quite sure where to start but I think sharing one's journey could very well help someone else out there.


"Apply. Apply. APPLY."

Unless you have been incredibly lucky to have secured yourself a job early on, or have a lot of contacts in your chosen industry, then you might be sad to find that getting yourself a graduate job is incredibly difficult. I was lucky enough to have a part time job to fall back on, but I know a lot of my classmates who are struggling to even get menial jobs at the moment which is awful. Luckily as you may know, I managed to find a job two months after finishing which still amazes me till now, because i'll be honest and say that I didn't expect to find anything till late September. My top tip? Apply like your life depends on it. I was very strict with my job applications and applied for a minimum of 5 every single day Monday - Saturday for about seven weeks straight, and I only received about 6 replies from those applications, three were interviews and three were instant rejections. The first two interviews were unsuccessful as both companies wanted a Part 1 student 'with more experience'. The last company I was surprised to see that they had even responded to me because their work was out of this world and I didn't have all the Software skills they needed, but I managed to ace the interview and I started a day after! Now that I look back, I'm very happy the first two companies declined me as to be honest their work wasn't that advanced Architecturally, but the company I'm working for now are amazing and i'm doing things like Parametric design which is so much more than I could ask for. So things always work out well in the end!

"Stand Out!"

Get your CV looking good! Can you imagine how many dull word format CV's in Arial font 12 companies must receive? Make sure your CV stands out especially if you're wanting to work in a creative industry. It shows a good knowledge of creative software like InDesign Photoshop and Illustrator and it's much cooler to look at. Keep it creative but don't go over the top. Two A4 pages are usually the standard. Make sure to have your contact information correct as well as updated references and university grades as some companies shortlist using that info. Here are some pretty cool CV's to inspire you. Also if you have a portfolio send it with your CV even if it's not asked for, I sent to mine speculatively to so many firms! Here's a little bit of mine if you'd like to see.


"Rejection Hurts"

Oh how it stings, but it's part of the process. I cannot stand rejection and like most people I always want things to swing in my favour but unfortunately the world doesn't work like that and put simply you just have to suck it up and take it politely. With each rejection I received I e-mailed back thanking the person for their time and wishing them the best with their newest recruit. Of all the things to e-mail back, saying thank-you for a rejection was not at the top of my list but it had to be done and is generally just a nice thing to do. You have to remember companies get hundreds of applications so for them to even get back to you is pretty amazing. Another tip, if you get to interview stage and find that you don't get the job, respectfully ask them why? If it's because they wanted someone with more experience then you know what you need to work on and it helps to prepare you for the rest of your applications. 


"Connect with people"

My advice for those of you who are still at uni? If you can afford to, try and get some experience via interning under you belt, correct me if i'm wrong but I think unpaid internships are in the process of becoming illegal? So there's a plus! Also, connect, connect, connect! Talk to people about your passions, be friendly and confident, and who knows someone might remember and refer you for a job! Whilst I was still working in the beauty part of the retail industry, anytime I was doing a customers makeup, i'd talk to them about Architecture and my passions and once I managed to speak to a lovely lady who actually gave me her email and helped me search for jobs too as she worked alongside some Architects. LinkedIn is also a great tool for connecting with people and I found tonnes of recruiters looking for fresh energetic graduates so make sure you're looking on there too. I went to the ends of the internet and back during my job hunt and sometimes even applied for jobs twice because that was how much I wanted it. My retail job left me feeling miserable every morning and I hated having to cake my face up everyday with so much makeup and having to meet selling targets. It just wasn't for me, and it really powered up my job search because I simply did not want to be there.

"Keep Positive"

I understand how difficult it is to be constantly told to 'keep positive' when you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel but you really have to. The more unhappy you are the harder it is to keep on track. The three things that kept me going were Prayer, My Family and You Guys! My faith really kept me strong when I felt like giving up or changing career paths, as did my family. I'd come home from a long shift at work having had customers yell at me or managers tell me off for not meeting target and come home and cry in frustration and my family would remind me that seasons change and not to give up. Surround yourself with positive uplifting people, have optimistic quotes on your phone and make it a daily affirmation that you WILL succeed and I promise you will. As the saying goes you really do get what you put in sometimes. 


I hope this has helped even one person somewhat, especially those who are going into their final year at University. I'll do another post on studying Architecture at University and how it is working in practice as a woman in a very male dominated career field.



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Monday, 18 August 2014

Dressed Up & Dressed Down. #GLITZTOKICKS


DRESS (SIMILAR), HEELS, NEW BALANCE'S* - BANK FASHION | EYE NECKLACE* - SOUR CHERRY | DUSTER COAT* - SAMMYDRESS | TOTE - LAZY OAF

Transitional pieces are my favourite, and since starting my Investment Wardrobe Project a little over a year ago, I've found when I'm looking at clothes, I tend to choose based on how much I can layer it with, or if I can take it from day to night with ease. Great minds think alike it seems as the fine folk over at BANK FASHION had the same idea with their #GLITZTOKICKS campaign, so today I'm showing you guys how to dress up or dress down one dress (i'll stop saying dress now). Ironically when I'm going out to paint the town red I don't actually do too much, and I actually make more of an effort in the daytime! So for an evening I usually keep it simple, a shift dress, some heels and a small bag. For the second look I layered the dress with a pair of burgundy new balance, a plain grey tee, some kitsch jewellery and of course this season's must have the 'Duster Coat'. A super simple outfit for running errands! I specifically chose the style of dress as I find shift dresses to be the most versatile in terms of styling and I know I'll be able to wear it through winter with some cool tights and a good Breton tee!


Let me know how you take your outfits from day to night! (PS Thank you for all the sweet comments on my last post! <3)




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Sunday, 10 August 2014

La Marinière.


TOP - BERSHKA | SKIRT - VINTAGE | BAG* - MAXWELL SCOTT | HEELS - BAKERS

A year later and i'm still hanging around doorways in Soho, but what can I say I like a good doorway and sometimes keeping things the same is good, on the other hand change is good too. Sometimes very good in fact... If you keep up with me on social media, you might have seen that *drumroll please!* i've managed to secure myself a proper grown up job! I'm finally after many tears, stressful nights in studio and general breakdowns an Architectural Assistant! It feels so good to type that because Architecture is such a competitive field and i know so many other people who are struggling to find jobs at the moment so i feel incredibly lucky and so so blessed to have this opportunity! It's a lot of work and very long hours but i wouldn't have it any other way and it's such a cool feeling to actually be making use of my degree. I'll probably speak more on this topic in a separate blog post all about my university experience. But for now, thank you to everyone for all the kind words, e-hugs and well wishes! You're all so kind and I hope you all achieve your goals in life too!



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Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Dinner By The Quayside at Manhattan Grill.


"GREAT STEAKS... AND THAT'S NO BULL"

It's not often you get the opportunity to have your food prepared for you by the same man that cooked for President Obama and the Dalai Lama, but if Damian Trejo's cooking was good enough for them, then I was sure it would be good for me!

London is an incredible city, bursting with so many colourful and flavour filled restaurants and it's no secret that I love food, much to the dismay of my ever increasing waistband, I also love to cook and can throw down a pretty mean steak (i've perfected the art of the rare steak!) but I have never had a steak as good as the New York Strip that I had at Manhattan Grill. There are just some restaurants that you'll have to leave the 'diet' at home for as I happily found out on Monday evening.  

The night began with some wine tasting with my sommelier Imran, who was super friendly and very knowledgeable, and with his help I was able to select the perfect wine for my steak. I chose the famous Rothschild 'Chateau des Laurets' which, even for someone like myself who favours a good Rose over a red was absolutely delicious. I had a selection of starters from the menu which were all cooked to perfection and served with a Strawberry Mojito, but I have to say the 'Seared black pearl scallops with a pea puree and crispy chorizo' was outstanding, even looking at the photos is making my mouth water! After my starter the next to try was of course Manhattan Grill's infamous steak!  And after much converstaion with the very friendly Eduardo I eventually went for the New York strip, although he recommended the 'Wagyu' and had it with some sweet potato fries and of course a glass of Chateau des Laurets. The steak was served with various sauces but my favourite by far was the Chimchurri as it was so fresh! For dessert, I had to get the Cheesecake which was served with fresh raspberries and a Chateau du Mouret sweet wine. 

My verdict? I thoroughly enjoyed myself! But I will say that it's probably more of a luxury dining experience and the prices do reflect that. I'm already considering booking in a small party of friends for my 23rd which is coming up in a few weeks...I was lucky enough to be a guest of Manhattan Grill's but as always, my honest thoughts are reflected in this post, and their food was pretty damn good so if you're looking for somewhere new in London to dine out, try dinner by the Quayside at Manhattan Grill and do let me know if you go!




22 Hertsmere Road 
Canary Wharf London
E14 4ED 
United Kingdom





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Sunday, 3 August 2014

THE MIS-MATCH


TOP - PRIMARK | TROUSERS - ASOS | FAUX BIRKS - PRIMARK | CLUTCH - NEW LOOK | LACE TRIANGLE BRA - TOPSHOP 

I generally tend to mentally plan my outfits and hair for special occasions, but what i've come to realise is that mental preparations don't always prepare you for the reality. I had 20 minutes to whip my hair together and sort out what I was wearing for the Red or Dead HQ visit, but of course everything went awry and I was left with a hot mess of a failed wash n' go on my head and a dress that didn't look right. I remembered these maroon tailored trousers I picked up in the ASOS sale a few months back and they were truly a godsend. Super comfy, easy to wear and they made me feel fancy! For something so simple, I actually really liked the way it turned out and I felt like a super cool (almost) minimalist blogger aha! I'm still trying to learn the ropes in regards to how to dress in Summer, but i think i'm edging towards tailored trousers, loose tops, midi skirts and comfy shoes. Simple and easy.

Hope you've all had an amazing weekend! P.S. I'm writing up a post all about my hair, so if you have any questions, please leave them below, or tweet me @inmysundaybest and i'll make sure to cover it!



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Thursday, 31 July 2014

The Summer Journals.


FORAY NOTEPAD* - VIKING | VINTAGE SATCHEL - A GIFT FROM JEN

It's hard to believe that this little space on the internet has changed so much in the past few years. It initially begun as just a place to put my spare thoughts and occasionally some journal and artwork and quickly spiralled into so much more, who would have thought, a few years down the line it would have brought me so much joy and untold opportunities, for that I am so grateful, but now that I have a little bit of spare time on my hands I thought it would be a good time to get back into journalling. August is fast approaching, and i'd like this journal to be a culmination of things from the second half of the year. This is a bit of a personal project for me, Four years of Architecture has meant that i'm now hardwired to do everything perfectly and precisely, and i miss the freedom of just being able to create from the heart and not the brain.

My weapon of choice is this Foray Notepad from Viking. I like it because the cover is so soft, almost leather like, and the pages are easy to draw on, not too soft but not too hard, and i've also found that my ink pens have yet to bleed through the pages too which is great!

If anyone wants to join me on this little journal journey (aha!) let me know! It would be wonderful to see other people's work and if you're wondering what my work looks like, here are a couple of Vintage In My Sunday Best blog posts for your entertainment here, here and here!



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