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The Pressure to Excel in the Corporate World Post Graduation: Vouge’s Sophia Li with College Fashionista


Sophia Li sat down with us to share her career journey. She moved multiple times throughout her schooling years, and even lived in China for some time. She went to college on the east coast at Virginia Commonwealth University. She took advantage of college to take as many internships as she could.

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What is madness is that getting into Vogue was even harder than I ever perceived it to be when she noted how many interviews she had. She had over FIFTY interviews in order to get the job. From managers, to assistants, Vogue made sure that she would work well aside handfuls of people. They too were holding her life in her hands, deciding if her work ethic was up to the challenge. Taking a few steps back, before she made it this far she had to make the decision is she wanted to stay at post college graduation or not with her full time job offer. She took a bold move and decided that although it would be a nice sense of security having a job right away in the stressful and competitive New York City, She told us she went through the steps which I have listed below.

Her advice: Not to just settle. Know where you want to be, and figure out how to get there.

I took an internship post graduation, and had no regrets about the title of the position. Some people are into the label of where they want to be, and how they can describe what they do for a living. For myself, I wanted to get into luxury retail, and this is the reason why I made the move from the Midwest to New York City.  Luxury is a hard category to get into because one individual  has to take a flat out chance on you if you do not have any prior experience. For me, going into beauty was a foot in the door. I always had my eyes set on clothing, but I was open to anything. One big name on your resume is all you need in any major city to get the ball rolling.

Do not just take a job because it’s a job. If you have the blessing of your parents helping you out financially, savings, and or loans, 100% utilize this! Your career is your life, and it’s honestly more work taking something that you later are unhappy with, and then having to start the searching process over and over again.

40+ hours a week (not even including the hours a day spent commuting) is a lot of time spent in one place. There is no one to impress but yourself. Take that time to explore and see what you want, and what it takes to get there. Whether that means just simply writing down the top 5-10 companies that you want to be working for in the next 5 years, then do it.

1. Make a list of where you want to be —and be realistic!

2. Ask yourself WHY. So many times people feel as if they want to be somewhere because it looks beautiful, or they’ve always admired the brand. But hello! work isn’t always glamorous. You may just like the idea of the job more than the position itself. High salaries come with long hours and high stress levels. Simon Sinek’s book “Start with Why” really makes you contemplate this notion. I highly recommend picking up this book.

3. Find a Way to Get There. Whether that means apply to multiple positions online, sending out a cold call email to grab coffee with someone that works there, or perfecting your cover letter. It is more than okay to accept a temp position. Not everyone starts out salary, in New York it is very common to temp and or freelance. Mainly interns are the ones offered full time positions

4. Most Important and Easiest–Use what is FREE and Easily Attainable: Make a LInkedIn profile! With the “Daily Rundown”, LinkedIn is becoming more popular to go on than Facebook. It gives you the perfect mixture of updates, what is in the news, the latest innovations in the world, and you can join groups specific to your career path and or interests. You will receive so much more recruiter job proposals as well.

Job Search Resource: 

Also use a website with credible job postings. Velvet Jobs is not only a career match maker, but also a resume builder. There are multiple templates to choose from online with graphic designers available too.  Below is an example of my resume. Although i’ve been told to keep your resume black and white in business, the yellow has gotten a lot of positive feedback and helped me land a dream role which I will post about next.

(Websites likes Ziprecruiter lead you to more scammy results– do not fall for their “Marketing Positions”

Some of Velvet Jobs top City Results for Job Openings: Click HERE to look at open jobs: NewYork (25344), Chicago (13371), Seattle (11312) SanFrancisco (9890), London (9642), Atlanta (9444), Houston (9280), Pittsburgh (8704), Boston (8542), Los Angeles (8370), Austin (7964)

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