How to Dazzle at a Meeting (Book Excerpt)

How to Dazzle at Meetings || CorporetteToday we have a rare treat: a book excerpt from Kate White’s new book, I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This.  Kate White’s been on my radar since my magazine junkie days — I vividly remember sneaking into the Family Circle library to read her older book, Why Good Girls Don’t Get Ahead…But Gutsy Girls Do, and I’ve followed her career (former editor in chief of Cosmo, mystery writer, author of multiple best-selling career books) ever since.  It’s an honor to have an excerpt here today! – Kat

Not long after you start a job, you will probably be asked to attend your first meeting there.  Meetings are a great opportunity for you to impress your boss and peers. But if you aren’t prepared, you can also come across as a boob. I’ve probably held way over a thousand meetings in my career, and I’ve loved watching some of my staffers really strut their stuff in them. They’ve also been a perfect way to get a closer look at those on staff who don’t report directly to me. Yet unfortunately, for every person who’s dazzled me at a meeting, there have been many more who have never volunteered a single solitary idea and have sat there with their jaws totally slack, as if I were up at the head of the table reading the instructions for installing a plasma-screen TV. Never miss the chance to shine at a meeting. Meetings may sometimes seem very casual, and you may not even be called on to participate, but your boss is paying attention to how you perform. If you contribute and look engrossed, it will raise his opinion of you and may even lead to new assignments. If you do poorly, you will lose ground—and you may not be invited back. Here are ten fail-proof strategies: [Read more...]

Best Reading for MBA Students

Which are the best books and blogs to read if you’re a woman MBA student? Reader M wonders…

I love your blog and find all of the fashion and career advice incredibly helpful. You address a lot of corporate issues and a lot of legal and I was just wondering if you knew of any blogs that deal with business school specifically. I’ll be starting a full-time MBA program in the fall and I’m looking for some advice on what to expect and how to get the most out of it.

Great question, M! I know of a few, but thought I’d open this up to the readers…

  • Forbes Woman. I find it easiest to just like their Facebook feed to see Forbes stories that are more targeted for women — they’re really helpful, good articles (and usually at least one makes it into our Weekly News roundup). They also have a list of the Top 100 Websites for Women (which we’ve been honored to appear in for a few years now!).
  • Forte Foundation. This women-focused, non-profit consortium of major corporations and top business schools has a ton of information about the MBA, from the consideration stage, to the application process, to the student years, and beyond.  They offer free newsletters, and for paid members, podcasts and videos.

And… beyond that I’m stumped — there’s a lot out there, but I’m curious to hear from the readers which are their favorites! There are obviously blogs like Poets and Quants and Clear Admit for the admissions process, and hopefully blogs like Corporette (as well The Daily Muse and Levo League) and organizations like 85 Broads are helpful after you’re out, as well as alumni groups.  Once you know your focus blogs like The Glass Hammer (for women in financial services) might be helpful as well.

Readers — which are your favorite blogs and websites for MBA students, as well as women who hold MBAs?  

Tales from the Wallet: The Best Books and Sites for Financial Advice For Newbies

best personal finance booksWhich are the best personal finance books for newbies?  Reader E had a great question:

I absolutely love your Tales from the Wallet series, but I find a lot of the lingo is a little over my head. I do understand that most of your readers are lawyers and professionals with sizable incomes, but I was wondering if you had any book recommendations for readers like myself. I didn’t invest in a 401K through my employer because I didn’t understand it. The idea of having money deducted from my account for a stranger to manage and crossing my fingers for the best didn’t sound very appealing to me. After reading some of the comments, it looks like there’s more to it. I currently don’t have any investments and want to start to learn about vehicles to put my money in. Please share absolutely any resources for new investors! Thanks!

Everyone has to start somewhere, so I think this is a great question. We’ve talked about tax-savvy investments on here, of course (and may answer some of your 401K specific questions), but in general it can seem daunting to learn about personal finance. (Pictured: Kate Spade New York ‘Popsicle’ Coin Purse, $78 at Nordstrom — according to the reviews it’s surprisingly functional!)  I’ve read a bunch of personal finance books over the years; these are the best ones that I would recommend for newbies: [Read more...]

Lean In: The Corporette Discussion

Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean InLean In has been out for a few weeks now, and while I know readers have had a discussions here and there — as well as lots of discussion about the various articles about Lean In — I thought I’d add my own $.02 and give you guys a centralized place to discuss the book.

To begin with:  I was not expecting to like this book as much as I did.  I was surprised to find Sandberg really personable and funny, and I found myself nodding to a lot of what she said (if not saying YESYESYES, as you’ll see below).  I also appreciated the thorough research and facts in the book — the index notes section is almost fifty pages long.

On the flip side, there were still a few things that made my eyebrows shoot up, where I think she is being over-optimistic.  And these are incredibly difficult questions, so maybe we need someone to dream big… but some of it just doesn’t resonate with me.  For example: [Read more...]

Open Thread: Best Brain Candy Books For the Summer?

brain candy books
I’m having a rough Monday for a reason I suspect is familiar to many of you: I was up until 2:30 last night finishing The Hunger Games. (Yes, I FINALLY read it after years of readers recommending it. Now I can’t wait for the movie to come out on DVD!) We’ve talked about brain candy before, but with summer beginning (and, theoretically, vacation time), I thought I’d start an open thread today: What are your favorite brain candy books — you know, the ones that are such easy and quick reads that you can’t help but count them as guilty pleasures?

[Read more...]

Open Thread: Best Magazine Reads?

Magazone Logos by Jim Parkinson, originally uploaded from FontShopSo here’s something that I’m curious about and thought we’d discuss… what magazines do you guys read on a regular basis?  Do you feel like the Internet has changed the time you spend with a magazine — or is a hot bath or a long flight still not the same without your favorite pile of mags?  Does anyone use the iPad apps? Which magazines do you enjoy the most?

For my own $.02… you’re talking to someone whose major was magazine journalism, so I always have and always will love the medium.  One of my favorite scenes in Working Girl is when Tess describes how her reading two wildly different publications gave her a great idea related to business, and I’ve always tried to take that approach.  I remember in college, going to Barnes and Noble, getting a huge stack of magazines, and sitting down to pore over them.  In my early 20s, when I worked for Family Circle, the editor in chief had me read about 30 magazines a week and flag things of interest to her, either in terms of story ideas for the magazine or things she ought to know generally as the editor of a major magazine. When I left for law school that dwindled to personally reading about 15 a month… and now I’m down to about 5 a month, maybe. I hate recycling unread magazines, and I’m just not in a place anymore where I want to keep large unread piles of magazines anymore, so I keep unsubscribing. (Pictured: Magazine Logos by Jim Parkinson, originally uploaded from FontShop.)  I still subscribe to the following:

[Read more...]