Thursday, October 17, 2013

Love Advice from Amy Poehler

I stumbled upon this quote from Amy Poehler and it really hit home...

"Being in love is the worst. It’s also the best, but it’s so hard and scary to open your heart to someone … when you tell somebody you love them or you realize you’re in love, what it means is you’re giving yourself over a little bit, you’re being vulnerable. But the point is vulnerability is the key to happiness. Vulnerable people are powerful people … celebrate the idea that you’re in love and that you love the idea of being in love."

Here's to learning to embrace vulnerability.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Three Mentors New College Grads Need

I had the sincere fortune of being featured on The LinkedIn Blog a few days ago. I am a contributing writer to a new series called, "Welcome to the Workforce" featuring several new graduates. My topic was on mentorship. Enjoy!


As you get older, it’s funny to look back on grade school and think about the life lessons that were casually ingrained into the curriculum. One experience that sticks out for me is the “reading buddy.” The reading buddy was typically an older student who was assigned to a younger student to help develop reading skills and confidence. This buddy served as a role model to the younger student.

I now realize that this dynamic was the precursor to what has become a key success factor in our professional lives. The reading buddies of the professional world have a different name but serve a similar purpose: to provide guidance and support while developing you to become a stronger professional. They are now called mentors.

In my first few months as a utility-paying, dinner-making “adult” professional, I have identified three key qualities that help to shape the types of mentors that are essential to a new college graduate entering the workforce.

The supportive mentor is someone you respect and look up to, but is also someone you can be vulnerable around if you need to be. As one can imagine, the “real world” can be a bit shocking to new graduates and this mentor is your go-to in times of need. This mentor may be a peer, or close to it, who has gone through a similar transition recently.

The support provided by this mentor reaffirms that you are not alone this new stage of your life and who reassures you that your company and colleagues truly care.

The inspirational mentor is easy to spot, but looks different for every individual. This mentor is someone who is in a place where you wish to be one day. This mentor may currently work in your dream job or they are crushing it in your current role. This mentor has successfully routed his or her career path and can provide inspiration and guidance for yours.

The inspiration provided by this mentor can come in forms of a job shadow experience, a lecture or informational interviews, ideally with the goal of strategic career planning.

Professional Growth
The mentor who enables your professional growth is likely someone you directly report to who has witnessed your early wins and can champion you within the company. This mentor plays a crucial role in the development and adoption of your professional brand. This mentor is likely a respected leader within the company whose opinions are taken seriously.

The professional growth this mentor helps you achieve will move the needle for you in significant ways.

Simply put, different mentors serve different purposes and throughout different stages in one’s career – different mentors will surface. However as a new graduate, these three qualities in mentors have been immensely important to success in my first quarter as a professional.

What types of qualities do you see in your mentors? If you are a mentor, do you fall into one of the three buckets more heavily or do you embody all three qualities for your mentees?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Jackson Square - The Timeless Classic

For those that don't know - I've moved. I said goodbye to my charming bachelorette studio, which was simply a summer sublet and joined forces with a friend from high school to find a new apartment.

House hunting in San Francisco is no easy game - it is a hunt to say the least. Well, the real estate Gods were smiling upon us when we landed our new apartment.

The apartment is brand new with hardwoods, exposed brick and granite. Yes it's a dream. Don't worry - a tour is coming once we finish decorating.

For now, we are enjoying exploring our new neighborhood - Jackson Square.

Jackson Square feels stuck in time. It feels like the old San Francisco when men wore full suits and women wore hats and gloves to their meetings. Boutique law firms and antique shops are sprinkled amongst the tree-lined streets. Brick is everywhere and it always smells like a campfire.

Gourmet restaurants like Quince, Coi and Cotogna bring a bustling, glamours energy to the otherwise quite evenings on the square.

And the Transamerica Pyramid watches over during the day and twinkles at night just as the Eiffel Tower does in Paris.

Needless to say, we are in love with our new 'hood.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

End of Summer in Napa Valley

A few weeks ago, I had the fortune of attending PlumbJack's newest winery, Odette's end of summer soiree. The afternoon featured rabbit paella, fabulous wine and good times with family.

I wasn't blown away by the tasting room - it was subtle and small which is strange for Napa. I was however, quite impressed with their Chardonnay.

This is saying a lot because I typically strongly dislike Napa Chards which are over-oaked, too buttery and flat. The 2011 Adaptation Chardonnay we drank was phenomenal. It was slightly acidic, tropical and refreshing. Reminded me more of a Sauvignon Blanc from NZ (my favorite).  Kudos to Odette for breaking the norm for Napa.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Making Friends as an Adult

One of the strangest aspects of the post-graduate life is one's ability to make new friends.

Seriously. Making friends as an adult is very strange. My entire life, I've had organized activities that formed friendships for me. If you look at my very close group of friends from high school, we met during Volleyball Camp. If you look at my very close group of friends from college, we met in the Freshman Dorms.

This is the first phase in life where the world isn't providing me with an instant, built-in group of friends. Though, I've gotta hand it to my company. I've already formed fantastic relationships with many of my colleagues. However, I've struggled to form friendships beyond the office walls.

How hard is it to make new friends in a city that is only 7 by 7 miles?


Despite this, something incredible happened today. Before I tell you, you'll need context.


A few weeks ago, I found myself struggling in my new local Safeway to find polenta. I was cooking dinner for someone special for the first time and naturally wanted to cook my go-to meal: polenta.

After aimlessly wandering around the aisles - I saw a nice looking gal my age who looked like she'd cooked polenta in her life (what that looks like, I couldn't tell you). I casually asked her if she knew where the polenta was and unfortunately she did not. We then spent the next five minutes laughing about how hard Safeway was to navigate and why I was cooking polenta and who I was cooking it for.

In five short minutes, I already felt an incredibly strong connection to this gal in Safeway. For fear of coming off as though I was hitting on her, I didn't give her my number - though I would have loved to grab dinner/drinks/mani or pedis with her... we simply bid eachother goodbye. I even said to her, "Well, maybe I'll see you again!"

Fast forward to this afternoon... I ran out to grab coffee with a friend at this brand new amazing shop called Workshop Cafe. It's part cafe, part startup workspace. When we made it to the counter, I realized that the girl behind the counter was Safeway Girl!

She grinned at me and said, "Did we meet a few weeks ago at Safeway!?" I was floored. We both were speechless. I told her that destiny wants us to be friends and gave her my number. She agreed and we are having a friend date next week.


As strange as it sounds - making new friends in a city feels a lot like dating. Safeway Gal popped out of nowhere and then surfaced a few weeks later. I am taking this as a serious sign that this chick needs to be in my life.

Now that... is a friendship story. Cheers to a good friend-date.
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