Jessica Franklin is a Cum Laude graduate from DePaul University with a degree in Communications Studies, Journalism and Media Studies. Jessica also has obtaining her Masters of Management in Business Administration and will be starting law school in the summer. When she has downtime, she enjoys reading, writing and trying new restaurants with friends. You can find her other works on her writing portfolio site, Chicago Reads and her LinkedIn page.
“First impressions are everything,” a wise woman or maybe man, once said. Who knows the origins, I just know I hear it often. When I first started college as a freshman in Chicago, I looked at college as a business. Granted, I started off in the business school before changing my major so many times, it should be illegal! (LOL) But I started off with the nice business attire or at least business casual. I was mostly attending the downtown campus, so I felt right at home with my professional attire. Granted, I did see some students dressing in sweats, and dare I say pajamas! But, I stayed true to my attire to be on that list of people who “dressed to impress.” It wasn’t until I went from Finance major, to a Philosophy and History major that my fashion sense started to change! I noticed that the Liberal Arts campus was different from the Business campus. I too, adapted to my environment. I started seeing that students were more comfortable in sweats and due to the brutal cold weather in Chicago; I started wearing sweats to class too. And boy was I comfortable! Aside from that, I was warm! I developed a love for sweats, buying all that my school had to offer, on sale of course!
Now that I am a graduate student, you would think that my attire has changed, but it has not. I think sweats are perfect and comfortable if you have winters that last six to nine months like in Chicago. Even in business school, there are a lot of students that come in sweats at the graduate level.
But in the spring time, that’s when I shine! I love the spring and summer. I have colorful dresses that love coming out. And I am really big on jewelry in the spring and summer. But of course, living in Chicago means that spring starts in late May. If you live in a cold climate, buy your dresses and colorful attire in the winter. I find a lot of great outfits on clearance in the winter that I wear in the spring and summer. This is also true for winter shopping; buy winter clothes in the spring and summer to save a lot of money.
But remember, first impressions are everything. Never wear sweats or the dreadful pajamas when you know you will have a guest speaker, even in the winter. You never know what you can get from a guest speaker. I remember a producer from OWN came to my school and I was able to land an internship from that! And I even was able to meet Oprah Winfrey from that 3 month period I interned for her network.
The biggest takeaway is to be comfortable enough sit in a classroom for over an hour, but be smart enough to remember when it is time to look professional. But most importantly, make connections and study hard!