Road tripping

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Picture courtesy of Tumblr

Hey you gals (my try of a new salutation, converting the generic maskulinum in a generic femininum, do you like it?) when you read this I am off to the north looking at a university with a friend of mine who quit her job as well to pursue a master’s degree. Before we get to the university we will make a stop-over in another student town where we hope to get certified copies of all our documents, needed for the university applications. If we are lucky, they won’t ask us if we are from that town and get them for free. It’s worth a try as it also costs half of what they charge here. I plan to apply all over the country as my chance of getting into a master’s degree seems pretty slim as I do not have enough credits in math subjects. I even contemplated applying for a bachelor and get me the math credits on the side…

Anyways I am really looking forward to this little road trip. I have been stuck at home for a long time and I think there is nothing better than a little trip to let your everyday worries disappear, and there have been a lot of them around lately…

moi pink

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Work Wardrobe Wednesday

beige pullover

The picture above shows me, Moi again, photographed by the lovely Sally Hofacker. With the autumnish temperatures we are having around here, I am speaking below 10 degrees celsius and some nights we even had night frost. The A/C in the office is blasting out similar temperatures like outside as it thinks we are having summer, like it should be already ! Anyways I felt it was time to get out my cashmere sweater, even though it only contains around twenty percentage points of cashmere it is still deliciously soft and keeps me cozy in the frosty office or outside. When we did the picture we had one of the seldom rays of sunshine. I combined the light sweater again with my skirt suit as I try to force the warmer temperatures to come out. Not having any luck so far…

How do you deal with the unexpected colder temperatures ? From what I grasp from the blogosphere it’s slightly colder in stylish cities all over the world as well as in the not-so-stylish cities made fashionable by great fashion bloggers !

Picture courtesy of 75only75

How to wear a trench

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This How to comes at a perfect time, as we have slightly upsetting weather here. I was too quick to call out the beginning of summer in my Work Wardrobe Wednesday, which I wrote 5 days ago. I have been  wearing my old trench coat for the last couple of days. We have to discuss shape and fit of clothing, as this is my number one priority for any clothing I wear. I prefer an old trench coat by some high street brand over an original Burberry trench coat given to me by my late grandmother, as the Burberry is slightly too big. I always feel uncomfortable and not so polished wearing it. And I already had it shortened. So I stick to my no-name trench, wearing mostly belted on my way to work or open if I am too lazy or too stubborn to dress according to weather predictions. Most of the time I have been topping it off with a hat, which I find the perfect accessoire whenever I am too lazy to carry my big umbrellas or the possibility of rain is below 70%.

It even snowed not far from here, but it is May, please show me some sun already!! (for more than one beautiful day at least) Well, if it continues to be drizzling this much, I will definitely try the last style with the collar popped up and tied in the back, even though I am wondering if it’s worn open then or buttoned in the front.

What do think ? While we are at the topic of popped up collars have a quick look here.

Picture courtesy of myclosetinsketches.com

Work Wardrobe Wednesday

flowery skirt

The picture above shows the lovely Anh again, in honor of the amazing temperatures outside and the feeling of summer one gets I thought it was time to introduce some bare legs on the blog. I am not known as a pantyhose advocate, but as my work environment is pretty conservative I try to shock only where it matters, e.g. with my neon orange sweater but will not show bare legs in the office. In the height of summer I sometimes break this rule. Speaking about office wear rules, there is this one rule I set for myself and kind of never broke, well only the one time and I felt very uncomfortable during the whole day. It’s my never-show-your-toes-in-the-office rule , only exception Peep-toes 😉

Do you guys have any self set rules or do you have a nice book with rules to follow? Please feel free to share them in the comments.

Picture courtesy of 9to5chic.com

Assessment Center or ….

Assessment Center or why do companies believe in grilling their future employees rather than having a lively discussion with them?

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I have told you about the one-way-interview via hirevue.com here and how much I would love to start working at the company.

Well, on Friday I had the Assessment Center and let’s say it could have gone better.

I was slightly nervous the night before, I even forgot the dress I wanted to wear so that I had to drive back to my flat and get it.

I stayed at my mums, because she lives closer to the venue.

 The morning was not much better, I threw a hissy fit because my mums mascara stained on my lid, which mine never does and I had forgotten mine as well, because hey Mascara is mascara ( turns out it isn’t…) Well at least I arrived in time, although as the last one.

We did some small talk about the arrival and academic background before the HR person took us into the first room. There we had to make some brief introduction and then started with the data analysis exercise.

Data Analysis Exercise 

We had to allocate 60 units of lightweight jackets to some stores located in three different regions. There were some restrictions as to how many items had to be sent and when they would arrive. The data given were weekly sales, inventory and an indicator S/S I think it stood for Supply to Sales, indicating how many weeks the stock would last if the sales remain the same. We had the week that had just ended 2nd march and the week prior as well as the week of 18th March from the year before. We should then allocate the merchandise and write down the rationale behind our decision.

I thought I did pretty well, until I checked the restrictions again and saw that I wanted to allocate double the allowed amount to the store to be newly opening in three weeks time.

 Well I had to quickly fix my numbers then as we only had 4 minutes left out of the allotted 15. All the other candidates seemed to have written more than me, but that didn’t irritate me too much. I am a friend of precise words, that is until I don’t know what to say then I tend to mumble on incoherently instead of just shutting up.

Group Exercise I

Directly after HR took our papers we were guided into another room where our assessors were already seated. There we did another round of presentation, I totally tanked mine…

After stating my name and successfully making a joke about how I didn’t want to disclose my age, the rest of the sentence was not so concise. I often have this problem also at work; there I fixed it by actually preparing a short introduction word for word and learning it by memory.

The assessors briefly introduced themselves and stated their position within the company (the Italian buyer for women’s lingerie and something at least repeated my age joke) than they started to explain the first group exercise. We had to pick a product each from the ones that were laid out in the table in front of us and judge it regarding to the criteria scale they use. Afterwards we had to present our results.

I only half tanked this one ( I mixed up the structure and jumped from point to point) 

Then they asked us to pick the best and second best product for their store in a group discussion. Being an all female group we were incredibly harmonic and someone proposed to jot down the major points at the flipboard, she had to do this of course, I excused myself with my terrible handwriting ( An art teacher of mine once told me that my homework had the charm of a train wreck…) 

In this exercise I think I was able to score a bit when I told them that I don’t agree with the overall quality of the chosen product ( a gift set of two baby bottles and a pacifier) some items were loose in the packaging and I would not want to give or receive that as a present, successful joke number two: unless it has been used in so many assessment centers before the quality is not okay. I shut up after this joke. The assessors had some questions, sometimes asking in the round sometimes addressing persons directly.

I have been obsessing with the right answer to the ranking and I think number one should have been the blouse, it was knocked down more than two/thirds, around 75% I guess and it was from the upper priced brand of a highly recognised high street brand, had a summary flair to it and great quality in terms of stitches etc. ( sorry I just had to get this out, as I have developed a throbbing headache over all the things I could have done better, and this I think was a major point but it never occurred to me during our discussions)

Instead we chose a black tweed ballerina from a lower premium brand highly recognised by middle-aged women I’d say and the baby bottle gift set  

Group Exercise II

As all exercises had to be completed under extreme time pressure we started quickly with the second exercise we got our data analysis sheets back and now had 15 minutes to allocate only 30 units of the jackets (which we as a group only got 12 minutes into the exercise when one of the assessors told us again) and once again come to a group decision.

In this discussion I stood my ground a bit more firmly than in the one before, partly because I know how to do data analysis and partly because the most active participant was twisting the sense behind the key indicator ( I should have voiced so, making either a complete ass out of myself or out of here…) Of course the majority had a differing opinion from mine.  As I can’t hide my emotions I was asked by the Italian buyer if I was content with the result of the group decision and I declined and explained why.

Another assessor asked why we had sent 1/3 of the units to the store with lowest annual sales revenue ( that was when I had to constrain myself hard to not facepalm myself as I have not seen those important figures on the data report given…)

Final round

Lastly we could ask some questions to the assessors about the program / company etc.

I asked about their classification system for the goods, as they had stressed sometimes before that the report we were given was sort of real life, and to me it seemed incredibly basic and I wanted to know which classifications they used to steer their merchandise distribution and analyse it.

They told me that they didn’t look at sizes and that colours were only regarded in some regions and what we were handed was pretty much a real report. Mine was the last question to be answered before we left.

I had a brief chat with two of the participants, one had finished her masters degree in Supply Chain Management and was the one getting some of the numbers twisted and the other one comes from a similar background like me, she also did a dual studies in Management but is further on obtaining her Masters whilst simultaneously working at a small consultancy firm.

I briefly discussed payment with them and that led me to reconsider my position if they should ask me for the final interview.

Today or tomorrow I will know if they want to see me for a final interview and presentation.

 You guys ( I have to come with a different word for you my dear readership, as I don’t feel comfortable using the generic masculine, any suggestions ? ) it felt really good getting it all out. My headache has nearly vanished and I refuse to believe that it’s the merit of the pill I took before I started writing 

Picture courtesy of artofmanliness.com

Work Wardrobe Wednesday

IMG_3722 Kopie

The picture above shows Moi, photographed by the lovely Sally Hofacker. At the office I often wear a blazer on top of this neon coloured pullover, as not to shock my older co-workers too much. Personally I think that clothing with a neon colouring has an awakening effect when looking at it. Like black and white striped shirts which can sometimes be very distracting and even nauseating when looking at them. Over the next couple of weeks I am going to show you guys what I call my uniform. That’s mostly either the skirt or the pants suit but with a more uplifting top and my pet peeve, not so boring heels. Obviously I don’t wear the hat like that in the office, it would be kind a hard to see the computer screen… But I wear it to the office sometimes whenever I am to lazy to carry an umbrella.

Do you guys wear hats and get stupid comments on it as well ?

Picture courtesy of 75only75