picky.com, the style site on Oxygen
My first job was an International Research
Assistant at Grey Advertising, New York.
AEF: How many people did you have to
Maria: Three - an HR person, the International
Research Manager (my immediate boss), and the SVP of Grey
AEF: Did they ask you any surprising
Maria: No - they had seen my résumé,
and I'd been referred by a recruiting firm, so the Manager's
questions were mostly about what I liked, did I think this
job would be appropriate for me, was I excited at the prospect
of what would essentially be a lot of academic work, etc.
The meeting with the SVP was fairly perfunctory, since the
Manager had already met me and liked me; so he was just sort
of checking me out. They were both very nice, very mild people.
AEF: How long a period of time were
you there being interviewed?
Maria: About an hour -- an hour and a
AEF: How long a period of time passed
between your interview(s) and your start date?
Maria: About five days.
AEF: How were you notified that you
Maria: I was pretty sure that I had the
position when I left, because they'd both been quite enthusiastic.
Then I got a call from the recruiter the next afternoon; she
told me they'd made an offer. We negotiated salary for about
a day or two and then I accepted.
AEF: Did you send a thank-you note?
Maria: I sent each of them a thank you
note that afternoon. I think you have to send something, even
if it's hastily written or via e-mail, as long as it's gracious
- and grammatically correct, with the name of the addressee
spelled correctly. Maybe I'm a doddering old lady, but I would
hesitate to hire someone who didn't send one.
AEF: Things you know now that you wish
you knew then:
Maria: That you don't need to wear a knee-length
skirt suit, even to an interview at Grey. This one is so inane,
but that you really should just be yourself; it's a hard industry
with long hours, and talent notwithstanding, a lot of how
you do will ultimately be determined by how much people like
AEF: Things you wish someone had told
you when you were just starting out:
Maria: The truth? That advertising can
be extraordinarily tough for women. Maybe that's changing.
I hope it does. I can't say if dot coMaria are better places
for women to work as a rule, since I work for a web site for
women, staffed largely by women.
AEF: How many jobs have you had since
Maria: From my first job at Grey I moved
to another big agency for almost three years, then to an Internet
start-up, and then to my current job - which I wouldn't have
gotten without my agency experience.