After coming back from California and just staying for a couple of weeks in Frankfurt, it is time for my next adventure. This means writing the final exams before starting my official  “thesis term” in March.

Even though, the first week is almost over it feels like an eternity living in Mittweida, a small town close to Chemnitz. Don’t get me wrong: After applying for several universities and working parallel to college, it really helps to clear my mind again. Unfortunately, my chest cold doesn’t seem to go away, thats why I stayed in bed all weekend to get ready for Monday again. It sucks, not being able to do whatever you want.

Do you know the feeling, when reaching a certain limit? Physically or mentally?

After the seventh try in writing a personal statement for King’s College I realised that I couldn’t go any further. Not being able to strive for the best, because your academic English is not good enough to apply was very frustrating for me. I thought to myself: Really Rosa? This is it? After having lived in foreign countries for almost 1.5 years?

Luckily, my cousin did support me enormously concerning this, and, I could successfully finish it in the last couple of days. But what would have happened, if nobody helped me? How could I have possibly beaten the system?

Additionally, I still need to learn to treat my body right. Even though my brain wants to take the next step and continuously analyses situations, my physical condition is suffering. To be honest, I did not believe magazines, proclaiming and talking about a phenomenon like “burn-out syndrome” or being stressed out. However, karma is a bitch and lets me run straight up against the wall for me to understand the issue.

So yeah guidebooks might be correct about the importance of physical health to get the results you want to achieve. I hope at least you guys, the people who are reading my blog posts, realise how important it is to understand that both components – your mind and your body – need to be in harmony to outperform.

By the way, this is me taking a long walk with a student colleague of mine to strike a balance again and to structure my goals for the future.

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O F F I C E O U T F I T.

I know the last couple of posts were all about sharing experiences or travelling to cities.

However, today I thought about sharing my previous office outfit idea with you.
Gladly, my workplace allows me to be a bit funkier and more creative when it comes to choosing my Monday to Friday outfit. This one here was shot in San Josè by the way.

I could NEVER EVER work at a company, where I couldn’t express myself through clothing. It is therefore not very likely, you’ll find me in an institution where formal outfits are key. Ever… Hopefully. 😀

 

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Leather trousers        —  Orsay
B/W blouse                  —  Armani Jeans
Pink blazer                  —  Marc Cain (Secondhand)
Shoes                            —  H&M

But let’s focus on the crucial thing in this post:
Usually, I combine a colourful trouser with a well-shaped blouse. These combinations make you stand out from the crowd but still shows some office character.

Good ways to dress for success is to use:

  • concise colours (colour-blocking) + classic shapes (like a double-breasted blazer)
  • suits in great patterns (you don’t have to stand in front of your wardrobe every morning, thinking what to wear.)
  • go for all-black with outstanding shoes. (colours like red, silver, gold, or two-colour shoes will work nicely)

Here are some examples! Wanna see more looks?
Explore my Instagram profil (@rosaschdt)

 

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Dior and I: Paris in three days.

This month is an organisational disaster! After coming back from the Americas, applying for universities and buying presents for Christmas, there was almost no time to settle in Europe again.
However, I had one big December highlight. After I have heard a lot about the new Dior exhibition in Paris, my mum and I didn’t waste any more precious time and took the train to see what it was all about. 😉

Day one

After muddling through a lot of people, we took a journey through different decades of style. From the famous “New Look” designed by Christian himself to Galliano and current designer Maria Grazia Chiuri – every shade and colour of Dior was represented.

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It took us all in all 2.5 hours to go through all the different scenes and look at every damn detail.

DSC03005This jacket is one of my favourites. Why? With this piece, a woman’s compelling aura surrounds the one that wears it. It is like a uniform you put on to stand out of the crowd. Dangerous colour and material combined with a woman that knows what she wants. Brilliant!

Day two

After an exhausting first day, we went to Montmartre to take a glimpse at the famous church Sacré-Cœur. What a view!
Some of you may have seen it in my Instagram story already:

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… And Notre Dame at day and night.

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Day three

The last day was mostly all about shopping. This, of course, meant: Galleries Lafayette from top to bottom!
Before we paced through these doors, there were some other spots we needed to discover first..

The Opéra National de Paris for instance. Pictured here with the French and European flag on top.

DSC03123.JPGFurthermore, we discovered another famous place directly next to the opera house. The Cafe de la Paix – one of the most famous and well-known places in Paris, where famous writers such as Oscar Wilde and Ernest Hemingway stayed. (and me of course)

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After dawdling through every level of Galleries Lafayette, mum and I ended up on the rooftop of the building. The sun already started to set, resulting in beautiful pictures.

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All in all, it was a great trip into a city, from which I’ll probably never get tired of.

I guess Christmas can come!

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After everyone told me how AMAZING America is I strangely wasn’t as impressed as I should have been. Don’t get me wrong; my working life was brilliant, but to be quite frank I was bored stiff and irritated from my free time.

  • Bars and clubs closed at 2 am even in the big cities like LA or San Fransisco (?!).
  • Americans use melted cheese in cans and spray it on their food. Obviously it’s not real cheese…
  • Vegetables are bigger than my head. Only god knows why.
  • Nobody couldn’t care less about clothing. I know hoodies are the working dress code in Silicon Valley, but still – really? I had the feeling flip-flops were the only thing some people owned.
  • San Josè is one of the biggest cities in the US – but there is literally nothing going on. Or at least you would expect more from a city with more than one million inhabitants.

Apparently, California, in particular, was made for people, who are obsessed with adventures. Hiking, Bunjee Jumping, Sky Diving…. the list is long and never-ending. I thought to myself: Alright, it is not my thing, but I do understand why America is great for people who are into sports.

Of course, the countryside is beautiful, and Yosemite or Big Sur are breath-taking. However, I felt a lack of culture at that moment. Simultaneously, I knew I did something wrong:

I compared it with Europe.

Yep, that was a big mistake. Even though we all define the US and Europe as the western society, which self-evidently means we have the same values and attitudes still we are completely different. And after 1,5 months I also saw the great parts everybody was talking about.

After I set my mind free from these prejudices, I did understand the core principle of it.

It is all about freedom.

After three months of living in California, I never had the feeling of judgement. Nobody tried to put you in a category or stigmatised you because of some assumptions. This state literally screams: Go for it! Express yourself! Live your talents out and realise your ideas!

Perhaps this is the secret formula of Silicon Valley and Los Angeles. Do whatever (the fuck) you want. But do it with all your heart and passion.

After I realised this, I started to enjoy my time and did things, I never thought of doing. AND PEOPLE LOVED IT. Unbelievable.

San Josè was life-changing for me. I grew as a person and in a business sense. Being able to take a step back and be more reflective of actions and rather not doing being an overenthusiastic young professional, wanting to do everything as fast as possible is a major step for my development.

I can’t believe I say this, but I miss the US, and I miss California.

San Josè, it was my pleasure.

 

TOEFL – a pain in the ass.

Every foreigner needs to do it when they want to confirm their English proficiency, so do I to apply for university abroad. As you hear in the title – TOEFL is a pain in the ass.

Most of you saw my video on Instagram talking about my own little challenge. However, I was not quite honest with you. I tried the test once before at a horrible test center in San Jose and failed completely. I also prepared too much….

However, for those who didn’t hear about it, yet:

I did not prepare for it. ( At least not for this one).

I am a control freak in many manners, which means I usually over-prepare for everything just to “make sure”. (as you can hear from test 1..) Hopefully, a lot of you can feel me: one never wants to rely on talents and skills, because everything could go wrong and end up in a catastrophe.

I rather stick with my comfort zone and don’t face my fears.
But isn’t that what it is all about?
Getting everything out of life even though it means overcoming barriers? 

This is a thing I have reads about so often in many books or Tumblr quotes. Apparently, nobody cares about them because they are all over the place. Nevertheless, they have their reason for existence.

I finally decided to put it all out there. Perhaps, for some of you this will be too much, perhaps some people don’t even see a difference.

But I would kill myself if I didn’t try it all my life.. so stay tuned bitches. 

The TOEFL advice I give you is short and based on my own experience with the test. I realised, if you google for help concerning the TOEFL you’ll find everything in every detail, but no real personal experiences.

So here we go your ROSA advice, freshly delivered! 😉

Section 1 Reading

Before the multiple choice tasks appear, they’ll first show you the whole text of a specific academic topic.

Don’t read the whole text at once!

Just try to scan the first sentence of every chapter to get the bigger picture.

Look for keywords first!

They will re-appear in the text. This makes it way easier and faster to tick the right answer, instead of going through the whole chapter, reading every detail.

If you still have time to go over your results  – do so! Every right answer counts.

Section 2 Listening

I know it is hard, but concentrate on every detail.

They will ask you for the inconspicuous,  unimporant things.

Don’t get confused with straightforward questions!

No they aren’t as tricky as you think they are – try to follow your instincts.

Section 3 Speaking

This is the one I would practice on, even if you are fluent in English!

Preparation time in the test varies in between 15-30 seconds. Not a lot time to think about an intelligent answer or even think at all.

Practise, practise, practise!

Get into the vibe and develop a feeling of time.

Talk to someone about the given topics

The person can give important feedback regarding your structure, the content you put out or your pronunciation.

Section 4 Writing

Two texts, two different ways of writing. I’ll skip the first one, containing listening and summarising the points of an audio file, as a contrary opinion to the given text.

The more difficult one is the essay.

You’ll need to write about your opinion on a specific topic.

Decide for one point of view.

It’s nice you’ll inform yourself and constantly gain a lot of knowledge. This can lead to a well thought out answer. Nevertheless, it is also very likely the essay turns into an unstructured non-sense.
Your grammar is more important as well as how you put your arguments together to score the best results.

Adhere to the “statement – reason – example” law.

State why, feed it with detailed information and highlight it in a reasonable example. Doing this for at least two or three con’s or pro’s. This should turn it into a smooth ride.

Get rid of your boring CV’s.. nobody wants to see them!

Recently, I have been struggling to write down all my experiences compressed into one or two pages. Yep, you are right. The thing I am talking about is called Curriculum Vitae or how the Americans say resume. And it is not as easy as it sounds!

Before I really got into the science of it, this document cost me a lot of nerves, time and energy. That’s why I thought: “Let’s make everybody’s life easier by publishing the result of it”. Said and done.

First and foremost, most of the time I really don’t care about rules, they exist to break them. If you want to work in an extraordinary company, or you are planning to go to a brilliant university – standing out of the crowd is key.
So, what I thought of was a mixture of the traditional way and the “ROSA” way. That means putting in the structure of a typical CV and pimping it up with an individual design.

Ah and by the way three tips from my side

Only write one page.

Even though you collected a lot of experiences and skills over the past century, doesn’t mean to write down every tiny bit of it. 2-3 bullet points not more not less.

Try InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop.

Even though you’ll only have a seven-day free trial. Edit it with these Adobe Programs. It’ super easy-to-use and doesn’t crack up your format as Microsoft Word does.

Just because you don’t work in a creative sector, doesn’t mean you should keep things the way they are.

Perhaps my template is not the right way to go for you or maybe the area you are working in doesn’t fit the design. However, believe me when I tell you that putting in a bit colour is still better than a  “boring” timeline of your milestones.
(Have a look at the other suggestions I made! Maybe there is something that reveals your personality best.)

Before I start talking my *ss of again – here are my own CV + some good examples of what I am talking about. Have fun!

 

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My CV

If you can’t open it properly, just visit my LinkedIn profile and click on download!

 

Good CVs (not too creative) done with Adobe Programs

Freebie | Resumee

Minimalistic and clean template 

Red and White Creative

 

Templates for Word (if you are still not convinced by InDesign)

Moo Template

Modern Design 

 

 

 

We all know, when we are not happy with how things work we changed it. Sometimes it’s  about our behaviour towards something, sometimes we just need to learn more about it.

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I’ve found myself struggling with typing and using the trackpad of my Mac far too slow. It annoyed me that I couldn’t access folders quicker, or reply faster to emails, because of my lack of orientation when it comes to opening several programs at one time. Gross and terribly inefficient!!!
That’s why I want to share some useful skills with you; I use now to make my life easier + more efficient.

Word translation

Just select the word that needs to be translated, or you want to look up by pressing
ctrl + cmd + d (for dictionary)

 

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Organisation of your Inbox and your
mails

Some of them are already well-known, others have never been used and seemed quite useful for me. Have a look at these:

  • New message – command + N
  • Send message – command + shift + D
  • Forward message – command + shift + F
    (extremely helpful, when facing the fact how many emails we are forwarding every day!)
  • Flag a message – command+ shift + L
    (everyone who doesn’t want to disappear into chaos needs this shortcut!)
  • Reply all – command + shift + R
    (I don’t know how you are feeling, but I ALWAYS keep forgetting to reply to all, I respond to one instead – haha)
  • Mark as Junk Mail – command + shift + J 

Shortcuts for documents

I catch myself a lot of the time scrolling up and down, when changing sentences or words into a more bold/italic style or if I only want to underline a passage. This habit can be left behind with these helpful keyboard combinations:

  • turn boldfacing on/off or boldface a text –  command +B 
  • turn italics on/off or italise a text –  command + I
  • turn underlining on or off or underline a text  – command + U

 

50/50 Shortcuts

Half the people know about them, half don’t. After getting used to these shortcuts, I’ll never survive without them anymore!

  • Spotlight search – Command + space bar 

Searching for something quickly? Use spotlight!

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  • Quick look – space bar 

If you want to preview a picture select it and press space bar. It will appear simultaneously.

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  • Individually selected screenshot – Command + shift + 4

Very helpful, if the bigger picture is – in fact-  too big.

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The city of angels, the land of the stark. So here I am or better I was at least for a weekend. A town where every street corner seems to be part of a blockbuster and where everyone claims to be a very influential person ( I doubt that), I had my very own experience with Los Angeles. Apart from doing the usual sightseeing things like for instance “Walk Of Fame” “Santa Monica Pier” or “Venice Beach” this city has its own vibe.
This tremendous size of 1290 square kilometre (more than three times bigger than German city cologne!!) shows significant contradictions between the living conditions, lifestyle, and behaviour in vast areas.

Super creamy and famous Beverly Hills on the one hand and the ghettos in the South of Los Angeles (there were reasons I couldn’t take any pictures believe me!), on the other side, nothing but 20 miles distance separating them. I found it shocking to see these vast differences between people and how the majority of them live in their own district or better in their own kind of bubble.

So talking about own little (fictitious) worlds: On Friday I went out to discover the nightlife of LA and ended up next to Venice Beach in a small, but crowded bar. After getting in there, I went straight to the counter to grab some drinks for my friends and me. Somehow three guys pushed me away from my place when one of them noticed me and apologised by getting me a drink. Like every reasonably lovely human being, I thanked him and was about to chat a bit. The only reaction I’ve got was a “That’s it, thanks.” sentence. He merely turned back to his friends like I never existed before. Surely you should never generalise things, but I’ve never experienced something so rude than this. I probably will never be part of his expectations nor his group of super chic people. Sorry about that. Still a fascinating experience.

However, in LA exists no real city centre like in most European cities but rather own little towns all put together in one metropole. You should never judge a book by its cover, but for me, this seems to be too much set in a frame.
I love the idea of everybody meeting at a piazza or some nice restaurants/bars, standing outside and engaging.

However, don’t get me wrong: Los Angeles has its own unique fascination, that’s why I took an unusually high number of pictures. It is definitely worth coming back again to explore even more.

 

What do you think about LA? Do you love it or hate it? What hidden parts of the city of angels did I miss?

I put all of my impressions into the pictures below. Let me know what you think by commenting 🙂

 

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Skyline of L.A.
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The famous Hollywood sign
Sunset at Venice Beach

 

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Busy streets in Venice Beach
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Muscle Beach.
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Villa near the border of Hollywood
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Villa in Los Feliz
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View on Santa Monica Pier.

 

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LA traffic at night

 

Working days in Silicon Valley can be pretty tough. Notably, running a couple of projects with plenty of responsibility. Things are rushing, people are pushing things forward, and organisation slightly slips out of your hand.

Since I started working, I failed numerous times, keeping the overview and on the other hand focusing on one specific topic. Easy tiger. Just think inside boxes! Yes, that sounds quite weird, but it works. Less stress and an efficient agenda? Follow three steps. Box 1, Box 2, Box 3.

Box 1 the past

That’s right. People always tell you to look into the future. I say you are nothing without the past. If you don’t understand where you are coming from, there’s no chance you can kick ass in the next couple of years. That also appeals to your work especially your projects.

Write everything down; you have collected in the past. Be super precise.

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Protocols, presentations old papers – everything!  You will never have the problem to riffle every folder for the PowerPoint your boss is asking for. As long as you stick to this behaviour, the next file is only one click away.

To synchronise all notes, I recommend Evernote. It is affordable and works on every common device. Just put it in a box and fill it continuously!

Box 2 present

The “in between” is the most important one. If there is now data given, at least I would have absolutely no idea how to create the future or even write stuff down for Box 1?

Listen and ask questions! Sometimes it’s less important to say “something” in meetings. There are plenty of ways, expressing involvement.

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The most successful people are claiming never to talk much, but instead asking deep questions and listening to the person answers. Believe it or not, you get much more useful information than considered. The better you follow, the more you can save time, looking for files, thinking about what the other person meant or requestioning the purpose of a meeting.

Box 3 future

The future needs both. The past and the present to exist. Easy math. It makes, even more, sense, putting it in a career related context. A very competent and eminent colleague of mine told me once only short-sighted people, have nothing to do after a big deal was sealed. Strategic people already researched for the next business and are currently working on their first conceptions.

Standing out of the crowd is easy – just think ahead.

When you are listening and asking questions, think about the impact some ideas have about other projects. Abstract the basic concept and applying it to other complex issues gives a substantial advantage. Thinking in boxes doesn’t mean to limit yourself, it’s about tieing up your packages.

Royal blue trousers 💁🏼

I’ve recently added a new clothing item to my US wardrobe. It is – even though I said I want to try casual styling – rather colourful 😀. Nevertheless, I am in love with my new trousers from H&M.

They are not only fitting perfectly but also looking timeless and of high-quality. Rich colours, suiting to my mostly dark coloured clothing fundament.

I wear my new office outfit with an Armani Jeans shirt and Zara lace-up shoes.

Please let me know what you think by commenting below 🙌🏻👍🏻