Advice from Expert Image Consultant, Margaret Batting

On Monday, March 13th, image consultant and self branding expert Margaret Batting will be coming to Boston College to speak with young women looking to upgrade their professional wardrobe in an event co-hosted by Women in Business and your’s truly, Her Campus BC. I was privileged enough to speak with Ms. Batting about her business and valuable advice prior to the event. After my interview, I am more than excited for the upcoming event where Ms. Batting will go into more detail about all of these areas but for now here is a glimpse of the insight this amazing woman has...

Short Biography on Margaret Batting. 

After more than 15 years successfully working for Fortune 500 companies, Margaret felt it was time for a personal change. In 2008, she combined her passion for fashion, teaching, health and well-being with her deisre to inspire others to make positive changes in their life and started a corporate image comminications business. With her certified business, she works with different businesses on how to get employees to represent their companies in the best life and for individuals to match their personal image with their professional job. Margaret's education includes a BS in Mass Communication from BU as well as image consultation certificates from both national and international programs. Margaret is currently the President of the New England Chapter of the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI), the world’s most prestigious image industry trade association! Margaret has appeared on both TV and in the press giving advice to the public and has an amazing message that she is now bringing to BC. 

What first got you interested in the field of image consulting?

"I became interested in image consulting when I decided I didn’t want to work for someone else for the rest of my life.  I spent time figuring out what I really loved doing, what my strengths were and what skills would be transferable.  I had worked for a long time and didn’t want to start completely over.  My experience at Staples actually prepared me for what I am doing now.  Advertising and Marketing a product is not that different than Advertising and Marketing a business professional.  Plus, I do feel there is a lack of training and guidance when it comes to professional presence in the workplace."

What is your key piece of advice for women you go out for their first interview? How can we embrace the "look good, feel good" model?

"Invest in quality!  Your outfit also needs to suit you, your personality and the environment you’re interviewing in. Wearing your mother’s suit is not going to cut it.  It’s important to pay attention to key details like making sure your clothes fit well, jacket sleeves are tailored and your shoes are in great shape. Make sure your “business essentials” like your tote bag and pen complement your image and communicate a consistent message. No backpacks or cheap pens!"

What are 5 pieces you think all college girls should invest into their wardrobe for upcoming interviews? How do you feel about accessorizing? Is it affordable to have a professional wardrobe?

"1. One high quality stylish suit in a dark color like charcoal grey or black- pieces can be worn separately once you land the job.

2. A blouse to complement your suit- color and style will depend on the type of job and company. You have more flexibility if you are interviewing in Retail, Advertising, Marketing, PR or at start up company.

3. A pair of amazing black shoes no higher than 3 inches. Again, quality is key.  Shoes speak volumes!

4. A winter coat or trench coat that fits you perfectly

5. A quality tote bag with minimal or simple hardware

Accessories are fine as long as they are not distracting.  They should complement your outfit not detract from it. Also, if you can afford to buy an Iphone and drink Starbucks coffee you can afford a professional wardrobe.  It’s about creating a plan, prioritizing, budgeting, and making smart purchases."