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“Evolution: From College’s ‘Hot Girl’ Mindset to Empowered Business Woman”

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Tampa chapter.

How a change in mindset and actions can transform you into your most confident and successful version. Experience and advice from a College of Business student on how to reshape the way you market yourself and overcome mind blocks.

As a senior at the University of Tampa, I’ve had time to appreciate the delicate dance required to maintain a harmonious Floridian lifestyle—one that balances a thriving social scene, a demanding class schedule, and the pursuit of a fulfilling career. Achieving this equilibrium may seem elusive, often leading us to postpone our educational and professional aspirations until some distant ‘right time.’ But the truth is that time arrives only when we decide to take control by steering the course of our lives and shaping how others perceive us.

Around a year ago, I realized how the sands of the college hourglass began to trickle faster. This awakening prompted an urgent determination to make the most of my junior and senior years. Until then, I had lacked significant professional experience and pursued coursework without a clear purpose. My focus rested on preserving my social image and taking classes that felt disconnected from my future.

Then, a longing for self-discovery and adventure led me to embark on a life-changing journey, studying abroad in Seville, Spain, for a semester. In the heart of this new terrain, I found a rhythm that seamlessly harmonized my social, work, and academic lives. Each day, I’d stroll to class, participate in my Spanish internship, return home to study, and save time for making new friendships. It was exhilarating, but beneath the surface, I felt a subtle loneliness. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t exchange that experience for anything; it became the light in which I crafted a clearer understanding of myself, my passions, and the realignment of my ambitions.

During my time abroad, I lost track of the dwindling sands in my college hourglass. As senior year rushes by at an even more relentless pace, my primary objective now is to discover the person I genuinely aspire to be. The countdown reminds me daily that it’s time to determine my own destination. Constantly comparing my lack of professional experience with my peers’ impressive resumes created a negative feeling as I entered into my senior year. Looking back now, only a month into my senior year, I realize that there was no logical reason for me to compare myself with the person sitting next to me. It truly is not about how much experience you have but how well you radiate confidence and can tell your story.

My advice:

Enroll in classes that capture your attention, get to know your professors and their available resources, and take part in activities set in place at your university. My sales class has taught me the art of devising a memorable elevator pitch, as well as how to present yourself to recruiters. Attending internship fairs, job fairs, guest-speaker events, and getting involved on campus have helped me tremendously. I still have no idea what the answer is to the age-old question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” By becoming more involved with the College of Business, I am setting myself up for as many options as possible.

In the past month, I have learned how to speak and dress as a professional. By thrifting an entire wardrobe of business casual and professional outfits, I am able to look and feel the part. Red White and Blue and Sunshine Thrift have become my favorite thrift locations in Tampa. I was able to assemble 3 different business casual outfits, 2 professional suits, and heels for under $100.

Use technology to your advantage to boost your professional appearance. Linqapp is a digital business card and a brilliant app that has not only allowed me to impress employers but also provides quick access to tools such as a resume and LinkedIn profile. Using this tool as a way to stay connected with recruiters is impressive and shows preparedness.

LinkedIn is an indispensable social media app for aspiring business students. It is a bridge between between prospective recruiters and myself to make an impression and stay connected. Always connect with professionals you meet at internship fairs or networking events. If somebody makes a lasting impression, do not hesitate to leave a message because it creates a lasting impression for them in return.

In the game that is the business professional world, confidence is the ace up your sleeve; it is the tool that transforms your good hand into a winning one. I may not have the most professional experience in the room or volunteer with the most impressive nonprofits, but I pride myself on my confidence. Staring at my collection of high heels, I am reminded of my transformation from a freshman with a “hot girl” mindset to a poised businesswoman who is also a “hot girl”. Confidence, after all, is the key to success.

Hi, I am Danielle Lentz, a senior at the University of Tampa majoring in International business and marketing. I recently studied abroad in Spain and have the bug for traveling! I enjoy staying active, reading, watching new shows, and cooking in my free time.