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style + work
Job title and industry:
Do you have to travel frequently for business?
What countries have you lived in for work?
Who or what do you believe has been a strong influence of your style?
You always look pretty timeless.
I've learned that a nice quality wardrobe travels well. When you travel frequently, things - especially suits - lose their structure pretty quickly. The lining quits working. I don't have that problem with items from Neiman's. The things I buy there just last forever. I joke that my cost per use makes those items more affordable.
What does your typical working wardrobe look like?
Heels or flats?
I'm a former ballet dancer so I love heels, but I can't wear very high heels. I go as high as I can. The thing I hate to shop for, more than anything, is a shoe because I have really hard time finding a style that I like in a heel size that is comfortable.
So, we know you shop at Neiman's, but with your travel schedule, when do you find the time?
So there's no issue of buyer's regret.
Do you have certain brands that you end up preferring from Neiman's?
What type of daily tote or bag do you carry every day and what is inside?
What shade of Bobbi Brown lipstick do you wear?
What is the most important part of your beauty routine that you feel helps
complete your look?
What's your mani/pedi style?
What hair product do you use most regularly?
What's your approach to jewelry? Do you have standard go to pieces that you wear most of the time, or do you mix it up?
I'm not a big jewelry person. I usually wear my ring and a diamond tennis bracelet. I have a strand of pearls that I wear sometimes. I probably need some more jewelry. I also wear a fitness band.
Is it the kind with the watch?
Is there anything that you have on your wish list for jewelry?
What do you do in the morning, prior to your office hours, that helps
you prepare for the day ahead?
What kind of transportation do you use to get to your office?
Do you have a favorite song, artist, or playlist that you listen to on
your way to work?
When you travel for work, what do you do while you are in the air?
Usually, I catch up on all the emails that I've flagged and haven't gotten back to yet. A lot of times, because I'm in consulting, I'll do my billable time. If it's a Friday or it's in the evening, I'll read a book on Kindle. I always have books loaded. I don't sleep.
Well, if I'm going overseas, I will sleep. Actually, when I go overseas, that's the first thing I do. I don't eat the heavy meal. As soon as the plane takes off, I lay down the bed flat and I go to sleep. I usually read some and I might watch a movie.
Do you have any packing secrets for business travel?
Well, I'm very very fast. I can pack in 5 minutes. I have a make-up bag that has small versions of my night cream, sunscreen, and the moisturizer I use in the morning. The day of my departure, as I'm putting on my make-up, I'll put what I'm using into that bag so I have what I need for my trip. The biggest thing is as I'm packing, I'm thinking about dressing myself to make sure I get everything. I envision what I put on in the morning to ensure I have packed all that I need.
You pack tight because you do a carry on, right?
How do you pack your clothing?
I have two Tumi pull on suitcases, one is a smaller one and one is a bigger one. They have a nice sleeve accessory in which you hang your clothes and you zip them in to the lid of the suitcase. But what I use the most is an old Samsonite insert that you just hang over your clothes, almost like a dry cleaning bag but it's not plastic; it's made out of the interior suitcase material. I like it because if I'm going to more than one place, I just pull that out and hang it in the closet.
If I'm traveling, I'll just bring a few pieces that my Neiman Marcus consultant has selected for me so I don't have to check a bag. I might pack only four things and just rethink how I wear them throughout the week.
What is your method for keeping track of business expenses?
It's pretty easy. When I sign the receipt for a business dinner or lunch bill, I'll flip it over and I'll write whom I was with and what the firm was and what the code should be for the expense. I keep the receipts in the little pouch in my bag. Then, when I come back to the office, I just hand all those receipts to my assistant. It's good to just quickly jot it down in the moment so I don't have to go back and try to remember who I was with or what was I doing.
My goal is to avoid touching something more than once. This applies to my emails as well. In general, if there's something that I know I need to do, I just go ahead and do it. Over time, this strategy saves me time and stress. That's my philosophy.
What is your morning office routine?
What does your typical day look like if you are in town and in the office?
What essentials do you have with you for meetings?
I always have my black and red notebook and my blue Bic pen. Then I'll have my iPhone, but I really like how people don't keep their phones out on the table unless expecting an important call. For instance, if one of my kids had been injured in a soccer game and I was waiting to hear back from an orthopedic doctor, then I'll tell people that I may have to step out and take that call. But usually the protocol is not to have one's iPhone up on the table anymore so I'll keep mine in my bag or next to me in the chair.
What about your iPad? Do you use it in meetings?
Not unless there's a document on it that I'm going to look at. But I don't take notes on it. I know some people do, I have the keyboard, I certainly could but I still like to write my notes.
Do you have a specific method that you use to run the meetings that you are in charge of?
I think that meetings should be as short as possible. There should be an agenda stating the purpose of it and what decisions are needed. I think most meetings can be done in half an hour. Sometimes we'll have brainstorming sessions about a variety of different things where we might schedule more time. I just try to make them as productive as possible.
What are some of your office pet peeves?
Everybody is pretty neat around here so I don't have much to really worry about. I did point out that people were leaving stuff in the refrigerator for a while, so our office manager implemented a policy where every Friday they clean everything out. Because it was ... you kind of wonder what was in there? Beyond that, I love my office, but it is fairly far from where my team is located. I would prefer to be closer, but it's just the way the office was constructed.
How do you handle job-related stress?
Working out, sleeping, eating well, and making sure I'm balanced from both a personal and work perspective.
What is your happiest moment at work?
As consultants, we focus on teaming. We are really good about collaborating amongst our group and with our clients. We had a board presentation on Saturday for a project and afterward had a great sense of completion and that we had done a good job. Everybody was reveling because we had worked hard and our presentation was well-received. It's probably what I like the most: working together.
What would you say is your favorite office supply and why?
What is a work tool that's a must-have for you (app, hardware
How would you describe your office space?
Do you have anything on your wish list for your décor?
I think every once and a while about putting an area rug down just to add another layer of color. I'm sort of bound by the fact that I have to use certain furniture.
How do you prioritize and manage your email inbox?
Also, my assistant monitors my email for me and she's really good about pointing out emails I need to respond to, especially if I'm super, super busy in long meetings. She makes sure that those come to my attention. Lastly, throughout the day I'll flag certain emails to go back to and review them either at night or early in the morning.
What is your secret to achieving your daily objectives?
The big thing that helps me organize my day is the night before; I'll review the emails that I flagged throughout the day and clear those. I'll look and see what I'm doing the next day and review anything I need to. Then a lot of times, if I have a big meeting, I'll get up early and review things to prepare for it one more time. This is also is how I used to study. I always had one last review early in the morning before a test.
How do you keep track of what your schedule looks like?
It is important for me is to have everything calendared. I actually have four calendars right now: a work calendar, a personal calendar, my seventh grader’s athletic carpool calendar and then I have the seventh grade rep calendar. My personal calendar is our home calendar. My husband and parents, the kids, the kids’ nanny - we all have access to it and that is where all the games and school activities, like school pictures, all of that information goes on it. That way everybody knows what's happening.
And the moms maintain the athletics carpool calendar, so we know who is going to get the kids and the girls have access to it, so they know which car to look for.
That's a great idea.
It's worked out really well. Our process improvement. (laughter)
You discussed your to-do list earlier, is this a daily list for you?
More as I get things done. And then I'll tear it off every once and a while and I'll re-do it again. I use little squares so I can check items off and it's always on the back of the last page in my Black n' Red notebooks. Sometimes I'll write out my to-do list on the white board in my office, but I've been traveling a lot lately, so it's really just been in my notebook.
Is your list mainly about work or does it include personal items?
It's both. It tends to be more for work than personal, but if I have to call a pediatrician, I have to do that during the day so that's an example of something that would be on the list.
How do you stay on top of industry news or your career?
What is your method for networking?
What advice have you received in your professional life that has really stuck with you?
When I was hired by Arthur Andersen, they said they recruited and developed SWANs - smart, hard working, ambitious and nice people - which continues to make sense to me. SWANs soar in a consulting environment and in most corporations, too.
What is your work motto?
I always feel like as long as I stay focused on the things that are important to me and important to the firm and to my clients, and I try to do things to the best of my ability, it all just works out. I tell my kids: be nice and work hard. Being nice is not always the popular thing to do but when faced with a decision, I like to take the high road. I want to wake up the next morning, feel good about my decisions and actions, and know that in the long term it's simply the better thing to do.
What do you do during your downtime to refresh and
Well I make sure I exercise, but the biggest thing is connecting
with my kids and my husband. I really like to spend time with
my family. I don't watch very much TV, except sports. I also enjoy
hanging out with friends. I think it's really important to have
people, who are good friends that you can talk about anything
but who aren’t involved in your work life. We tend to not talk
about work when we are with our friends. And I think that's
I know you travel frequently for work, but personally, how
important has travel been for you?
What are you reading currently?
How have your parents influenced your career?
"We are really good about
collaborating amongst our
group and with our clients.
It's probably what I like the
most - working together."
Stephanie's tips for better work/life balance:
1. Delegate to and empower others. In addition to helping you balance your work, it will help develop leaders in
2. Strive to do at least 30 minutes of exercise a day - even if it's just a walk around the airport or block. Cutting out
exercise doesn't save time because it results in a significant decrease in mental acuity, productivity and efficiency.
4. Be open to other's ideas and methods. There is seldom a perfect answer and some perfect ones cannot be practically
implemented. This is true at work and at home, especially when dealing with toddlers and teenagers.
5. Do your best to be at all events that are important to your children - the preschool Mother's Day tea, elementary
school field day, sports games with rivals and any event in which your child is getting an award. There are more of
these when children are little, but teenagers like for you to be there for them, too, even if they won't say so.
6. Develop friendships at work but have close friendships outside of work, too.
7. Be grateful for family and find and enjoy unstructured time with them.