First Online Meeting Featuring Kerry Cheney

By: Sammy Chmara

Even though we couldn’t meet in person for this weeks meeting, we did have the opportunity to have a live zoom session with an experienced Public Relations and Media Relations specialist!

Kerry Cheney; a University of Delaware alumni, currently serves as Vice President of OGILVY in NYC. She began her Public Relations journey at Motion PR in Chicago where she got to work with a lot of food and beverage companies like Panera Bread. She then spent time at GOLIN, and then became PR director of Park Hyatt. At OGILVY, Kerry has done work with companies like Brand USA, Citizen’s Bank, and MSC Cruises. Her journey has included a lot of freelance where she’s done other work for McDonald’s, LG, and Country Crock.

She specified what exactly Media Relations entails, which her entire career has consisted of. Media Relations focuses on trends, including consumer, corporate, industry, and media trends. It is all about quality, personalization, cultural relevance, and awareness. She emphasized that the field is always changing and can be very time consuming to work in, but always worth it at the end.

She explained how it is important to customize pitches specifically for a certain brand or company, and that it can often take multiple pitches to get the right one. She also said she prefers pitching on the phone rather than email, if possible. Additionally, she differentiated what she considers “Good PR” and “Bad PR”. Good PR is connecting people to useful or interesting information while bad PR is being too showy or dishonest.

The last topic she was able to touch on was how the current COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the media industry as a whole. She explained that the media is heavily producing articles covering COVID-19 related symptoms, proper sanitation, and testing facility information. Other topics such as the election, the economy, and small businesses are also being covered by the news. Even articles about virtual travel and at home beauty and entertainment tips are being supplied. The media is really interested in taking extra steps to help during this time, but there is certainly a fine line between appropriate and non-appropriate pitches to be made during this very difficult time.

Public Relations Related Things You Can Do During The Coronavirus Pandemic

By: Katie Coulson

Have lots of free time all of a sudden? Still trying to be productive but failing and giving up? Here are some simple tips to help a public relations student stay motivated during the Coronavirus pandemic!

  • Start a blog. With all the time you potentially have, start writing down your thoughts. It helps a lot (for me at least) to write down my thoughts and worries; it clears my head. You can write about anything, PR related or not. This is also something that can help you stand out on a job application in the future. Employers love to see writing skills within school and outside of school and this is a great way to show it.                                                                                                                                        
  • Touch up on your resume. With companies and internships being put on hold, you never know when you are going to need your resume next, but it can’t hurt to look over. Resumes are extremely important to a potential employer; it is the first impression you make about yourself. Have a friend or family member look it over and talk to them about potential improvements. It’s never a bad time to look over a resume.                                                                                                                                                                                
  • Continue networking. Even though in person meetings are on hold, a LinkedIn connection is still possible. Some people you reach out to are still willing to have informational calls which can be super beneficial. You can learn about potential opportunities and also learn about companies in general. Also, look out for online workshops or speaker events. This is a great way to learn about the public relations industry and network with professionals.                                                                               
  • Watch the news with a PR perspective. Don’t listen to fake news, or spread fake news. Also, understand how the news is framed; take a look at headlines. Take note in what words they use often and what words they avoid. Read articles and try to understand why journalists write the way they do.                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  • Do your research. You have lots of time to research everything and anything you want. If you are a senior, research potential agencies or companies you want to work for; learn about what they do and how they do it. If you are a junior or sophomore and are looking into internship opportunities, research internship programs and highlight the ones that interest you. Another thing you can do during this time is research about the public relations industry in general; find out what agencies are doing during this time. Research brands that are taking steps to help people in need; research and discover brands that impress you.                                                                                                             
  • Practice some interview skills. This is a perfect time to touch up on that one thing that everyone dreads: interviews. I suggest looking up potential questions and picking one question a day. That day, focus on just that one question. Think about potential answers, practice answering the question out loud, and work on it throughout the day. And the next day do the same. This will add up overtime and benefit you in the future.                                                                                                             
  • Have a lazy day. Not every single day is going to be the most productive day you have. Some days are going to be hard and some days are going to be not so hard. Sometimes you need to lay back on the couch and relax. Tomorrow can be another day of work!

Applying Out of Your Comfort Zone

By: Isabella Antignani

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This past winter I had the opportunity to work with a healthcare PR, marketing, and health communications consulting firm right here in Newark, Delaware, Tipton Health Communications. They specialize in assisting healthcare facilities (hospitals) in strategizing their internal and/or external PR campaigns. Tipton also has a consulting side to it, called Magnet and Pathway to Excellence. With these, Tipton focuses on giving guidance to nursing programs at hospitals to earn either Magnet status or Pathway to Excellence. Magnet is a program created by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and it’s considered one of the highest recognitions in nursing excellence. Pathway recognizes healthcare organizations who have great practices where nurses excel. 

When I first applied to Tipton at the end of this past fall semester, I was worried because I had absolutely no experience in healthcare PR. I had seen their job posting on Handshake, and I wanted one last bit of experience before graduating (I highly recommend this), so I decided to just go for it. When I went in for the first round of interviews, I mentioned that I didn’t have any experience working with healthcare, however I knew it was a field that I was curious about. They reassured me that this was the kind of place that teaches you anything you would need to know, and I think that my enthusiasm and willingness to learn made a great impression. I’ve found that whenever you apply for something new or out of your comfort zone/area of expertise, if you show that you are willing to put in the work to learn, they will happily bring you on and teach you along the way. 

Because I went into this internship not up to speed on pretty much anything within healthcare PR, I knew that I would be learning every step of the way. That meant making sure I was always attentive in every meeting, every internship check-in with my supervisor, not be afraid to ask questions (even if they seemed small or dumb, I was learning after all), and to do some research of my own when assigned certain projects. 

I ask professionals now about their college experience and if they studied this particular career field. Many times professionals are surprised to see where their work takes them, but many know what they want to do and do just that. I ask them if they felt ill-prepared for their positions, and they just said it took a lot of catching up and researching. It just goes to show that even after graduating there will always be times where we still have to learn! Trust me, it can be fun when you’re working on projects and with companies you’re passionate about.

Top Seven Reasons Why You Should Go on Professor Bartoo’s London Study Abroad Program

By: Katie Coulson

Have you ever wanted to study abroad? Have you ever wanted to study abroad in London? Here are top seven reasons why you should apply to Professor Bartoo’s study abroad program.

  1. You get a hands on learning experience. On this program, you learn both inside and outside of the classroom. The main focus of the program is advertising and international public relations. Some days, time is spent learning in a classroom.  Then we would travel to a certain monument, cultural site, museum, or palace, and tie in our classroom knowledge to the site. For example, one class was spent analyzing tube advertisements. We discussed certain colors, certain fonts, and why certain advertisements were placed in specific tube station rather than others across the city. When I traveled inside a tube station that same day, I was able to apply my knowledge and analyze advertisements. I was able to personally see why a font was a certain way and why an advertisement was placed in a certain section and not the other. I had a hands on learning experience.
  2. You visit REAL WORLD agencies. Edelman, which is currently the biggest public relations firm in the world, was a highlight of the trip. While learning all about public relations and advertising, we got to visit, tour, and meet with FOUR public relations and advertising agencies. During our visits, we got to hear people with REAL JOBS and got to participate in activities that the company would actually do. The employees talked to us about their passions and day to day jobs, while also giving us advice about the workforce. It was a great real world experience which will prepare me for the future interviews and job opportunities.
  3. IMG_6683.jpegProfessor Bartoo makes the most out of every single experience. Many abroad professors can be boring. Professor Bartoo was anything but boring. On all tours, excursions, and class trips, she made sure to ask questions and made comments about how the information related to our class. She made the most out of every experience. She also invited us on other, outside of classroom tours that were useful and informative. She was a great resource to have in our hotel and I felt very comfortable going to her for anything I needed. She is excited for every single student and clearly cares about her students. Still to this day, I receive emails from Professor Bartoo about our London program and memories we made.
  4. You learn about more than just advertising and public relations. The two classes you take on the program are “introduction to advertising” and “international public relations.” I learned a lot about advertising and public relations through both of those courses however, I learned much more than that. I learned about the world. My friends and I had weekends to travel and we traveled to Copenhagen and Dublin. Traveling to these other countries, I stepped out of my comfort zone. I was able to see the world and experience a place other than my own country. I fully submerged myself into a totally different culture than my own and I am so grateful for that experience. 
  5. I got to visit cultural excursions I probably wouldn’t have gone if I was alone. With our trip, we got tickets to Hampton Court Palace, Westminster Abbey, Kensington Palace, Tower of London, and St. Pauls Cathedral. All of these trips were long days and full of information, but they were well worth it. I learned about English history in ways I never thought I would and I actually enjoyed learning about it. All of these places surprised me and I took a lot away from them all. 
  6. London is a great place to study advertising and public relations. I’ve said this many times but our program was able to take the knowledge we learned in the classroom, out in the city. We were able to analyze advertisements in tube stations and learn about how companies and brands advertise their products. With many advertising and public relations firms located in London, it was a perfect place to study. London is also a major international city with lots to do, all day everyday. We were able to make the most out of everyday and every experience we had. 
  7. The people. 22 people were on my program, which included Professor Bartoo and one program assistant. Many of the students are in the communication school, but a small number of students were other majors. Many of the other students had similar interests and similar career goals as me. This made the classroom environment better and easier to work with. While we were all similar, we were all from a variety of campus organizations and clubs. This meant that we had a lot of different backgrounds and were able to use those backgrounds to our advantages. I also made lifelong friendships that I not only consider just my “abroad” friends, but I hang out with them back on UD’s campus.


Overall, I highly recommend applying for Professor Bartoo’s study abroad program. I made many memories that I will never forget. I learned more than I ever thought I would, not only about advertising and public relations, but about the world and myself as a person. Professor Bartoo made my abroad program the best it can possibly be and I cannot imagine going on any other program.

Night with the Pros Recap

By: Sammy Chmara


This week, we had the honor of welcoming 5 Communication professionals from a group of diverse organizations to join us for a highly interactive and informative panel. The experts gave us a little taste of what their professional journeys have entailed and how they got to where they are today. They also gave great advice and tips for landing a job or internship. Guests included Janelle Mazur; Digital Marketing Manager at Dogfish Head, Nicolette Kerr; Global Marketing Communications Specialist at Agilent Technologies, Christine McCann; Public Relations Account Executive at Aloysius Butler & Clark, Keri Papili; Marketing Specialist at Wilmington University, and Scott Day; Assistant Athletic Director of UD Athletics.

Christine McCann handles the PR and Social Media at Aloysius Butler & Clark where she is also in charge of their seasonal interns. McCann emphasized the importance of maintaining strong communication with all of her companies teams in order to ensure the best possible deliveries to her clients. She said figuring out the best way to communicate with all of her clients is also crucial, as everybody has different needs. McCann suggested that student interns interested in getting invited back to work in the future should be in a good place with all employees and make it known that they would love to come back. She also informed us of how important it is for interns to connect with everyone from your company on LinkedIn, even if they’re in another department.

Janelle Mazur said she landed a job at Dogfish from tweeting at them to see if they had any internship opportunities. Since then, she’s done customer service and now is creating paid and organic content for the brewery’s social media sites. She says that one of the most important elements of working for a food and beverage company is paying attention to customers and making sure that her projects best fit what they want to see. 

Scott Day’s job with University of Delaware Athletics is fast paced, constantly on the go, and fun. He says his job handles a lot of different components; from coaches, to staff, to interviews, to marketing. He says from the media side, it’s important to remember who the target audience is. He also suggests that interns at any company are always willing to learn new tasks and take any opportunity that comes their way.


Keri Papili, UD PRSSA alumni member, talked about her experience prior to the higher education industry. She worked for Archer Group, where she did the social media for many well known companies like Wawa. She said she loved the collaborative culture she was exposed to in an agency environment. She said the most important part of her job was to look at competitor companies social media to see what they’re doing, and then try to work around that. She also talked about how important it is to network and stay in touch with professionals. Being in contact consistently is ideal, instead of just reaching out when in search of a job or internship.

Nicolette Kerr emphasized the importance of writing skills and how one needs to get their ideas across right of the bat. She is currently a global marketing communications specialist at Agilent Technologies in Wilmington. She said it’s important to get a sense of how your company writes and get any experience early on. She also explained how being an English major, she had little experience with science but still was able to succeed doing Marketing for a technology company.

Overall, all panel members were able to stress the importance of internship experience, continuous networking, and jumping for any opportunity you can get. We are so happy we got to hear from all of our panel members this week. We know that we were able to take away so much from this event!


My Takeaways From Agency Visits in London

By: Rachel Ornstein


During our winter session, I studied abroad on Professor Bartoo’s Public Relations and Advertising program in London. We used London as our classroom, and we were lucky enough to be able to visit four agencies during our program. Each agency talked to us about their work, as well as gave advice and insight in the Communication industry. These are highlights from each agency we visited.


One of Hunters biggest (and also their first!) clients is Tabasco, and the Hunter team shared that they were in the midst of figuring out how to promote Tabasco’s new Sriracha sauce to consumers. 

As an activity, they had us work in teams to help brainstorm campaign ideas to promote the Sriacha sauce! Some campaign ideas were an “Instagram worthy” pop-up shop, a cooking show with a famous chef creating recipes with the Sriracha sauce, and even a unique “Tabasco” airplane that provides flyers with in-flight meals with the Sriacha sauce!



To visit and tour Edelman’s London office was such a great opportunity, and we were able to meet with three professionals coming from different teams. We got to pick their brains about the future of the Communication industry and asked them questions that created a great conversation.

One professional we met with was involved in Crisis PR for a few of Edelman’s clients. After detailing us on her job, she played us a video of Kevin Johnson, the CEO of Starbucks, giving a statement on air after an incident at one of the company’s franchises made national news. We discussed the effectiveness of his words and delivery during the clip, which I found really interesting to be a part of.


At Mindshare, we got the chance to talk to team members who hold entry-level positions. While it’s great to hear from professionals about their experience, it was really refreshing to talk to people around our age. Specifically, they were previous interns who accepted a full-time job at the company. I found it interesting to hear from them, since that could be me in just a few years’ time!


PG ONE was unique to visit because instead of focusing just on Public Relations or Advertising, this agency fuses the two into one entity. The agency has Advertisers and Public Relations practitioners sitting across from each other since they believe it’s important to have these aspects working side by side.

 At PG ONE, we talked about how some of their clients have the same campaignsrunning around a certain time of year, but how sometimes, one might “need a break” for a year, and what goes into deciding that.

Studying abroad in London was an amazing experience, and visiting agencies was a great bridge from classroom to the real world. I highly recommend studying abroad to have a life-changing experience!

From Wingin’ it to Workin’ it: Making the most of Winter Session

By: Samantha Murphy

Finals are over and with another long break approaching, you’ve tricked yourself into believing the same mindset you’ve held time and time again- that this break will be different, that you’re really going to prioritize your professional goals. Fast forward two months later and you’re in full-on panic mode with an un-updated resume, zero summer job/ internship prospects, and a whole lot of regret!

No need to fear! Here’s an opportunity for you to reflect on how to get a head start on outlining your objectives and actually following through with them:

REVISE Your Resume

The long break is the perfect time to dust off your resume and see where improvements can be made before applying to summer jobs/ internships! Think about not only new positions that can be added but how you can leverage previous positions with stronger bullet points. Employers find it extremely important that your accomplishments are quantifiable.


Questions to Get You Started:

  • Did you edit a certain amount of articles throughout the semester in a leadership position on campus? 
  • Did you work with/ manage a specific number of team members for a class? 
  • Did you increase page visits/ social media engagement in a volunteer position? 
  • Did you secure a certain number of media placements with a pitch in an internship?

Take a hard look at where you can include numbers in your outcomes and be mindful going forward on how you can measure your success in future roles.

REVAMP Your Resume

Once you’ve polished your resume with more detailed descriptions, consider transferring all of your experiences over to a creative resume. Especially in the field of communications, hiring managers are looking for candidates that stand out among the pool of identical applicants, all with similar educational backgrounds and experience.

For this reason, it’s never a bad idea to have both a traditional resume and a creative resume on hand at all times. If you know that the position you’re applying for is seeking someone with more creative skills such as digital content creation, graphic design, or branding, you can showcase those skills before even walking through the door for an interview! 

There are many websites where you can find templates for creative resume-building, but I’ve found Canva Design to be the most user-friendly, customizable, and most importantly, FREE.

Hack for Finding UD Alumni

You’ve heard over and over the importance of networking in order to land a job/ internship, but where do you find these professionals and how can you convince them to spare you the time of day to answer your questions?

First, if you go to the University of Delaware page on LinkedIn, you will find an alumni section on the left side of the webpage. You can easily filter through the 133,000+ alumni on this page by narrowing your search down based on city, title, or company. The best way to utilize the search bar to enter keywords such as “public relations,” “communications,” “social media,” “marketing,” or any other fields that reflect your interests.

Once you’ve picked out a few alumni you want to connect with, find a good template that explains why you’re reaching out, whether it be information on their position, their company, their career path, etc. Good luck and happy searching!

A chat with the Executive Vice President of the largest PR firm in the world

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On Monday, November 11th, PRSSA-UD had the opportunity to hear from the Executive Vice President of Edelman, Greg St. Clair. Wow, what an honor! If you know anything about the world of PR, you may know that Edelman is the largest Public Relations firm in THE WORLD. St. Clair was able to share with us inside information about the Trust Barometer, a fancy name for a way to measure how the public trusts their brands through four institutions, Non Governmental organizations, business, media, and the government. This tool is dependent on the whole globe, not just the US. 

In 2016, there was a crash in trust and the mood of the public but in 2018 we experienced a battle for truth. There is now an expectation for brands to start taking a stand due to how important it is for people to buy things from brands doing good. For example, people want to see CEO’s of brands speaking out and discussing social issues. You have the power to determine where you shop, whether that be supporting Starbucks for banning plastic straws or boycotting Chic-Fil-A for donating to anti-LGBT charities. 

St. Clair shared with us that “trust washing” is a term for when brands use societal issues as a marketing ploy to sell more. When brands act on their words, they become more authentic. For example, Dove soap promotes paternity leaves. The public as a whole hasn’t heard much about this because they don’t braIMG_8211.jpgg about it. He notes that companies can engage on different societal levels including living their values and partnering with communities. 

St. Clair states the core of PR is a passion for writing and storytelling. He notes that it is imperative to learn the craft of writing. St. Clair started out his career working in politics and over time he developed his love for storytelling through content and visuals. This proves to us, as young professionals, that no matter what field you start out in, there’s always a chance you may find more passions throughout your career.


Why I Joined PRSSA and How It’s Benefitted Me

By: Sammy Chmara

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Before this past August, I had little knowledge about the Public Relations industry and what exactly it meant to work in “PR.” After the first few classes of my Introduction to Public Relations lecture, I immediately became interested with the field. I wanted to somehow gain more experience and expertise in a more hands on setting, besides simply sitting in a classroom listening to a professor talk about it twice a week. I did some research on what UD had to offer and came across PRSSA UD’s chapter website. I attended the first meeting where a UD alumni shared her story and career path with us, and I realized that these meetings were something I wanted to participate in more regularly. Even only after a few months of being involved, I feel much more knowledgeable about much of what goes on in the field of Public Relations. Some of the areas I feel much more knowledgeable in are:

Job Preparation. The workshops and skill slams that PRSSA has held in regard to preparing students to find internships and jobs has been extremely helpful. I have learned the importance of LinkedIn and how to structure my profile so that employers are more likely to view it. Tips for composing a strong resume have also been acknowledged in meetings such as what important information to include and what order to follow. Additionally, the interview process has been outlined guiding us with principal suggestions for how to get that next job or internship. I feel much more comfortable and relieved knowing that I have been exposed to workshops and skill slams that go over such crucial aspects of job preparation that any individual in the Communication field can benefit from.

Jobs in the PR Field. The different speakers that have presented us with their stories and current jobs has been very helpful. It’s helped me to learn about all the different job paths one can take in PR, and which areas interest me the most. UD alum Colleen Cordaro, a current social media manager for Anthropologie, shared how her prior Communication related experiences helped land her a job with such a big company like Anthropologie. Another speaker, Robin Lornfink, discussed her job as executive director of campaigns and strategic initiatives of CHOP and how one can work in health and hospital PR. The speakers who come in frequently have made me more aware of how PR is involved in so many different fields and that is needed in so many different careers.

Being a member of University of Delaware’s PRSSA chapter has been one of the most rewarding experiences within my college experience so far. I am so grateful that there is an organization on campus that not only teaches students about the PR industry, but allows them to participate in a hands on approach. I look forward to how PRSSA can continue to benefit me moving onward!

What does business casual even mean?

By: Nicole Vuong

Let’s talk about business…casual.

Depending on the industry, the company and the climate, the standards of how employees dress may vary. I’ve noticed in public relations agencies and other creative fields, they opt to a “business casual” dress code, which is more relaxed and flexible than the traditional pantsuit. This type of dress code gives employees the freedom to be able to dress in their own personal style.

Although business professional clothing makes people look so powerful and authoritative, it’s not very comfortable. We’re seeing more and more industries move toward loosening their dress code and I’m loving it. 

The tricky thing about this dress code is that each company has their own definition of what “business casual” really means. It also changes a lot depending on the weather. It’s something that consistently sparks up confusion in workers, those entering the workforce and myself. 

I’ve learned that there really isn’t a clear standardized definition, the only way to figure out appropriate business casual attire is to ask. Get advice on what to wear, and what not to wear, by asking those who work at the company and during the interview process. If you’re not totally sure if your outfit fits the business casual look, it’s always better to go with something that’s a little more formal than too casual. 

I’ve listed and linked some staple pieces for women that are similar to the ones in my wardrobe. I think these articles of clothing would create perfect business casual outfits and still make you feel like a girl boss!


Simple Blouse

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This champagne Satin Billowy Sleeve Top is a great neutral piece to tuck into any bottom, plain or patterned. Since this is a color that goes well with almost everything, you can create multiple looks with it!




Graphic Tee

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Depending on the environment, this Beatles Abbey Road Tee may or may not be appropriate. I’ve personally paired a graphic tee with a skirt or some cute pants at an internship and got compliments from my co-workers!



Patterned Blouse

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This Leopard Print Blouse may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s something in my closet because it’s bold and on-trend. I think wearing a patterned top, whether it be floral, stripes or animal, is a great way to show off your personality!



High-Wasted Tie Pants

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High-waisted pants that tie around your waist are seriously the most comfortable business pants you will ever find (let me know if I’m wrong)! They’re my favorite type of business bottoms to wear because they go with so many tops and I think they’re flattering on every body type.



Fun Pants

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I love incorporating different types of pants into my wardrobe, like these Slim Pull-On Velvet Flare Pants from Free People. I think it’s such a statement to wear pants with a flare at the bottom or in a different pattern or color that stands out. When I wear pants like these, I try to pair it with a dressier top to stay with a more professional vibe. (These types of pants are also so cute to wear going out!)



Midi Skirt

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I know it’s fall (and basically winter according to the temperature outside) here in the northeast, but I really wanted to include this Romeo Midi Skirt in a White Multi pattern. While interning in New York City this summer, I saw midi skirts everywhere. When I finally got one for myself, I realized why they’ve become so popular. They’re so comfortable and so cute, you should just try one on and see for yourself!



Slip-on Mules

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Whenever I put on my mules I feel like it definitely elevates my look and gives it a more professional vibe. I prefer the slip-on ones because I think they’re more comfortable, but there are so many regular and slip-on mules to choose from!


Lace-up Ballet Flats

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If you’re not into the mule style, ballet flats are a classic. I’ve seen some of my friends wear them with laces that can be tied at your ankle, like these Laffy Ghillie Ballet Flats in taupe from ASOS. I think this style goes well with a lot of outfits and I want to get a pair for myself!




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Since it’s fall and winter is approaching, having a good pair of booties for your business casual and regular closet is a must. When pairing it with your business look, make sure your heel isn’t too crazy because remember, you’re still trying to look professional!