A pivotal moment will come in every college career. It’s called graduation.

Yes, graduation calls for a lot of anxiety about the upcoming future, but, hopefully, it calls for a great deal of excitement, too! At this point, you may have your first “real” job, and you’re patiently awaiting for your first day. You’ve mapped out exactly how to get there, how long it will take, and what you’re going to pack for lunch. Your next question? What are you going to wear?!

Transitioning from your sweatpants and messy bun to professional work attire is a big change, but don’t worry – Ashland University’s Fashion Merchandising program students are here to help! I’m going to give you steps to follow in order to transform your closet from slouchy college student to a sophisticated, young professional.

Step 1 – Cleaning out the Closet

The first step requires thoroughly going through your closet and tossing anything you don’t wear. Anything you haven’t worn in the past 6 months should get tossed or donated. Also ask questions like: Is it fading or pilling? Does it have holes? Does it fit well?

These are questions you need honest answers to. If it has holes, looks old, doesn’t fit well, is fading or pilling … toss it!

Step 2 – Start Planning Basics

Example of Wardrobe Basics

Example of Wardrobe Basics Created by Mariah on Polyvore

Basics are just that! Basics! These are the staple products of your wardrobe and the pieces you should invest in. These are the pieces that will tie your wardrobe together – you can’t have all patterned clothing, because nothing will go together. Basic pieces you NEED to invest in include:

Black dress pants

Lighter colored dress pants (white, khaki, etc.)

Black pencil skirt

Black tank

White tank

White t-shirt

Solid colored blouses

Black dress shoes

Nude (tan) dress shoes

Neutral colored cardigan

Black dress

Dark washed jeans

When buying or deciding if you have these items already, you must make sure these items fit well and are not fading. These should be items that fit you perfectly and are high quality. Spend some of your hard earned money on these pieces, because you will wear them a lot! I like to frequent the Limited for basics. Their styles are always up-to-date and trendy, but they still carry a variety of classic, basic pieces.

Step 3 – The Sizzle Pieces

Screen shot 2014-04-18 at 5.19.48 PM

Example Wardrobe Sizzle Pieces Created by Mariah on Polyvore

Some people only use the basics in their wardrobe, and they can seriously rock this look. Most people, however, want to add a little style and personality to their look. Isn’t it nice to see some flair in a wardrobe? I wear a lot of blacks and neutrals and even I get bored with it. The “sizzle” pieces are what will add personal style to your overall look.

It’s important to note that these pieces should make up about 50% of your wardrobe, but they should also only take up about 25% of your wardrobe budget. These pieces are usually trends or fads, and just because wide leg pants are in right now, doesn’t mean you will be wearing them next season. I like to shop for sizzle pieces at places like Forever 21 and Express – you can get reasonably priced clothing, even if you won’t wear them forever.

Sizzle pieces are eye-catching garments. They are pieces you can’t wear two days in a row because someone will definitely notice! They’re also going to bring out your personality. Big floral prints, bold colors, strong tartans, and crazy jewelry all help to define your character. Sizzle pieces are my favorite part of wardrobe building. One day I may feel very girly, so I’m going to find floral prints, lace, or bows to wear. The next day, I may be feeling tough, so I’m going to wear studs and red tartan. Style-wise, you never know how I will be feel each morning, so all my sizzle pieces have an equal chance of being worn. When shopping, the perfect sizzle pieces will stand out to your personality, and you’re going to know if it has to be in your closet or not! Don’t forget: we are grown professionals now, so watch for issues like skirt length and proper fit.

But remember, you can’t only wear sizzle pieces! You’re should pair them with your basic investment pieces. Also, remember your color palette when shopping sizzle pieces. It’s important to make sure your brightly colored blazer is still the right shade for your season! You can refer to my previous blog post here to make sure you’re heading in the right direction!

Step 4 – Pairing the Basics with the Sizzlers

Step 4 is the fun stuff – outfit planning! Because I’m fashion obsessed, I like to make sure I’m wearing a variety of outfits each day of the week. I like to loosely follow this pattern:

Mellow Monday: Keep it comfy, you’ve got a big week ahead! Here, I chose basic black pants, and a striped, loose-fit tee. Can you tell which pieces are the sizzlers?

Screen shot 2014-04-15 at 5.00.22 PM

Add a pop of color with a bright bag.

Textile Tuesday: This day is great for a play on different fabrics. Here, I chose jacquard floral fabric pants (these pants are a sizzle piece), and paired it with a basic cream peplum top.

Screen shot 2014-04-15 at 5.21.13 PM

Wacky Wednesday: On this day, I like to do a crazy pattern or fun shoes. Keep your co-workers guessing! Here I paired some crazy chartreuse pants and a striped tank with a basic cardigan and black booties.

Screen shot 2014-04-15 at 8.24.33 PM

Mixing prints is a popular trend for S/S ’14.

Throwback Thursday: I’m very inspired by period pieces, so I’ve dedicated Thursdays to using a small vintage inspiration. This outfit has a nod to the 70s with the bold print. Pair a crazy print dress with neutral shoes.

Screen shot 2014-04-15 at 10.48.50 PM

Throw on pearls to add instant class to any outfit.

Casual Friday: Hello! It’s Friday! Here we have quality, dark jeans with a neutral top and some crazy snakeskin shoes!

Screen shot 2014-04-15 at 11.19.56 PM

Only wear boot cut jeans with heels.

Choose your pairings carefully, but have fun! Keep your wardrobe professional, but don’t forget to be yourself.

Screen shot 2014-04-17 at 12.14.06 PM

Mix florals and studs for an updated look.

Screen shot 2014-04-17 at 12.07.03 PM

A tiny pop of pattern makes a big difference!

Screen shot 2014-04-15 at 11.08.38 PM

Big meeting? Choose classy, professional pieces.





Mariah Marshall is a senior at Ashland University, studying marketing and fashion merchandising. She is looking forward to pursuing a career in the fashion industry after graduation in May 2014.


Have you ever considered how many clubs are offered at Ashland University? Until I checked out Ashland’s website, I did not realize there were as many as there are. We, the AU marketing students, could help increase the marketing activity for various clubs around campus. Several current AU marketing students have considered starting a club for marketing majors where we seek to meet this objective. Not only could this help increase the AU students’ awareness of on-campus clubs, but it could help increase student involvement. In addition, parents of potential AU students could learn more about how many opportunities their kids could be involved with.

As a marketing major here at Ashland University, I think a marketing club would be a great addition to our program. To get such a club started, we would need an advisor (to make it official) and several passionate marketing students. There are plenty of students who like to be involved on campus, and it’s no wonder why – it looks great on resumes and helps you meet other students who share your major. Networking is important, not only during college, but also when you’re searching for that perfect career.

In addition, a marketing club would offer AU’s marketing students a unique opportunity to showcase the skills that they have learned in the classroom, which could help prepare them for their future and the real world. Marketing Professor Kristen Hovsepian stated, “with over 120 organizations on campus, some very worthwhile groups never get recognized and end up being kind of fringe organizations.”

First, members could gather a list of the current clubs that are active on campus. Every week during the school year, we could advertise and promote a given club. We also could also promote upcoming events that are being held by various departments on campus. Club leaders could email or tweet the club with the events that they want advertised. The club could focus heavily on Twitter promotion, since much of AU’s student population uses Twitter.

There are many different student clubs and organizations here at Ashland. A few that could benefit from the marketing club’s services are Society for Human Resource Management, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), and Psychology Club.

Society for Human Resource Management: 

Current SHRM members

Current SHRM members

SHRM is for all interested students seeking a job or position in Human Resources. As a current member of SHRM, I feel that it is a great way for college students to market themselves as well as their talents to professionals in HR. The AU student chapter is run by Professor Joan Kalamas. Although this club is pretty well advertised around campus, it could become even more popular with the help of the marketing club. Current member Sydney Tenyak stated, “I have really enjoyed getting involved in SHRM. It has been a great networking tool and I have been able to meet and discuss with many possible future employers.” 

Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA):

This is an organization for all students. While it was created for student-athletes to come together in worship, interact with other student-athletes, and hear The Word, it is open to all students. Fellowship of Christian Athletes meets every Tuesday night at 9 p.m. in the lower chapel. Joe Maggelet is the leader of this organization. Joe does a great job inviting student athletes that he feels would enjoy FCA. While FCA meetings are well attended, I feel that there are many student athletes who go all four years without every truly understanding what FCA is all about. The marketing club could help increase FCA’s brand awareness among AU student athletes and students in general.

Psychology Club:

Psychology is a popular major across college campuses worldwide. Although the Ashland University Psychology Department offers great programs, the AU Psychology Club can be difficult to find online. The marketing club could get the word out about what the psychology club is doing around campus. This would help students in other majors gain awareness what the Psychology Club has to offer and could even increase engagement with faculty and students in the psychology department. Again, this could lead to great networking opportunities for AU students.

Interested in a Marketing Club at AU?

A marketing club could benefit Ashland University in many different ways. It could benefit the current and future students by offering them additional opportunities for on campus involvement and meeting other students outside of their own majors. Professors could enjoy the increased exposure of their programs and clubs. Finally, it could benefit parents of students because their children would be participating in unique experiences during college.

If a marketing club at AU sounds interesting to you, contact AU Marketing Students at @AU451Marketing.

Taylor Woods is a Junior Marketing and Business Management double major. She is currently a HR Quality & Analytics intern at Westfield Insurance.

Shaune Skinner

Shaune Skinner

Helen Colon

Helen Colon











On Wednesday, April 16th Eagle Entrepreneurs, in partnership with the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, hosted a panel discussion titled “The Challenges of Women Executives.” Two women from NAWBO Columbus came and spoke to students about their experiences in the business world. NAWBO is the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Helen Colon is currently the Vice President of The Schumacher Group of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Much of her experience as a woman in business, however, centered around her twenty years spent as a trader on Wall Street. She went into business on Wall Street, she explained, through a personal connection her stepfather had with Carl Icahn. Ms. Colon talked about unequal treatment of women. She explained that even under President Obama’s administration women are making $.88 per $1 as compared to men. She also stressed the need to act like an executive and work on the business rather than in it. Ms. Colon talked about the importance of being prepared and also being involved in community groups. She emphasized that if you treat everyone with equal respect, you will get much farther.

Shaune Skinner is the founder and president of ASC Group, Inc. which is a cultural and environmental resources consulting company. Her start came from volunteering at a place where she wanted to work. Then when a position opened she was at the top of the list. Ms. Skinner emphasized the importance of taking opportunities and not letting others jump in front of you. She also explained that to run a business you need to “get out of the grass.” If you give up the small things you are better able to concentrate on what is important for the company as a whole. Ms. Skinner also advised to never burn bridges as you are unaware as to who will cross your path later in your career. Both women brought years of valuable experience and advice that was beneficial to those in attendance.

On Friday, April 4th, a group of students, faculty, and staff went to Progressive Insurance to tour their Mayfield Village facilities and learn about opportunities in the company. Founded in 1937, Progressive is the 4th largest auto insurance provider in the United States. In Cleveland alone they have over 9,000 employees, showing that there are great opportunities with well-known companies available right here in Ohio. Students, faculty, and staff in attendance learned about the accounting rotational program, the analyst development program, actuary positions, and internship opportunities.

In terms of internships Progressive has both winter and summer internships. They hire early, however, so if you are interested in an internship position there it is recommended that you keep your eyes open in the fall semester. You can locate open internship positions through the company website or through the career services center on campus.


Your first career

There are many directions one may choose to take his or her career after graduating with a degree in Finance from Ashland University. I will be reviewing several of the many career options.

AU finance students have the opportunity to learn in a state-of-the-art trading room.

AU finance students have the opportunity to learn in a state-of-the-art trading room.

A popular career choice is a financial advisor, who provides financial advice and guidance to customers. Financial advisors can offer many different services such as investment management, income tax preparation, and estate planning. They must obtain the proper licenses in order to conduct business with the public. A wide variety of licenses are available for the services that a financial advisor can provide. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) offers several different types of licenses that are needed by both representatives and supervisors. Each license corresponds to a specific type of business or investment.

While there are several licenses for specific types of securities, there are also three general licenses that most of representatives and advisors usually achieve. The Series 6 license is known as the limited-investment securities license, and it covers basic information regarding packaged investments, securities regulations, and ethics. The Series 7 license is known as the “general license”. This license is required to sell virtually any type of individual security. The Series 3 license is considered the riskiest publicly traded investments available and is normally used for individuals selling commodities.

Another opportunity for someone who holds a degree in finance is a personal banker. A personal banker is responsible for conducting financial services for individuals, including the processing of all new account transactions. A personal banker could also help a client decide which accounts would be the best options for them. Personal bankers tend to be knowledgeable about bank telling, vaults, safe deposits and dealing with lines of credit.

One of the most fast-paced career opportunities for someone who holds a finance degree is a financial analyst. The responsibilities of this job consist of evaluating businesses and their projects to determine if they are stable enough to be invested in. When considering investments, the analyst would normally examine the company’s income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. The main objective of this is to be able to explore a company’s past and to be able to use it to tell the future of that company in order to ensure that the investment is worth time and money. One of the most common ways to analyze financial data is to calculate ratios. This data is compared against that of other companies or against the company’s own historical performance. For example, return on assets (ROA) is a common ratio used to determine how efficient a company is at using its assets and can be considered a measure of profitability. This ratio could be calculated for several similar companies and compared as part of a larger analysis. Analysts can be hired to work at investment firms, banks, insurance companies, and as well as other companies. Investment bankers are often the go-to individuals for a deeper look at investment data.

Investment bankers may provide services to their clients such as mergers and acquisitions advice and advice on specific transactions, such as a whether to consider a spin-off or reorganization. In smaller organizations where an investment banking branch may not exist, the finance staff may be in charge of this task. Investment bankers are generally well-paid individuals, but these positions require specific skills in addition to finance such as excellent verbal and written communication skills. These are just a few of the career opportunities that are available for finance graduates. Ashland University helps its finance majors obtain the knowledge that is necessary to attain careers like these.

Kyle Roeth is a Marketing student at Ashland University.


Photo of Bfearless Boutique


Nestled in the heart of Amish Country, Walnut Creek, Ohio introduces the area’s newest fashion boutique as well as the largest Crocs outlet in the region. Bfearless is for every woman in search of finding her own, unique style, and owner, Tonya Schlabach, is making it easier than ever. By offering outstanding styles to fit all budgets and top quality clothing to fit all women, no matter what size or shape, Schlabach allows women to see themselves as God created them. Customers can also have a personal fashion and make-up consultant to guide them in making the appropriate styling choices that complement their body and personality.  In order to achieve this goal, Schlabach partnered with Rhoda Troyer, make-up and fashion stylist and owner of Rig and Company.

Bfearless team

Bfearless team

Bfearless is more than just a new place to purchase clothing, shoes, and accessories; it is a modern environment that makes the shopping experience fun. The team at Bfearless religiously seeks unique ideas to host special events for their community and customers including live music and fine art exhibits that add culture and “zing” to the community labeled, “The Heart of Amish Country.”

Bfearless In Your Marketing Pursuits      


Bfearless Facebook Marketing

Bfearless is located in a unique community, where it was risky to introduce such an outlandish boutique. But that did not stop Schlabach from following her dream! Schlabach feels that you should be fearless in all of your pursuits, and implemented this idea when choosing a location for her store. Yes, Bfearless is located in the heart of Amish Country, but what about the rest of the community? Prior to the arrival of Bfearless, many women had to drive over an hour just to find a reasonable outfit for an interview or special occasion. But the Bfearless offers a boutique environment close to home. Thousands of tourists visit Amish Country throughout the year for the amazing food, exquisite shops and boutiques, and most of all, for the experience of seeing an atmosphere they never thought could exist. Schlabach has given tourists from all over the world a trendy place to express their style away from home. She markets her boutique through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as constantly posts about new arrivals, promotions, and special events. Bfearless has held private events for other companies and even book clubs where they serve wine, delicate foods, and other refreshments. Afterwards, the ladies may go shopping at a discount. Schlabach’s latest marketing debut was the Bfearless Fashion Show on April 7, 2014.


Original shot welcoming fashion show guests

Bfearless Fashion Show

Who knew that Amish Country could be so trendy? It is not every day that the little community of Walnut Creek, Ohio can say they hosted a fashion show at the newly renovated Wallhouse Hotel. Schlabach thought this would be a great opportunity to showcase her boutique to potential and current customers and to introduce the community to the newly remodeled hotel. A local hair salon styled each model’s hair and Rhoda Troyer, Schlabach’s partner, was in charge of makeup. Before the show, Schlabach was promoting her business to her models, the local salon, the employees from Rig and Company, and the hotel. In order to promote the fashion show to the public, Tonya and her team used a variety of methods. They posted frequent updates on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to let their followers know about the details of the fashion show. To reach out to those who do not use social media, the Bfearless team created flyers and posted them at many local businesses. Bfearless also made an announcement on the local radio station about the upcoming event and even published an article in the newspaper. Needless to say, Bfearless was on top of their marketing game.

Bfearless posted this on Facebook reminding the community to BUY TICKETS!

Bfearless posted this on Facebook reminding the community to BUY TICKETS!


Follow this link to check out the great social media marketing tools used by Bfearless! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bfearless/517825551594312


Bfearless Model and Rhoda Troyer

Bfearless Model and Rhoda Troyer


Pure Gift of God

Although the fashion show was meant to showcase Bfearless’ unique collection, it had another purpose too; it was a charity event. Pure Gift of God is an organization for children who have been adopted and for those individuals seeking to participate in the adoption process. It serves as a three-fold support system offering information, direction, spiritual, and financial support in the adoption process. 150 guests gathered at the Wallhouse Hotel, feasting on wine, cheese, and other refreshments while waiting to watch the fashion show, and all proceeds were donated to Pure Gift of God. During intermission, adopted children and families from Pure Gift of God walked down the runway and were recognized. It was truly a beautiful, emotional sight to see such happy, smiling faces and to know that a local boutique could help fulfill their dreams.


Cheese, wine, and other refreshments served at the fashion show


Pure Gift of God Charity table at fashion show

After the Show

All in all, the Bfearless fashion show was a hit! After the show, all ticket holders were invited to a private sale at the boutique where all items were 20% off! The models were also able to purchase the outfits they modeled for an additional 40% off and were given gift bags with a $25 gift card, a clothing item from Bfearless, and a personalized water bottle. Effective marketing, social media and traditional, helped this event to be quite successful.


After the Fashion Show! Packed House!

After the Fashion Show! Packed House!


Be Fearless In Satisfaction

Bfearless is concerned with the satisfaction of their customers and provides consultants for not only apparel, but for makeup and accessories for a variety of personalities. They want you to see yourself as God created you and how God sees you. Just as Bfearless does in the store, the Ashland University Marketing Department teaches its students to focus on the customer. Many of the concepts learned in the AU marketing program are evident in Bfearless’ operations.

As Schlabach says, be fearless in your pursuits and let Bfearless help you do it in style! Be sure to check out this fancy boutique online!

Charese Scarbrough is a marketing major and business management minor at Ashland University. Charese will graduate in May 2014 and looks to forward her career as a Marketing Manager.


If you are a hospitality management major at AU, you can take a lot of interesting classes, including event planning, cost control, cooking, and of course, the infamous beverage management class! Wines have very diverse names and qualities, but how does one decide? There’s a lot more to wine than just sweet or dry and AU’s got the class you need to figure it all out. So here is just a taste (no pun intended) of what you can learn in Ashland’s beverage management class.

Types of Wine

The Whites:

Chardonnay- a typical chardonnay wine usually has flavors of butter and oak due to the oak barrels that the wine is aged in. It also can have characteristics of vanilla, tropical fruit, lemon, green apple, and figs. Chardonnays are usually full bodied, have an oily texture, and a deep golden color. Chardonnay’s pair nicely with chicken, trout, lobster, crab, scallops, etc.

Sauvignon Blanc- is typically a dry wine that has characteristics of lime, green apple, passion fruit, and white peach. Sauvignon Blanc can also have secondary flavors of bell pepper, jalapeño, gooseberry, and grass. Some Sauvignon Blanc’s are aged in barrels like a chardonnay; and thus can acquire flavors like butter, nutmeg, or cream. Sauvignon Blanc’s have a medium acidity and tend to be less oily in consistency. This wine pairs well with chicken, pork, tilapia, crab, lobster, and clams.

Pinot Grigio- a typical Pinot Grigio is a dry wine and has flavors of lime, lemon, pear, apple, and white nectarine. This wine often has a floral smell of honeysuckle and almond. It usually has a high acidity and a weighted feeling on your tongue like wax paper. This wine pairs well with fish, scallops, chicken, and spiced duck or pork.

The Reds:

Merlot- is typically a medium robust wine that has flavors of black cherry, raspberry, and plum. With some common secondary flavors of graphite, cedar, tobacco, vanilla, clove, and mocha. These secondary flavors come from the oak barrels that this wine is aged in for roughly 8-12 months.  Merlots tend to have an easy tannin (that dry feeling) and a smooth finish. This wine is somewhat on a chameleon because it pairs well with chicken, other light meats, as well as lightly spiced dark meats. It does not pair well with fish or leafy greens.

Pinot Noir- is typically a lighter bodied wine and has characteristics of cranberry, cherry, raspberry. It also has secondary flavors of vanilla, clove, licorice, mushroom, wet leaves, tobacco, cola, and caramel. Pinot Noir gets these secondary flavors from the oak barrels that the wine is aged in. This wine pairs well with salmon, duck, other rich meats, and creamy fatty cheeses.

Cabernet Sauvignon- is typically a much fuller bodied wine and displays characteristics of black cherry, black currant, and blackberry. It also has secondary characteristics of black pepper, tobacco, licorice, vanilla, and violet. Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the more complex and layered wines available. It has a higher tannin content (dry taste) and savory characteristics. This wine pairs well with things high in fat and umami (savory) flavors. Some examples are burgers, mushroom pizza, and marinated ribeye steak.

Wine Tasting: the Process

  1. The number one rule of wine tasting is to TAKE NOTES!
  2. Look at the density of the wine. Is the wine translucent? Rich in color?
  3. What is the viscosity? Viscosity is when after swirling the wine if is “sticks” to the sides or doesn’t run down the sides as quickly. It usually will have an oily look on the sides of the glass if it has a high viscosity.
  4. Swirl your wine for about 15-30 seconds and then smell the wine. This mixes some air into the wine to bring out the aroma. Then identify what you smell (fruity, floral, alcohol smell, etc.). Note: Do not do this for champagne or other sparkling wines, it will get rid of all the bubbles.
  5. Then taste the wine. You want to inhale as you sip and then hold the wine in your mouth swishing and “chomping” down on the wine a little making sure the wine touches all the different parts of your tongue. Then identify the different things you are tasting (i.e. sweet, dry, fruity, bitter, oaky, moldy, etc.).
  6. Repeat step 5 until you feel you’ve identified all the flavors and move onto the next wine. You always want to start with the driest wine and move onto the sweeter wines as you go.

How to Read a Wine Label Being able to read a wine label is a necessity if you’re going to explore the world of wine. The label tells you many things, including where the wine came from and what type it is. It also tells you a lot of other things like how sweet the wine is going to be, what the flavors of that wine are going to be and even what the weather was like that year. The vintage of the wine will be on the bottle and depending on if there was a lot of sun, rain, or heat that year will tell you what the flavor is going to be. This is very advanced for the beginner, but you still must be able to identify what the kind of wine is so you can pick what you know you like or what sound appealing to you. Learn how to read the two most common types of wine labels.

Old World Label

Wine Label


New Wold Label 

wine label 2


You can learn all this and more in Ashland University’s Beverage Management class. This class focuses on the safe service and management of alcohol. Not only will you gain valuable knowledge, but you will also obtain a ServSafe alcohol Service certificate and get hands on engagement in the classroom. Students must be at least 21 years old in order to take the class and will learn how to correctly identify someone and what kinds of IDs are acceptable, how to tell when alcohol service should be terminated, how to correctly set up a bar to best serve different kinds of events, and how to manage the amount of alcohol that go into various drinks so that guests are not over-served. For more information about this class, please contact Professor Roberson by email at rrobers1@ashland.edu. Or register online, search for HSM 430.


Elizabeth Papantonio is currently a Senior at Ashland University who is double majoring in hospitality management and marketing. She is currently the president of the N.S.M.H. club on campus and an active member of Phi Mu Sorority. She has accepted a job in her field with EcoLab pending graduation.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 49 other followers