Each fall, the Intercollegiate Business Convention, is one of the events I look forward to all year. Hosted by the Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business, the most valuable takeaways each year are the networking opportunities with both students and established professionals. As a member of the Executive Board for Boston College’s Women in Business organization, our group is always searching for stand-out speakers at IBC who we believe will offer experience and insights to our members at Boston College.
Our board determined Margaret Batting, President of Margaret Batting Image Communications, would be an excellent addition to our program line-up for the semester was. On a wintery Saturday morning, our BC WIB members assembled in Stokes Hall to hear from this petite President, dressed in a colorful shift dress, tailored black leather jacket, dynamite heels, and a bright necklace. Based solely on how fantastic she looked, I was prepared to take the advice of this well-dressed corporate image consultant.
BC Women in Business and Margaret Batting (Blurry yet Beautiful!)
Margaret went through many important discussion points in her presentation, including how to edit your closet, how to prepare for an interview, and how to make a strong first (and lasting) impression. What I most enjoyed about Margaret’s professional yet informative workshop was her ability to seamlessly deliver her content, while also taking specific questions from individuals in the audience. Each person has different concerns in the development of their personal wardrobe, and she ensured our members left the session empowered with the knowledge to take action.
After the presentation, I could hear WIB members discussing the points Margaret had brought up all the way back to Lower Campus. As I have been thinking about features for the blog, I thought Margaret would be able to offer valuable advice to my Styles I Like readers. I am, therefore, excited to introduce the newest series on my blog: “Mondays with Margaret.” Each week, Margaret and I will collaborate to put forth a new post surrounding personal image and wardrobe development.
Without further ado, here is my introductory interview with Margaret herself!
1. How did you get into the business of corporate image consulting?
After 15+ rewarding years spent working for Fortune 500 companies, it was time for a personal change. It was time to do something that combined my passion for fashion, teaching, health and well-being with my desire to inspire others to create positive change in their lives. In a nutshell, I couldn’t walk down the hallway at work anymore without making people over in my head, so I really knew it was time for a change! In 2008, I launched a corporate image communications business.
As a Certified Image Consultant and Reach Personal Brand Strategist, I specialize in professional image development and non-verbal communication (AKA what you wear and how you act). I work with mid- to large-sized businesses showing employees how to represent their company in the best possible light. In addition, I teach students, business professionals and entrepreneurs how to align their image with their career. Essentially, you want to look like what you do or what you want to do. I work with high- profile companies such as CareerBuilder, Bank of America and Staples.
Prior to launching my business I was an advertising and process improvement executive at Staples, Inc. in Framingham, MA. I worked very hard for a very long time for someone else. Now I work very hard for myself! I received my certifications from the Association of Image Consultants International, the London Image Institute and the Institute of Image Communications in NY (all while working full time)! I received my Reach Personal Brand Strategist Certification from Reach Communications Consulting and my Business and Dining Etiquette certification from The Emily Post Institute in Burlington, VT. I hold a BS in Mass Communication from Boston University.
2. What are your favorite parts of your job?
I absolutely love what I do for a number of reasons:
- I help my clients build confidence and see their hidden potential. I love the moments where it all comes together in an “aha!” moment.
- I help my clients recognize how their image impacts their success and that they have total control.
- I meet amazing people and have fun helping them achieve their goals!
I work with a variety of clients from college students to CEOs. Although business experience may vary, my clients want to present themselves in the best possible light. Whether they need the perfect interview outfit or a total image overhaul, I work with each client to identify specific goals and create an action plan to achieve them
3. Why do you enjoy working with students in particular?
I enjoy working with this demographic because they are very open to learning and are not yet set in their ways, like some of my older clients. Plus, the content I teach will help them in every aspect of their lives, both professionally and personally. I can’t tell you how many young people I see with great potential yet lack the necessary polish. Our world is overly casual these days, so I like nothing better than to see a confident, well-put together, polished college student ready to take the on the world!
4. Which of your services do you think would be beneficial to students or young professionals just entering the workforce?
There are several services I think college students would most benefit from.
The first is my introductory how to build a professional wardrobe and style that works session. During this three-hour session I will:
- Review your current seasonal wardrobe
- Identify 10 wardrobe basics and additional needs
- Show you what items to splurge on and which ones to save on
- Discuss the clothing styles that work best for your body shape
- Highlight the colors that complement your natural coloring
- Review accessories and how to incorporate appropriately
- Teach you capsule building and color coordination
- Create a shopping strategy and provide resources and a capsule building tool
- Follow up with a fifteen minute phone call to ensure you are on track
- Cost: $495
The second is my interview attire and preparation (beyond the interview questions) session. During this one-hour session I will:
- Create multiple interview outfit options: shoes, accessories, totes, computer bags, hair and make-up will be addressed
- Provide tailoring recommendations
- Take you through a brief mock interview from a body language perspective
- Cost: $175 (a minimal investment for maximum returns!)
Once you nail the basic skills, then we can move on to personal branding and how to ensure that everything from your visual image to your online presence communicates a consistent message.
For both of the sessions listed above, Margaret is willing to offer a 10% discount to all of my readers with the code Styles I Like. Thank you, Margaret, for your first post! I look forward to your next installment.