Cathy Vandewater

Cathy is an associate producer for Vault.com. A writer, editor, and former serial intern, she earned her BFA in Writing from Pratt Institute.


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All Posts by Cathy Vandewater

Women: For Greater Productivity, Lean Away—From the Mirror

by Cathy Vandewater  |  February 18, 2014

"Complete a pre-MBA course at Oxford Business School, become proficient at a musical instrument or learn another language." According to Tracey Spicer during her recent TED talk, that's what women could do with the 3,276 hours they currently spend grooming for work. Oh, and if they groom too much, they might need those extra hours for a second job: "If a woman doubles her grooming time, her earnings decrease on average 3.4 per cent," Spicer says. "That's because it's a non-market activity,... Read More >

Better Interview Skills? There's an App for That!

by Cathy Vandewater  |  December 19, 2013

The future is officially here: the year is 2013, and computers can now teach you how to be a warm, engaging human. Us+, a new art project-slash-app, seeks to take the bugs out of IRL communication. Emotionally tone-deaf? Whiny and rambling? Passive aggressive? Us+ knows all your issues, and, unlike your best friend or your interviewer, isn't afraid to tell you. The revolutionary new program works with Google+, monitoring your conversations (including the more sophisticated aspects of... Read More >

Adjusted Expectations: 5 Women on Big Law, 12 Years Later

by Cathy Vandewater  |  November 14, 2013

Five women, all embarking on law careers at Debevoise & Plimpton, reflected on "ambition, leadership and success" for the September 9th, 2001 issue of the New York Times. Unsurprisingly, they sounded confident, modern, full of energy, and boundlessly optimistic about their career possibilities as women in a male dominated field-especially at the high levels they aspired to. That was 12 years ago. Has big law changed? Has "lean in" had an effect on the way women think about "having it... Read More >

This Biglaw Memo Sounds Very "Mean Girls"

by Cathy Vandewater  |  October 31, 2013

Sometimes, the most sexist and oppressive environments for women are created by, well, other women. Though this memo from a women's committee that recently circulated a top law firm does not enforce rules against vests or wearing a color other than pink on Wednesdays, its insulting level of micromanagement feels just as extreme. A few choice excerpts: -"Wear a suit, not your party outfit" -"Don't dress like a mortician; if wearing a black suit, wear something bright." -"Make sure you... Read More >

No More Unpaid Internships for Conde Nast

by Cathy Vandewater  |  October 28, 2013

It's the end of an era: publisher Conde Nast is ending its internship program in 2014, making this batch of (unpaid) interns its last. The change has come about after two former interns sued the publisher in June 2013, but ironically, it seems that those most upset by the end of the program are the prospective interns themselves. Just goes to show how programs like this can continue to exist while flouting labor laws: there is an endless supply of impressionable, eager-to-break-in 18... Read More >

Worst Follow-Up Email of All Time?

by Cathy Vandewater  |  October 16, 2013

Ready to feel great about your professional etiquette? Then read this follow up letter from University of Wisconsin student to a recruiter he met at a networking event. And keep in mind, he's seeking employment: "Subject: Question Hey REDACTED, We talked a couple weeks back at the UW-Milwaukee accounting night. (I was the one looking for equity research positions and had a zit on my lip that could have passed for a cold sore. Lol. Whew. It was not. You're probably like, "uh.. What?" Maybe... Read More >

Get Your Interviewer to Like You: 9 Hacks

by Cathy Vandewater  |  October 15, 2013

You know it's key for your interviewer to like you, but how do you win them over? If you've ever acted super friendly only to see if fall flat, or tried being ultra-confident to a chilly reception, you'll know that one approach never fits all. The key may be to come to your interview adaptable--observant and responsive to your interviewer's cues, and ready to act (or react) accordingly. Here are a few ways you can get on their wavelength: 1. Repeat what you hear Or, at least their last... Read More >

Employer Strikes Back: When Companies Respond to Public Resignations

by Cathy Vandewater  |  October 03, 2013

You've probably seen the viral video of Marina Schifrin, a video editor at Taiwan's Next Media Animation, interpretive dancing her way out of a job. Still at the office at 4:30am (!!), she made a movie of herself dancing around the office to Kanye West's "Gone" while subtitles documented her grievances. Among them? That her boss was more concerned with quantity than quality, that her deadlines and workload were unreasonable, and that "views" for the videos were all the company cared... Read More >

Change Your Thoughts—Change Your Career?

by Cathy Vandewater  |  September 24, 2013

Could "faulty" thinking be sabotaging your climb up the career ladder? The narrative voiceover your mind plays for you can color everything, if you let it--at least that's the reasoning behind the book Change Your Thinking, and something called "cognitive behavior therapy," an evidence-based treatment method used by clinical psychologists worldwide to treat anxiety, phobias, and yes, self-defeating thought patterns that can hold you back in life and at work. Many people consider success a... Read More >

Why We Should Probably Give Gen Y a Break

by Cathy Vandewater  |  September 16, 2013

So yet another article/listicle/infographic has come out railing against the collective naivete and entitlement of Generation Y. But Wait Why, via Huffington Post, illustrates in a comic why Generation Y is unhappy (hint: it's because of all the naivete and entitlement). But while the logic is sound (high expectations + tough reality=dissatisfaction), the storyline of the clueless, narcissistic 20-something leaves out some key factors, like cultural changes, marketplace changes, and the... Read More >

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