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

In Defense of Office Romance

by Cathy Vandewater  |  February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's day, Vault readers! In honor of this happiest (or most miserable) of holidays, here's a blast from the past-a little office lovin' advice from the authors of Office Mate, a book on "finding and managing romance on the job." We offer this point of view today because, for the whole rest of the year, we're telling you not to flirt with coworkers. You've already had it drilled into your head that it's not the safest idea, what with all the sexual harrassment seminars and... Read More >

10 Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid

by Cathy Vandewater  |  February 09, 2012

Dear Vault readers, You may have caught our post on Joe Maddalone and his ill-fated introduction email to Morgan Stanley's CEO. Well one person definitely missed it: the NYU undergrad who wrote this epic fail of a cover letter to JP Morgan. In a plea for a summer analyst position, the applicant mentioned his GPA as well as bench pressing abilities. The end result was so bad that a BofA/Merrill Lynch director forwarded it to his entire team with a promise to buy for drinks "for the first... Read More >

The Other Problem with Unpaid Internships

by Cathy Vandewater  |  February 09, 2012

It goes without saying that unpaid internships offer no salaries or benefits. But did you know that unpaid interns have no basic protections under labor laws? This is something a lot of kids learn the hard way. I certainly did. I once worked a completely unpaid internship for three months, mainly for one special reward:  a reference (upon successful completion of the internship) from the owner of the company, an influential film producer. Things were going great, until Intern... Read More >

Are Unpaid Internships Fair?

by Cathy Vandewater  |  February 03, 2012

Xuedan Wang, a former intern at Harper's Bazaar, worked for the magazine from August 2011 to December 2011. The position was full time, with hours topping out at 55 hours per week, but Wang received no payment for her labor. Now, the former intern is suing the parent company, Hearst, for a violation of federal and state wage and hour laws. Let's take a look at her case, and the current laws governing unpaid internships. The Department of Labor laws clearly states that an unpaid internship... Read More >

Depressed? Your Work Hours Could Be to Blame

by Cathy Vandewater  |  January 27, 2012

January's a depressing month. With a winding down of holidays as well as resolutions, we're seeing a double depression whammy of no fun and no motivation. Still, if you're consistently bummed out, you might want to take a second look at your work schedule. A new study has found that working more than 11 hours a day more than doubles your chances of depression. If you work for yourself or are the CEO of a company, don't worry-more control over your work helps you avoid this effect. But if... Read More >

Could You Work for Mark Zuckerberg? Plus: 3 Zuck-Worthy Tips

by Cathy Vandewater  |  January 26, 2012

A Facebook group--meta!--sheds new light on what it might be like to have what might be the world's most famous (and coveted) boss. Andrew Bosworth, a software engineer with the social media company, leads a "Bootcamp" to get new employees caught up with Facebook's code base. But, serving as one of the new hires' first interfaces at the company, he finds himself fielding just as many questions about the famous boss as the technical stuff. To speed the process along, Bosworth drafted a... Read More >

5 Tips For Finding a Job You'll Love

by Cathy Vandewater  |  January 19, 2012

According to the Labor Department, the number of Americans seeking new unemployment benefits dropped to its lowest level since April 2008 last week. The week-long dip-a decline of 50,000 initial claims-is the largest in more than six years. If you're job-hunting, this improvment in the market may signal a shift in mentality: that it's time to set your sights a little higher, from "any job" to "a job I actually want to do." Though time will only tell whether the drop in claims will affect... Read More >

Do We Prefer Male Bosses?

by Cathy Vandewater  |  January 17, 2012

The answer to that question is a very tentative "no," followed by a "maybe." Of 60,470 people surveyed for a recent study, 54% claimed to have no preference for the gender of their boss, manager, or supervisor. The remaining 46%, however, were a bit more divided: they preferred male to female bosses with more than a 2 to 1 ratio-with 33% stating they would prefer male bosses, 13% preferring female bosses. An interesting factor to take into account though: the majority of those studied... Read More >

Does Cold Emailing for a Job Actually Work?

by Cathy Vandewater  |  January 13, 2012

Joe Maddalone wasn't exactly "cold" contacting Morgan Stanley when he sent the CEO an email at 3:02pm the day after New Years. He'd already interviewed with the company for a sales position, and was contacting James Gorman, whom he hadn't met yet, to introduce himself. Here's the email: "Mr. Gorman, Hope you had a great holiday. My name is Joe Maddalone, and purpose of this email is to see it you received a letter of recommendation on my behalf from Mr. T Boone Pickens. It was FedExed... Read More >

Before You Quit: A Checklist

by Cathy Vandewater  |  January 12, 2012

Your New Year's resolution may be to do better work or feel less stressed at the office. But what if the only way to do that is to find another job? In a month rife with new beginnings, it may make sense to reevaluate your career and whether it's time for a change. Many of us, with our eye on a promotion or our 401ks, are surprisingly unwilling to move on, even if we're miserable. The reason is likely that change is scary, especially when we're hearing all the time that a job-any job-is... Read More >

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