Drake NYC 2015: 6 Essentials to Pack for Successful Networking Days

By Lauren Kassien

Visiting 12 New York–based publications in two days is hard — especially when you have to (literally) run up and down Manhattan to do so. Here’s what to bring to make sure you’re bright, sparkly, and ready to impress potential employers every step of the way.

Don’t forget:

Protein bars. There’s a very good chance you won’t get to eat from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on networking days. So skip the cute little Special K pastry crisps, and stock up on hearty, protein-packed meal-replacement bars instead. (When in doubt, look for snacks with bodybuilders on the wrapper — they mean business.) Pair one of these bad boys with an apple for fiber, and you’re guaranteed not to throw a hangry fit in the middle of the Hearst lobby.

Pro tip: Most protein bars are made with artificial sweeteners, which can cause uncomfortable bloating and gas. Stick to KIND or Larabars that are made with all-natural ingredients. A little sugar never hurt anyone.

A water bottle. Thirst can feel just like hunger, which will make you tired and cranky early in the day. Fill up your bottle before you leave the hotel, and sip on it all afternoon. If you’re afraid to take it out during meetings, don’t be. Believe it or not, New York magazine editors are people too, which means they also require regular hydration. Just be discreet.

Band aids. Blisters, paper cuts, and falls happen. Be prepared.

Mints. There’s nothing like greeting the beauty editor of Glamour with double-chocolate protein-bar breath. Pop a mint in your mouth before each meeting for a winning smile. Bonus: Stronger mints keep you awake and alert during the afternoon slump.

Moist towelettes. On the off chance you get to stop for street food, it’s not a good idea to be shaking hands with potential employers afterward when yours are covered in pizza grease.

Extras of everything. Somebody will forget to pack the essentials. It’s okay to be labeled the mom of the trip. Your friends will thank you.

Leave behind:

Your sleekest black pumps. Sure, it may seem glamorous to stride through the Cosmo.com office in your most grown-up pair of heels, but you won’t be feeling that way after six hours of wobbling your way through Manhattan in them. If you’ve gotta pack the pumps, make sure to bring comfy walking shoes to wear as you sprint from place to place. Fair warning: Schlepping a hefty pair of tennis shoes all day — and then remembering to change in and out of them — gets real old, real fast. Stick with just one trusty pair of broken-in flats.

Your resume and business cards. Resumes wind up in the trash, and it’s not likely you’ll have an appropriate moment to exchange cards. Save yourself the money and use LinkedIn instead.

Your expectations of magazine life in New York. From how to “make it” the city to the worst rookie mistakes, you’ll learn everything you want to know and more. Go in with an open mind, even if it’s not your first time in the Big Apple.

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