First-day Nerves: What to Wear at HLK

By: Laura Harvey

The morning of my first day at HLK I was mildly paralyzed in my closet, trying to strike a balance between looking professional and artistic. I settled on a nice dress and casual, summery heels. 
When I arrived in the lobby of HLK, I was greeted by two of my fellow interns who had arrived even earlier than my thirty-minute cushion that I had allowed. They were wearing business professional elements like dress shirts and pants, but no ties. I felt okay. But then the fourth intern arrived in a full suit and a surge of anxiety told me I would appear too lax. 
Turns out, I struck a good balance on my first day, but I was still nervous. Here's what I've learned in my short three weeks on the job that will help shield you from any blush-worthy moments. 

On your first day, make an effort.
It will always look favorably on you to have dressed up rather than down, but our mentors made it clear that we could be more casual the rest of the summer. For Day 1, all you need is a nice dress or perhaps a blazer. Most people wear business casual with a creative edge on a day-to-day basis.

Know how to dress for the occasion. 
At HLK, the work environment is incredibly creative and ambitious. And the style follows suit. The agency is growing quickly but remembers its roots. The partners seem to really trust their employees to make the right choice when it comes to their work and their dress. But this means that you need know when to bring your A-game. That means dress nicely for client presentations, but on your own time, you can be comfortable. 

Bring in personal touches; it's okay to be funky. 
The fashion choices here are not cookie-cutter: personal preferences shine through. Artistic prints, Birkenstocks, and graphic tee shirts are commonplace. Being in the digital agency world means to be on the cutting edge of what's happening in media. Most of the people in the office seem to dress in a contemporary fashion that implies they understand current cultural trends. 

With these tips, you should be ready for your own first day at HLK. With this first hurdle overcome, you can focus on bringing your passion and energy into your work. And maybe on remembering your coffee.