Ivanka Trump is much more than just her famous father’s daughter. Over the years we have come to know her as a super successful businesswoman with multiple product lines, a lifestyle site and now a hashtag (that’s #WomenWhoWork, FYI) that we’re all following. We caught up with Ivanka to talk career advice, princess parties and interview tips you’ll want to remember forever.
Brit: We were checking out your site and you have some killer interns. What advice would you give an intern on her first day in her dream job?
Ivanka Trump: Dive in. Take your internship as seriously as you would a job — the people you meet and the projects you work on may very well pave the way to your future career. Endeavor to make yourself irreplaceable. Look for tasks that aren’t getting done, even if they’re tedious, and claim them as your own.
What is a common mistake you see people making in the workplace and how can we stop doing it?
IT: I see a lot of people early on who are afraid to ask questions. Ask! No one expects you to know everything — especially when you’re just starting out. Asking intelligent questions (nothing you could Google yourself!) will introduce you to new points of view and increase the likelihood that you will perform well on a given task.
You travel a lot for your job. Can you share a packing tip we should remember for our next business trip?
IT: I keep a go-bag pouch packed and ready to drop in my carry-on at a moment’s notice. It’s stocked with Well-Kept’s device-cleaning wipes, organic lavender hand sanitizer, melatonin drops, Josie Maran’s Argan Oil, Visine, Chapstick and hand cream.
What is your advice for someone interviewing for their dream job when it comes to what to wear to the interview?
IT: Wear something that makes you feel confident. If you’re pulling at your clothes, it’s distracting. You can’t go wrong with a simple, beautifully tailored dress and heels (I’m partial to the Ivanka Trump Carra pumps!).
Back to school is here! What advice do you wish someone had given your freshmen year self that you would share with the whole fleet of future business men and women starting classes this week?
IT: Have fun and keep an eye on the end game. The people you meet now, from your classmates to your professors, could become valuable professional connections in the future. Strive to develop meaningful and real connections — they will last a lifetime. Also, take advantage of your environment to explore topics you’re interested in; if you don’t know yet what you want to do for the rest of your life, don’t panic. Try something new. You will grow a lot in those four years; enjoy the journey.
Your husband has called you the “CEO of your household” — what does it mean to be the CEO of your household?
IT: It’s fully a partnership between my husband and me. We’re supportive of each other’s professional goals, and that translates to a really collaborative environment at home. I do deal with most of the family logistics though — I assume that’s what he means!
You have said that having children has made you more focused and efficient. Can you share a productivity tip we can all commit to memory?
IT: I do my best to clear out my inbox every night before bed. I find that I operate much more productively during the day when I wake up to a clean slate. I also make a mental note each morning of the three or four most important things that I want to accomplish, and I make sure to knock them all off the list early in the day.
This year, you celebrated your daughter Arabella’s birthday with a Snow White-themed bash (which was crazy cute). As a mother and an entrepreneur, how do you balance the princess parties with the mini-entrepreneur lessons?
IT: I, of course, would love for Arabella to follow in my footsteps, but ultimately, my hope for her is that she’s happy and follows her dreams. As a mother, I strive to expose both Arabella and my son, Joseph, to a wide range of experiences with the goal that I’ll ultimately find what they’re passionate about and help them make a career out of it down the road.
As #WomenWhoWork, we don’t always have extra time in the morning. What does your morning look like after your alarm goes off (and what time *does* your alarm go off?)
IT: I get up at 5:30 every morning to work out and meditate for 15 minutes. Then I shower, do my makeup and read the paper (the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal and the front section of The New York Times) before my kids wake up at 7:00. After they’re up, we have breakfast together as a family and play before I leave for work.
We’ve all been there: You have 10 minutes to get out the door. What do you do?
IT: When I have 10 minutes to get out the door, I focus on what’s going to make the biggest impact — usually it’s an easy polished dress, a gorgeous bag (the Hopewell Shoulder Bag from my fall collection is a current favorite) and a great piece of jewelry.
What is your go-to beauty hack?
IT: I love a good drugstore beauty steal — Aquaphor, ChapStick and Purpose Face Soap are all in my daily routine.
What’s the last thing you made that you were really excited about?
IT: Dinner with my kids. I enjoy getting them involved in the cooking, because it makes them much more excited about eating whatever it is that we’re making.
Will you be taking any of Ivanka’s advice or trying any of her tips? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.
(Photos via Ivanka Trump + Michael Loccisano)