Alana, Financial Markets
Alana is the woman behind the corporate blog Design Dingo and works in the Financial Markets Division of a large Investment Bank. She started the blog as she couldn't find anything which spoke directly to her. She wanted to read something to help her dress for more than just the weekend but also wanted to be inspired by real corporate women and see what they really got up to in a work day – not just where they went on holiday.
About Design Dingo
Tell us about Design Dingo.
Dingo is my baby! I began DD about a year ago when I was looking for some work wear inspiration for myself. I follow a lot of bloggers and whilst they all have great style, I could only use their influence for a weekend outfit. I couldn’t find anything inspirational for my weekday outfits… and so I started my own!
Why don’t you show your face?
Being on the internet makes me feel so uncomfortable. I would hate to be recognizable and given my day job, I just don't think it's appropriate. I much prefer a subtle profile and I think my followers understand that. I wouldn't say that I'd never, ever show my face, but for now I'd prefer to keep my anonymity.
Let's Talk Business
Where do you work and what advice would you give to someone wanting to do the same job?
I work in the financial markets division of a large investment bank. I applied for an internship while I was studying for my Masters in Finance. After the internship ended, I was asked to join the company full time and that was that!
I think attitude counts for a lot. If you can show a positive 'can do' attitude, people will want to work with you and you'll go a long way. Secondly, there's a lot of grey in financial markets so I think it's important to understand concepts and the broader picture of things rather than learning through memorization like in college. I see interns/analysts get tripped up by this new way of understanding and practical experience. Lastly, look around and ask yourself how you fit into the broader picture of the organization or division. If you can find ways to add value to the firm or those around you, you'll stand out to management.
Your Instagram features the New York lifestyle quite heavily - are you a New York native?
No - I’m Australian!
I worked in our Sydney office for three years before moving to New York almost six years ago. Prior to this, I lived in London as part of a gap year and I also studied abroad in Paris when I was post grad. Needless to say, I love to travel and explore!
How was moving to New York? Did you experience any culture shock?
I think it's natural to want to join a big center when you come from a small one. I asked my manager at the time to keep me in mind for any New York openings and low and behold someone resigned the following week and I was shipped over!
I don't think I experienced much of a culture shock but I will say that business in the US is a lot more formal. In Australia we chit chat before moving onto the topic of conversation. Over here, it's 100% business from the get go.
You’re very international! Have you noticed a difference in the way New Yorkers dress compared to Australians?
Definitely - the climates are completely different and you have to dress accordingly. New Yorkers wear a lot of black. My theory is that we need to layer a lot and it’s easier to do this in head to toe black. In Sydney, it’s very hot so people wear more dresses and bright colors to the office.
How would you describe your business style?
For work, I naturally gravitate towards simple aesthetics in neutral tones. I like a simple, professional look using good quality pieces. My ‘go-to’ uniform consists of a dark pants suit with a thin knit or blouse underneath. I’m also a sucker for silk shirts.
What advice would you give those dressing for a new job?
I think it’s most important to stick to your style and always play it safe. Look at those around you who you respect and take cues from them. Above all else, be comfortable and choose items that fill you with confidence. I also think it’s good to invest in quality staples and then mix it with high street brands.
As trends in the corporate fashion space I see full head to toe outfits in shades of beige, pearl hair accessories, poet blouses and suits suits suits.
Lastly, who is Alana outside the workplace?
I love fun! I really just love going out, traveling and being social overall.