By Julie Earle-Levine

Need extra elves for the holiday season?

Three business-savvy women know it, and are targeting busy New Yorkers with QuadJobs.

The Web site connects local employers with college and grad students who need extra work and can be hired to wrap presents, pick up toys from stores, prepare for parties and babysit.

Betsy O’Reilly, a former managing director at Deutsche Bank; Andra Newman, formerly head of recruitment at J. Crew; and Bridie Loverro, founder of Blue State Coffee, launched Quadjobs last year with an initial seed round of $750,000.

They are all mothers with children and say they realize the value of hiring local help to ease the holiday workload.

Users now book through the Web site, and next month they will be able to do it through an app.

The Greenwich, Conn.-based company’s pool of workers include students from Columbia, Barnard, NYU and FIT.

The co-founders say the holiday season spikes with differing needs on both sides of the marketplace — students need extra cash, and New Yorkers need extra help.

Right now they have 4,500 job postings, and say they are on track to create 10,000 job postings for students by year’s end.

They recently made it free to post to employers (previously it was $8.95 a month to subscribe and post unlimited jobs) and say this has led to a spike in job postings.

New York and the metropolitan area is their No. 1 market, but they have expanded to Columbus, Ohio, and Chicago and are targeting Philadelphia, Boston, Minneapolis and Atlanta in the next year.


This article was originally published on the New York Post on November 28, 2015.


Take a glance at your desk. If you’re like, well, everyone, you’ve got a few stacks of paper, a cup jammed with pens, and some leftover lunch keeping you company as you work. Open a drawer and there’s a dusty collection of business cards stuck next to menus and a stapler (so that’s where the stapler went). Look underneath and you’ll probably spot a broken umbrella and a pair of shoes—that don’t even belong to you.

I get it: You get to the office each morning and dive right in. Organizing your workspace sounds lovely, but never seems to rank “mission critical” on your day’s busy schedule.

Well, maybe it should. Work is where we spend the bulk of our waking hours—and yet most of us put little thought or effort into creating a space that inspires creativity and boosts productivity. Here are four ways to transform your workspace in ways that you’ll benefit from every hour of the day.

1. Organize Your Papers

Repeat after me: Less is more. In the age of Dropbox, inexpensive scanners, and email, there are very few documents that merit keeping. Whittle your files down to what you really, truly need—and you’ll never look back.

Need help in figuring out what you really need? Marie Kondo, author of the mega-bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up:The Japanese Art of Decluttering ,suggests a minimalist filing system that divides paperwork into three categories: needs attention (for example, invoices that need to be paid), should be saved forever (such as contractual agreements), and should be saved for short term (that research you’ve gathered for an upcoming presentation).

Your goal is to keep the “needs attention” folder empty and the long-term and short-term “save” folders as pared down as you can. Having less paperwork staring you in the face will allow you to more readily focus on the work that needs your immediate attention.

2. Get Rid of Extra Supplies

The next step is to take inventory of your actual desktop. Before you start moving things around, close your eyes and make a quick list of the supplies you need at your fingertips daily. In my case, it boils down to a few pens (not 20!), one pad of Post-its (not 10!), and my go-everywhere notebook that holds my to-do list and every waking thought (not three spare legal pads!). Then there are the items that I use less frequently: a stapler, a dry erase marker and eraser, some extra plastic sleeves that I use for filing, my business cards, and stationery.

Once I spent a moment thinking about what I actually use and need, it was surprisingly easy to rid my space of all the extra stuff that had accumulated over time: the excessive pens and Post-its, the dusty label maker, the highlighters in every color, the three rolls of Scotch tape (When was the last time I needed tape at work?). These extra supplies found a new home in the shared company supply closet, which is within reach in case I never needed them. (Spoiler alert: I haven’t yet.)

3. Make it Easy to Keep Your Desk Clean

Simple but true: If you keep basic cleaning supplies and a trash can at arm’s reach you’ll be more likely to develop the habit of straightening up. If you have to traipse down the hall to get paper towels, or borrow a neighbor’s cleaning spray, you’ll do it less often. I’d recommend keeping a small box under your desk that has the essentials, such as a spray or wipes and paper towels.

Oh, and beware of desk organizers that hold tons of products you rarely use. (After all, you just finished storing the non-essentials!) Instead, go for small pen or pencil holders and shallow file organizers.

4. Own Your Space

Once your space is clean, neat, and looking new—you can make it your own. But this time around, instead of personalizing it with piles of clutter, make it a place you look forward to spending time.

A few ideas, inspired by my own co-workers:

If you’re stuck on how to personalize, check out these awesome and unique desk accessories.
Cleaning your desk sounds like a pretty boring to-do list item. However, on top of how a super-organized workspace will make you feel, there’s the added benefit of how it makes you look: pulled-together, organized, and ready to tackle whatever the day brings. And that’s exactly how everyone who walks by your desk should see you.


Andra Newman is a co-founder of QuadJobs, former head of college recruitment for Abercrombie & Fitch + J.Crew, and a regular contributor to Teen Vogue. This article was originally published on

Are you struggling over your choice of major, and not sure how the choice might affect your future career? Here’s the bottom line from someone who spent 15 years recruiting college students to various companies: Hot job candidates come from almost every major. History majors end up on Wall Street. Economics majors work at Teen Vogue. Your work experience during college, GPA, personal talents, and plate of extracurricular activities are all the factors that go into the success of your first job search. So don’t stress too much about how your major might affect your future career. Although there are professions in which it’s better to commit early — doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and engineers, for example — most students have a broader range of options and more time to come to a conclusion than they think. So if you’re finishing another semester in college, and you still haven’t decided on which college major to marry, here are a few questions to ask as you make this decision:

What area of study genuinely captures your interest?

When have you felt the greatest tugs of curiosity? How do you spend your free time? Choosing a major that excites you has practical benefits: You’re more likely to graduate with a higher GPA and create more engaged relationships with your professors and department. “The tough idea for students today to grasp is that they can choose to study something they are passionate about, an academic area they love, without knowing what vocational path that might lead to,” says Carmen Varejcka-McGee, an academic adviser at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “Many students get stuck on the idea that they have to have a clear vocational goal in order to choose a major.”

What is your return on investment?

Will your major affect how much money you earn down the line? Studies suggest that there’s less correlation than you might assume. A study from Payscale, Inc. found that history majors who pursued careers in business ended up earning, on average, just as much as business majors. Similarly, University of Texas at Austin professor, Daniel Hamermesh, researched career earnings data sorted by choice of major and concluded that “perceptions of the variations in economic success among graduates in different majors are exaggerated.”

Can you separate your goals from the goals other people have for you?

Chances are, your parents and other guiding forces have an opinion about what you should major in. They mean well — but that doesn’t mean you should necessarily heed their advice. Take a look at the letter one Brown University student received after deciding to major in Classics:

*My dear son,

I am appalled, even horrified, that you have adopted Classics as a major. As a matter of fact, I almost puked on the way home today… I am a practical man, and for the life of me I cannot possibly understand why you should wish to speak Greek. With whom will you communicate in Greek? In my opinion, it won’t do much to help you learn to get along with people in this world. I think you are rapidly becoming a jackass, and the sooner you get out of that filthy atmosphere, the better it will suit me.*

Yikes. Thankfully, the recipient of the letter — Ted Turner, billionaire and founder of CNN — didn’t seem to let the criticism take him down too much. Listen to what others have to say. They may have advice that really helps you, but at the end of the day you have to own your own vision for your life.

Are you rushing into a decision?

Students often feel pressure to come to a quick conclusion about their major — before even giving themselves a chance to sample some range of classes. At Penn State, 80% of freshmen — even those who have declared a major — say they are uncertain about their choice, and half will change their minds after they declare, sometimes more than once. Some schools are allowing students to declare “exploratory” as their major, thus giving them time to play the field before settling down. Focus your early semesters on testing out a few areas of interest, rather than committing earlier than you need to and wishing you could reverse later.


Andra Newman is a co-founder of QuadJobs, former head of college recruitment for Abercrombie & Fitch + J.Crew, and a regular contributor to Teen Vogue. This article was originally published on


We get it. You’re slammed with exams, parties, and commitments to friends and family. But working during the school year is a surefire way to ensure that you set yourself up for success once you graduate. Working during your academic career is one of the best things you can do for your future career, your debt level, and your academic performance.

And if you think you’re too busy to take on an after-school job, think again. With national student loan debt quickly exceeding $1 trillion and unemployment rates for recent college grads dauntingly high, it might be more important than ever to start adding items to your resume sooner rather than later.

Here are six reasons to consider:

Your GPA will thank you.

Ten to 20 hours is the sweet spot for those who can afford to limit their hours. Studies show that students with this work-school balance have higher average GPAs and better retention.

You’ll learn to manage your time better.

The adage is right: If you need something done, give it to a busy person. Working while in school teaches invaluable time management skills that will serve you down the line. “I find that the more I do, the better I am at managing my time,” said Sandra Jodelka, a senior at the University of Bridgeport who is majoring in exercise science. “I find I’m just more on it when I’m squeezing work into my weekly schedule. I have to be more efficient when I have less time — so I am.”

You can try it, before you buy it.

Ideally, students gain three things from college employment: income, experience, and an expanded network. College jobs are a great way to experiment with career options, getting a taste for what different jobs might be like. “I always thought I wanted a career in broadcast journalism,” said Grace Clark, a Fordham University graduate who is now an RN at Boston Children’s Hospital. “I spent time in college working for various news outlets, learning more about the industry. While I enjoyed it, it ultimately didn’t feel like a long-term fit. I was glad to discover that early, before I even graduated from college.”

You never know whom you’re going to meet.

Networking is also crucial to the job search process as you approach graduation. If you work, you have the opportunity to connect with multiple employers and their staff for a range of jobs. “Although most of my jobs have been ‘manual labor’ so far —moving furniture, assembling shelves — employers have naturally turned to ‘what I’m doing next year,’” said Kyle Huben, a senior at Fairfield University. “The insights and guidance I’ve received in this casual way have been incredibly helpful.”

Money is fun.

This one is pretty obvious, but having some income allows you to make the most of your college experience… such as the spring break trip your roommates started talking about in September.

You’ll impress future employers.

Whether you have a blue-chip internship, glamorous summer job, or a scrappy one waiting tables and tidying stockrooms, future employers will deem you way more exciting, dependable, and mature than someone who has no work experience on their resume when graduating from college. One of the top things on every employer’s list is someone with a strong work ethic.


Andra Newman is a co-founder of QuadJobs, former head of college recruitment for Abercrombie & Fitch + J.Crew, and a regular contributor to Teen Vogue. This article was originally published on