From College to Career

The path from college to career is something not a lot of people are talking about. Most college students know it will come around eventually, but what do you do when it comes? Here is my personal experience on the matter.

End of a Chapter 

Four months ago I was wrapping up my college career with my final sorority events, graduation parties, last-minute bucket list checkoffs, writing and presenting a thesis, and saying goodbye to friends. Everyone was celebrating the end of a great four years that nobody wanted to end. The next step was different for everyone.

Four years at college prepared us for our careers, right?

Some classmates had jobs lined up, others were taking gap years or going straight into graduate school, and a large handful were unemployed and unsure of what direction to go. Although we were all at different stages leaving school, the spirit was high and we were feeling optimistic. Four years at college prepared us for our careers, right?

I never thought it would be such a draining process to find a job.

After graduation, I returned home for a marketing internship at a local golf resort. The time at the internship was motivating and I learned a lot, but the whole summer I knew I would need a job for when it ended, so the search began. I never thought it would be such a draining process to find a job. I started to consider what path I wanted my career to take and what role I would succeed in. Although I wanted to do something in marketing, I had no clue what job titles meant and what I was qualified for.

Google became my best friend:

  • What are entry level marketing jobs? 
  • What job can I get right out of college?
  • What are the different types of marketing jobs?

While some of my Google searches were helpful, I still felt clueless. What did I want to do? My days were spent researching and refreshing sites like Linkedin, Indeed, and Handshake, polishing up my resume, and looking for the perfect role. Also, many jobs required 1-2 years plus experience which I did not have. It was exhausting, however; I knew I couldn’t give up, so I kept on searching.

Bummer Summer

During this time, I felt a lot of anxiety and uncertainty on what I should be doing. I was keeping myself busy with my internship and a part time job, but neither of these roles gave me a feeling of fulfillment. I wanted something that would make me feel needed and give me some stability. I was also pretty isolated from friends during this time and didn’t have anyone to discuss the frustrating process of job hunting with. To be honest it was a real bummer summer.

Things Started Looking Up

Then August came around and Summer was nearing an end. I finally landed an interview and I was ecstatic; however, it was my first real interview and despite all my preparation and practice, I was a nervous wreck. I didn’t know what to expect, and after the hour long interview, I wasn’t too confident in myself. I told myself it was good practice and that I had done the best I could. 

A few weeks later, I heard back that I was being offered a job. I felt like all my worries were swept away and I couldn’t keep the smile off my face. Everything was working out for me. I quickly started apartment hunting, which is a whole process in itself, and preparing for the job to start. 

This next chapter of life is uncertain but so exciting.

I am in my second week of my job and it’s going great. My coworkers are all extremely smart, it’s a little intimidating, but they’re also the most welcoming and supportive team I could’ve asked for. I am moving into an apartment for the first time where I get to create my own space. This next chapter of life is uncertain but so exciting. I see nothing but growth for myself as I venture into the unknowns of the workplace, living on my own, and taking on a new city.

Going from college to a career is a difficult process and takes getting used to discomfort, but once you make the transition it starts to feel normal again… with a lot of added excitement.

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