When 2020 started, none of us knew how different traveling, birthdays, holidays, family gatherings, etc. would be different. Heck. During my class trip to Panama and San Francisco, we didn’t expect the second half of our trip to be cancelled. It was the beginning of many Zoom and Microsoft Team meetings for my cohort. Fast forward to December 13, 2020, where we all graduated…virtually.
Though many are grieving losses this year, we learned to put forth more effort in all of our relationships. We’ve shown those we love that we DO CARE for them, whether it was more phone/Zoom calls, birthday parades, walks outside, etc. We also didn’t stop caring for strangers: employees allowing school children to use their WiFi to complete school, tipping extra to help service workers, using extra time at home to find goods to donate, helping at-risk populations with groceries, increasing support for small businesses and beyond.
Yes, we all didn’t see 2020 coming, but we managed.
This week I’m celebrating the end of my graduate journey. Thank you to all of my friends and family who checked in, encouraged me and helped me along the way.
Knowledge | /ˈnäləj/| noun | facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.
One of my former (and one of the most intelligent individual I’ve met) bosses told me something that resonates with me nearly 5 years later.
We were in a one-on-one meeting discussing future. During our conversation, he said, “ignorance isn’t always a bad thing.” I responded with cocking my head to the right and furrowed eyebrows. His response, “ignorance isn’t always bad as long as someone is willing to turn that ignorance into knowledge.” I’ve never heard truer words in such simple, yet effective terms.
We are the owners of our knowledge and it’s up to us to educate ourselves and those around us. We cannot let ourselves take everything we read on social media at face value. Don’t be lazy. Do a little digging. Who knows what else you’ll find during your research.
Earlier this year, I began my MBA journey at Northern Illinois University. A one-year cohort program. I’m working full-time, managing classes/group projects/homework, a long-distance relationship; and, somehow, including ‘me time’. But my classmates do not escape my mind. In a class of about 22-23 individuals, as least a third have young families (one with about a 6 month old son). People comment on how I’m able to manage all this…little do they know, I feel insufficient.
During my undergrad, I thought handling a 12 – 15 hour class schedule, a part-time internship, a part-time job, 4 student groups, and a life beyond all that was easy; I thought adulthood would be no problem…boy, was I wrong. I have no idea how my friends found time to have a full-time job while studying for our bachelor’s.
And today? Watching my classmates raise their families, continues to raise those questions. Hearing a child’s coo during an online presentation or listening to my classmates shuffle to mute themselves due to cries, shows what extraordinary individuals they are. Cheers to my classmates, graduation is only 3 classes away.
Have you guessed it? Internships is the topic. Why?
Internships provide real job experience and skills to be used in your first entry level position
Let’s be real: every entry level job (at least in the business/marketing world) require:
at least 2 years of experience (internships included, of course)
excellent writing and grammar skills
for marketers…a solid understanding of HTML, coding, etc…
experience in Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office and/or Google Analytics
a ‘can do’ attitude
willing to go above and beyond
willing to lose an arm and a leg
…and maybe a liver
You get the point. Post undergrad is a fight. Unless you are one of the lucky ones, where your internship has a full-time position waiting for you immediately after graduation, quality opportunity is sparse. There may be more job openings than working folks but
These days, a Bachelor’s degree is no longer enough. I, myself, have chosen to pursue a MBA. Why? I know I’ll need it in the future and rather complete it now than later.
As I approach my 7th month as the Marketing Coordinator for Egret Consulting Group, I look back at the path that brought me to this position. Over 6 months of searching, countless interviews and multiple staffing agencies – I received 5 offers and rejected 4 positions. But, I was, also, rejected from companies I adored and hoped to work for. It so happens, all the no’s I gave and received led me to an even better opportunity.
A job search takes patience. Don’t be afraid to reject an offer that doesn’t meet your financial, personal and future career goals. If a company tells you ‘no’, don’t let that deter you from pursuing other options. Thank the company for their time and pursue the next opportunity.
When searching for a new job, create a list of priorities. Research the companies you’ve applied to, accept the first interview invitation, review the interview’s conversation and decide whether to move forward with or move on from the position. Don’t waste your time and provide them the courtesy of saving theirs. During my search, this was my list of priorities (in order of importance):
Job responsibilities/expectations/tasks and company expectations/goals
Distance/commute from home
Distance/commute from my grad school choices
Benefits (health, vacation, etc.)
Most believe pay is the most important aspect to a job offer but the experience itself is just as, if not, more important (compensation package, of course, has to be reasonable). When an organization signs your offer letter, they’re investing in their future and are continuing to work toward their mission. When you, the candidate, signs the offer letter, you’re investing in your future. Your new employer will help you develop new skills and you will personally/professionally grow. Experience and pay work hand-in-hand. The more experience you gain, the more other opportunities with higher pay (and possibly responsibility) will present itself.
Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ but be open to new opportunities. If you’re on a search, best wishes!