Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Career Series: Intro

I’m so excited to start a brief little career series with you guys. I think my job search was pretty normal when it was all said and done, but I know during my search I loved to read other peoples’ experiences. There’s comfort in community, and when you don’t know where your life is headed, there’s nothing more comforting than knowing that other people have been there and survived it all.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to detail my job search: how I stayed organized, how I networked without having a network, and the biggest things I took away from the crazy processes. Today, however, I want to detail my background and how I got my job!

All throughout college, I wanted to be a journalist. People told me I was going to change my major from Broadcast Journalism - but I never did. (My minor, on the other hand, changed pretty much every semester, haha!) Journalism stood out to me because of my performing background. I wasn’t really exceptional at a lot of things but put me in front of a crowd or a camera and I would give a great show.

I also felt that journalism would give me a great platform to explore everything I was passionate about: fashion and entertainment news, sports, politics, and travel. I was 100% looking beyond the world of local news, which is unfortunately where you have to start before becoming a nationally recognized name, like Katie Couric or Oprah or Lester Holt.

However, my freshman year I applied for an internship with the social media and communications department at school. I didn’t get it (hello, I was a freshman applying for a senior internship), but the department invited me to be the freshman class representative on a panel of sorts where we would brainstorm ideas for relevant content. It was the first time I ever thought of social media as an actual career, but my sights were still set on being a journalist.

I loved all of the journalism classes I took, especially as an underclassman, but my passions and goals changed pretty fluidly. I started out wanting to be a sports journalist. I confidently (and naively) thought that after graduation I would be an on-camera reporter for ESPN covering college football. That goal led me to an internship with the in-house video production department at my school. While I liked being waist-deep in the athletic department, I hated giving up my weekends and working late nights almost always. Not to mention, I wasn’t very good at editing video and lacked potential. (Honest, but true.)

Then I took a media law class with a professor who shaped the way the First Amendment is interpreted in South Carolina. Inspired by him, I decided to research going to law school. (Lol.) Then I went on my trip to Oman and decided to forget sports and focus on political journalism and media law.

Conveniently, when I got back from Oman, the presidential election of 2016 was drawing closer and closer.

During my final semester at USC, I was part of a class that produced a live newscast every day during the week. Meaning that five times per week, I was an actual journalist for the first time ever.

And I hated it.

I was miserable. I felt like every creative bone in my body had been broken. I was terrible at local news because it didn’t interest me in the slightest. (And again, to be completely honest, I was terrible at it. But to toot my own horn, I was great during live segments, which is something that everyone was "jealous" of.)

What did interest me about this semester was political analysis and reporting. Ohhh man I could not get enough of polls. Of predictions. Of analyzing every word, every action, every debate and speech of the candidates. I ended up doing a few live segments where I compiled data and drew conclusions and I knew it was for me.

Unfortunately, like every other journalist on the planet, I was wrong. And the day after the election (and a month before graduation) I decided that it wasn’t the right time to hide my opinions and be an unbiased source of news, it was time to speak up and fight for what I believed (and still believe) was right.

This left me with a month before graduation to decide what I wanted to do with my life. And I had no idea. December was a pretty busy month: I graduated, went to China, returned, and three days later my grandpa had a stroke and passed away. The thought of applying for a job until January completely left my mind.

January arrived and the start of the new year had me thinking of the past. “What am I good at? What can I make a career out of? What am I supposed to do with my life?” And I have answers to zero of those questions, but those all got me thinking back to my freshman year of college and the social media panel I was on. I started applying for local internships in social media, and I finally got one at Imagine Media Consulting.

Photo by Frederic Cisneros for Verde Taqueria, an Imagine client. Talk about intern perks šŸ˜‰
It was a great internship for several reasons, but the greatest thing about it was that I was interning for a little over an entire quarter. Q2: March-June. This was important because I got to see results. At the end of each month, I looked at the data and impact on the job I was doing as an intern. And at the end of the quarter, when I put each month’s results side by side, I saw an impact. I saw that what I was doing worked, and that I was actually pretty good at it.

When I had a few weeks left at my internship, I started applying for actual jobs. One can only be an intern for so long, and I was desperate to relocate out of Atlanta.

I applied for over 80 jobs. I got a lot of rejection. I heard nothing back from countless companies. I flew out to interview at companies that felt like a waste of time. I had countless phone screenings and Skype interviews. I kept adding to my spreadsheet, and I kept getting no job in return.

And then, one week, I got 4 job offers. After months and months of applications and interviews and rejections and not hearing anything back, four companies decided to make me an offer.

I had a lot of qualifications in the job, and only one met the important ones. Out of Atlanta, creative freedom, small environment, safe and fun place to live.

I’m excited and nervous to start my job next week. I’m nervous that I will be a total let down. I’m excited to begin the new chapter of my life. I don’t know where this job will take me, but saying YES to new opportunites, new states, new cities, and new career paths hasn’t let me down yet!

P.S. Tune in next Wednesday to read my tips on staying organized throughout your job search!


  1. I changed my mind so many times in college, but finally found the path I love. It took trying out some jobs I didn't like and a leap of faith, that's for sure. Good luck in your journey!

  2. I went to school for broadcast too! Pretty much same exact story. And you will not be a let down! We all start somewhere, you will be great!

  3. The job search is so tough! So excited for you + your big journey ahead! Can't wait to hear more!

  4. I can't wait to hear more about your job and the whole process. You are such an engaging story teller!

  5. My degree was journalism as well, I loved it!

  6. What a journey! So glad you finally found a job that met your requirements and one that you'll truly love!

  7. Wow! What a journey! I feel like everyone should hangs their majors at least 3 times in college LOL. I went from biology and animal sciences to receiving a degree in fine arts! Talk about a 189! And I work at an IT.... makes total sense right? So glad you finally landed a new job!! Good luck!!!

    XO, Chelsea Godfrey

  8. I really really enjoyed reading about your career journey. I love that you can admit what you are and aren't good at (that takes self awareness and confidence). Congratulations on 4 job offers, I hope we'll get to learn more about the option you chose!

    1. Thank you! It was a hard realization but definitely a necessary one!

  9. I honestly love reading about other people's career paths too! I definitely feel you with being lost right around graduation, applying to 80+ jobs, and not seeing a result - the exact same thing happened to me after I finished grad school. Congrats on multiple job offers and accepting one that fit the bill!!

  10. It's funny how we think we want something until we actually try it and see it's not the right fit. Seems like you finally figured out what you're passionate about though, so I hope this job is everything you are looking for and more!

  11. Congratulations on getting a job! I feel like I can relate because I came into school wanting to do something completely different than I do now. I'm still in the same major (apparel merchandising) because I love it, but at this point, I'm kind of unsure of what I want to do after I graduate. Hope you have a great first day next week!

  12. Congrats on getting a job! I'm trying to find a job now :(. I have changed my mind so many times on what it is I wanted to do. I'm glad I can relate.

  13. I can't wait to follow along in your job search - because job searching is so stressful and crazy! I'm currently in my first desk job since graduating, but looking to advance to somewhere new soon. I can't wait to read your tips and tricks!

  14. Yay!! Loved hearing about how you found the things you like doing, that is so important and so excited for you to start your new job, congratulations!

  15. Congrats!! I wish you all the best with your new job!

  16. Great story! It always takes a while to figure out what exactly you want to do! Congrats on the job.

  17. 4 offers?! What a great confidence boost! Congrats on the new job

  18. I went to school for journalism as well, and while I initially went for writing, I ended up going the PR route instead and so glad I did. Congrats on the new job, I hope you enjoy it and find it fulfilling and rewarding. Looking forward to reading more of your series!

  19. This was such a fun read! I know a ton of people who didn't end up going for a job they studied, and are loving their careers! Congrats on your new job!

  20. I'm so happy for you that you were able to find what you love doing!

  21. I changed my mind 100s of times in my senior year! (I went to UNC by the way, our journalism schools are super similar!) I had spent all this time working with my student newspaper... but I didn't want to work in newspapers! I finally found the perfect thing for me... it all works out in time! I'm glad you love what you're doing and that everything worked out for you!

    xoxo, Paige

  22. Congrats on the new job!!! You're going to be great. :)

    xo //

  23. I feel like changing your mind is like a right of passage through college to adulthood - ha! You're on the right track now girlfriend!!

    Coming Up Roses


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