The Transition: School to Work


Finishing my last semester as a Fine Arts student at Metro State (now Metro State University - how awesome?), balancing a job and personal life plus trying to predict the unknown after graduation was overwhelming, as it is for many. My secret? Positivity. Not once did I doubt my ability to get a foot in the door. I made a conscious attempt to never rush the process and let things fall into place as they should. With a solid internship in place, I took time to search for upcoming jobs, focus on my thesis and get outside to clear my head.

Chill Out: These are your last moments in the best time of your life. Enjoy the small things, be appreciative to even be in school, and get a little crazy over graduation weekend— you deserve it!

When the excitement settled and the snow fell, so did the reality of not having a secure job. Prepared for this transition, I enjoyed every moment and told myself that this break is necessary for my sanity and an excellent opportunity to tackle my personal to-do list: crafts, cooking, running & sleeping. I will mention I spent 2-3 hours a day searching the world wide web for job openings that related to marketing, design or communications.

While On the Hunt: Make a list of your REAL skills as well as things you enjoy doing. DON’T read EVERY post on Craigslist, but DO make the process entertaining. Tailor your resume to each job and spend time making your cover letter unique to the company you are applying to.

When I received an email from Elevated Third for a phone interview, I totally over-prepared and made a list of relevant attributes and questions. I didn’t even glance at it during the call. Why? Because I was intent on listening and having a conversation with my future employer (optimistic? Yes, always). BOOM. A few weeks later I landed an in-person.

When On the Phone: Isolate yourself from your roommate’s techno, and avoid breathing like Darth Vader. Focus on relating your skills to topics your employer brings up, not just ranting about how awesome you are.

I prepared for the interview, but reminded myself to, well, be myself (with a filter— cursing during interviews is a no-no). I entered the door with the mentality of having a meeting with a professor or mentor. After all, employers just want to get to know you and make sure you will mesh with the team.

It’s 2012 for Goodness Sake: Clean yourself up and make a trip to Ross for some business pants - seriously. Shake hands like a real man and make eye contact like a pro.

What’s it like to have a real job (a real, good job) after college? Rad. I worked hard to get here and share my appreciation everyday. I focus on learning the right way by bouncing back from mistakes, asking the stupid questions and constantly searching for ways to keep things interesting. I am lucky enough to have found a job that I love and am good at, but thats also due to identifying what it is I wanted in this step of my life.

A Piece of Advice: Avoid questions like “What the hell am I doing with my life?” and start asking “What makes me happy in life?” Find a balance between work and home and take care of yourself along the way. Challenge yourself to do better and quit procrastinating - life is pretty sweet, enjoy the ride.