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I think my journey from full time student to steady employment is one that truly illustrates what today’s graduates go through when leaving college and stepping into the real world.
Students everywhere are studying for finals and going for a late night snack one day, and then they’re at home on the computer looking for jobs the next.
My last day of college, I finished working at 4 a.m. left my name tag and went back to finish packing up my car. Done by around 5:10 a.m., I finalized the paperwork with the night clerk and left for home at 5:30 a.m.
Within the week, the next stage in life had begun: the endless hunt for jobs and internships. I searched job sites for anything in my major and would open a new tab on my browser every time I found a potential opening. When I had more than 15 tabs open I would look at them all, ensuring that I fit the requirements of each and would approve of the job. Finally, I would apply for them. I did this everyday and at first completed two to four a day; when I had the flow down, I got about five done.
I did this the majority of the time, May through July, minus my five-week class and the weekend. Of course, I would eat, try to exercise some days and watch YouTube videos– but looking for a job was my job. It was not the best summer I have ever had but looking back, I realize two things: I should have enjoyed my summer more, yet if I didn’t work as hard as I did, I would not have found the positions I now hold.
That’s the inevitable truth that graduates have to face: you can frolic in the summer wind and enjoy it all or you can face truth and know that the summer break is not yours. You have to work to get what you want and put in the hours to reap the reward. Facing reality is the next step after graduating, and then comes the job or internship.
Nevertheless, over the course of this summer I earned five interviews after applying for more than 60. Some I was qualified for and others I wasn’t, it’s the name of the game. Sometimes you have to keep putting your name out there, practicing and perfecting what to say in every email and every cover letter. By the end, you start to discover what gets a response and what fails to capture the reader’s attention. After I sent my cover letter to multiple companies, I started getting better with the wording and how to present myself.
At the end of all that work, I earned two internships and one job. The work was well worth it and I’m satisfied with my current employment. It shows that if you want something badly enough then you will put the energy and time in. I wanted it badly enough, I wanted to graduate within four years and get a job.
I succeeded in both; like I said to my boss, I’m young so I have to keep hustling to get what I desire. There will always be next summer to enjoy the weather. You never know, maybe I will be someplace tropical next summer enjoying my time off.