So excited to introduce you all to our amazing assistant Rachel who has been helping us over the past few months! When I met her for coffee (after she DM’d us about working for us in her spare time) we spoke a lot about her transition from college to her full time job. I knew immediately that I wanted this to be her first diary piece for the blog. Please enjoy! 🙂
While I believed I was 100% ready to take on adult life – out “in the real world”, as they say – I was not. My first thoughts as soon as I turned that tassel? “I did it!” followed by, “Oh crap, I need a job.”
A year and a half has gone by since I graduated from my dream school, New York University. Embracing the feeling of uncertainty has to have been my hardest challenge, yet equal parts my greatest blessing. With countless possibilities walking into my life upon graduating, it was my choice to determine which ones were worth walking with. Since then, I’ve found a job I could not love enough and have learned to adult faster than I could have ever imagined.
Stepping backwards to my last few months of college, I was busy playing my last softball season for NYU, interning at NYU’s Office of Public Affairs, and trying to muster up enough research and content for my senior thesis. While I still spent nights out with my friends (more than I probably should have at this stage, TBH) (senior year though and I really don’t handle my FOMO well lol), I lived my last few months of being a free agent to the fullest and didn’t submit more than maybe four job applications. Hellooo, New York City is FULL of job opportunities – why start the serious job search before I graduate?! While my best friend had a promising job already lined up like half of my senior class, I was stuck in the other half – naïve to the challenges that lay ahead. I mean, I had already interned at my dream job at Hearst Magazines – how hard could it be to get back in?
Graduation day was filled with emotions – the thought of having no more homework for the rest of my life, the excitement of not living in a three-person dorm room, and the absolute sadness of not being able to acceptably show up to frat parties anymore (lol, jk it was for the better that stage was over). Upon returning from an amazing two-week grad trip to Asia, the “what now?” feeling came at me like a bald Miley Cyrus swinging on a wrecking ball.
Four months soon passed and, other than applying to a good five jobs per day rather than writing essays, my life in New York hadn’t changed much. After ten interviews, I felt seasoned and as confident as ever (despite being turned down more times than I ever have in my life). By September, my parents were ready to cut me off (byeeee chai lattes every morning and cranvodka’s every evening). As tired as I was of applying to so many dead-end jobs, an unlikely connection from my summer softball team recommended me to his workplace, the media agency Carat. Although I desperately wanted to work for a magazine, I had already exhausted all of the options I was qualified for. So to the Carat interview I go, and one month later, to the Carat desk I went!
Besides waking up at 7:30 every morning and HAVING to go to work every Monday – Friday (no excuses allowed), life at the media agency was good. It was actually the best job I never knew I wanted. As an assistant on the Integrated Print team, I regularly met with magazine sales reps vying to get advertising business from the accounts I helped manage. Work lunches and dinners, weekly manis/pedis, parties, and, of course, work, lured me into a familiar – and very likeable – routine. However, the three things I became most thankful for in the end at Carat weren’t the glitz and glam perks – it was the connections I made, the media school class I was required to attend every week, and lastly, the hundreds of emails I was expected to properly write/respond to each day that made my time there worthwhile. No, I wasn’t at a magazine. I was somewhere even more relevant to my dream career – I was at a media agency meeting representatives from every magazine the print world could even imagine. I knew one day these connections I was making would be vital to my success in the magazine industry.
Fast-forward 9 months, I leveraged my new connections + media school experience and finally secured my job at Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, and Seventeen magazines as a sales assistant. Though I took the more circular path to where I am now, I appreciate the media knowledge I gained from Carat. I can now proudly say that I hold a job I wake up every morning excited to go to. My old bosses became my clients and I am now working on the opposite end, knowing very well what print competition our magazines are up against. The path isn’t always straight – and often times, that’s not a bad thing. Like I said at the beginning, the hardest challenges can very well harvest into the greatest of blessings. Whatever opportunities you’re blessed with, just make sure you do your damn best to walk with them, learn, and never give up.
- Never sever a connection (one day they could end up being your client!)
- Just because you have sick days, doesn’t mean you should use them
- ALWAYS confirm receipt on email
- Asking a connection or someone you admire to coffee will always either be a “yes” or a flattered “no”
- You’ll make connections everywhere you go in life – always have your game face on
- INVEST! IN! YOUR! 401K!
- Join an after-work sports league (such as NYC Social!) – you can’t spend your whole life at your desk?!
- Ask for an informational interview – even if they might not be hiring at the moment, they’ll know who you are when they are
And my two favorites:
- Working 9-5 doesn’t mean your fun life is officially over; it just means the happy hours get happier 😉
- Woke up hung over? Throw some red lipstick on 🙂