I had a pretty unique college experience in that I actually attended 5 schools during the five years it took me to get through my undergraduate degree. (It’s a long story.) I originally intended to spend only a quarter at UW Bothell (to finish up a Business Minor I had started at the main campus), but after a quarter there, I was convinced it was the right place for me to complete a full business degree… and so I transferred. I attended UWB for almost two years, finishing my last few credits in March 2012. A few months later, I found myself ‘in the trenches’ of a real career.
I joined efelle media, a custom web design and development company, to assist (and help develop) the sales and marketing efforts of the firm. Many of the skills I had acquired from college helped prepare me both for the interview as well as for the position itself. Within the year, I was promoted to Marketing Manager and now spend most of my time exploring client needs, and managing marketing and sales strategies for the small firm. My work ethic, public speaking skills, management and leadership abilities, business and marketing knowledge, etc. have all been tested in my current position – and I credit UWB with helping me develop these.
And so, UW Bothell students, here’s a bit of advice to help you transition out of college and into a solid career: 1) TAKE some classes that aren’t required (if you have the time and means). I wasn’t required to take the Internet Marketing class that was offered during my (Super) Senior year, but I did anyway… and I’m glad I did because it helped kick start my interest in internet marketing (which is now the industry in which I work). 2) PREPARE to graduate. Good jobs don’t fall from the sky – so prepare yourself and don’t expect your dream job to fall in your lap. Seek out internships (or career-relevant extra-curricular activities) during school if you have the time, fill out your LinkedIn profile, job shadow people whose careers interest you… and network, network, network. You never know if that chick you did a group project with in your class last quarter (or if that teacher you really liked sophomore year) has great business connections out in the real world. 3) Lastly, UNDERSTAND that your first job offer after graduation might not be Your Dream Job (although I got pretty lucky with mine). Don’t forego a potential opportunity for real job experience just because a position might not meet all your requirements right off the bat. There are still valuable skills to be gained and valuable relationships to be made wherever you end up.
Best of luck! Talia