Hello, my name is Samantha Duncan. I graduated Roger Williams University with a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in Creative Writing. I currently work as a Reimbursement Specialist while getting training for the Marketing field. I love to draw, paint, read and write – you will almost always find me with my nose in a book. Other than work and creative fun, I am researching different Master’s programs and will hopefully be working for my MA by Fall of next year.
When I graduated college I thought I would have all the time in the world to figure out my future. Instead, I was thrown into a chaotic stream of resumes, interviews and even tears. It was difficult, to say the least, but through the support of my friends and family I found a job that fits my life.
First thing you may be wondering is, why should I even be thinking about a job right now? Well, whether you are a freshman, a senior, or just applying to college you should take the time to figure out what course you want to take. I know it is not easy to decide on what it is you would like to do for a career; however, I can confidently say that there is no set career path you have to choose. No matter where you end up, there is always room for change.
Currently, I am working as a Reimbursement Specialist which is just a fancy way of saying I work with numbers. More specifically, it is my job to get money coming in the door. I have a B.A. in English Literature so you can imagine how this was a complete 180 for me. I always told myself that the last thing I would do is work with numbers. However, it was time for me to start paying back my loans, and those can be hard to pay back on minimum wage, so I took the job. Amazingly, I found myself working for a company that wants nothing more than to see their employees as well as their clients happy. I am now working on projects for the Marketing department to gain experience and eventually switch positions.
Not all of you will have the same bit of luck in finding a job that allows you to move around in the company, but that does not mean you should not take an opportunity that you see fit for you. The last thing you should be thinking is that this is ‘it’ for me, there are no more options. That will never be true. No matter how old you get or how many times you change careers, there will always be opportunity to seek out new paths.
The first step in finding a career is your resume. You should be putting the courses you found relevant during your college career right at the top. These will help show employers what you have been learning for the past 4 years or so. Putting emphasis on your coursework when job experience may be lacking can have many benefits. Certain courses can show your ability to multitask, analytically look at data, create new projects and even your ability to work well with others. Emphasizing these aspects of your courses can go a long way in making up for experience you may be lacking.
You should also be volunteering. It has become a crucial part of a lot of companies to get their employees involved in volunteer work. Volunteering is not only a great way to humble yourself and help others it also displays your willingness to work with no actual benefit to yourself. Selfishness is not deemed a quality necessary in the work place. Adding any and all volunteer opportunities you have taken to your resume will greatly improve it.
My last piece of advice on hunting for that perfect job is to utilize tools and services such as staffing companies. Staffing companies are a free service where a representative will send out your resume to companies they think you would enjoy working with. You can find these online and most cities have at least one. They start off by going over your resume with you and getting a sense of who you are and what kind of job you are looking for. Once they have a good grasp on what you want, they find companies that are looking for someone similar to you. This is also a good way to get your resume noticed as most companies, when using a staffing company, will only interview a few individuals. Compare this to sending in your resume along with hundreds of other applicants.
The road after college will undoubtedly be a bumpy one, but you have to believe that no matter what you will get to your destination. More than anything, I know it is tough. I know that sometimes the idea of life after college may seem a century away or even too close to comprehend. You just need to believe in your ability to create change for yourself. When you make the effort, nothing can get in your way.