Taking Initiative

I’m a “grab life by the horns” kind of girl. I like a sense of control. As I’ve grown older, though, I’ve noticed that a lot of people really aren’t like that at all. While that leaves more opportunities to me, it also creates problems for the people who don’t necessarily take initiative.

As a college student, and a possible intern, you have to understand one thing: no one is going to just hand you a successful career. Not in the real world, anyways. Even small steps can be made. Be a go-getter, build a positive reputation for yourself. Take it slow at first.

It can begin with a single professor. Making an impression on your educators is a step in the right direction. Find the educational mentor you need to grow. Show off your talent, give them a look at what good, hard work can produce. My first big break here at school was a Flash Animation class taught by the head of our department. I got his attention. With his help, I set up an interview with the Marketing and Communications department here at school.

I also found some helpful shoving coming from a professor who had nothing to do with my department. This is a little off to the side, but I felt that he deserved some recognition. Thanks, Keating.

Until recently, I found myself thinking, “Man, am I lucky to have all these great educational and professional opportunities!”

I feel dumb for that thought ever crossing my mind. I’ve always prided myself on working hard, and I guess now I’m allowed to step back and appreciate how far I’ve come. This blog, however unknown and young it is, has let me put a few things in perspective.

  1. Work hard. I know, it sound cliche. Sometimes your best effort is all that’s required to get someone’s attention.
  2. Be friendly, but don’t be a pushover. I’ve been at both extremes. I’ve let people walk over me, and I’ve been over-aggressive. Find your balance.
  3. Never settle for “good enough.” This is probably one of the only useful things I learned from a crack-pot business professor last year, but it DID stick with me. This is a more subjective piece of advice, as “good enough” can be drastically different depending on the situation. You’ll know when the time comes.
  4. Look for opportunities. If you aren’t willing to hunt for them, why should anyone else find them for you? This is vital. You have to be willing to put yourself out there!

These are not by any means the ONLY things to consider. These are just a few tidbits I’ve picked up along the way. They’ve been helpful so far.

In regards to finding opportunities, I recently sent out a few emails inquiring about internships. Ad agencies, public organizations, communications companies, the list goes on.

I’ll find more opportunities out there. I just have to continue to take responsibility for my own future.


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