Name: Caroline Babb
College: University of Texas, May 2014 graduate
Company: Roxan Coffman Properties
Job Title: Office Manager/Assistant to Roxan Coffman
Place of residence: Austin, TX
Hobbies and interests: Running, yoga, going on the lake, reading, being outdoors
Q: Did you start college with a clear idea of what you wanted your major to be? If so, what did that look like and how did that change during your time in college?
A: When I came to college, I thought I wanted to major in business; however, I was rejected from McCombs and decided that Communications was where I wanted to start out. Since I didn’t know what I wanted to do after college, I chose a broad major: Corporate Communications. Initially, my plan was to transfer into McCombs, but I ended up loving Corporate Communications so much that I decided to stay. I definitely think it was a blessing not getting into the business school because communications was a perfect fit for me. How and why we communicate and build relationships really intrigues me, and I enjoyed every one of my classes.
Q: Can you walk me through the detailed step-by-step process that you went through to get your first job out of college?
A: Even when senior year rolled around, I still did not know what I wanted to do. I ended up applying for an elementary school teaching job, a wedding planning position, and a real estate office manager position. I had been substitute teaching in AISD senior year and got my alternative teaching certification, so I had some experience there. I had interned for a wedding planner junior year and loved it. I didn’t have any experience in real estate, but had always been interested in the industry. It was my boss that reached out to me to see if I would be interested in the position. At the time, I was torn between the offers I had received for the teaching and wedding planning positions. When my current boss called and told me about the position she had open, it seemed like the perfect job for me. I knew instantly it was what I wanted to do. I now have my real estate license and am learning so much each and every day. Loving every minute of my job!
Q: What aspect of that process was most challenging or stressful for you? Looking back, what advice would you give to college students to make this aspect less challenging?
A: I was so stressed out about making the right decision – I felt like I needed to decide right then what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. My advice would be to just go with your gut, and understand that you can change your career path at any moment. Most people go through 10 to 15 jobs throughout their lifetime, so you shouldn’t stress about it right now. You learn something from every experience, so there is no “wrong” decision.
Q: What was the biggest adjustment or adjustments for you going from college to full-time employment?
A: The biggest adjustment was definitely getting used to the 9:00 to 5:00 workday. In college, I never had a class before 9:30 or after 3:00. I no longer have time to run errands, exercise, shop, or anything else I used to do during the weekdays. I have to plan my personal life around my work life, which was hard to get used to. At first, I was so exhausted by the end of the day that I would go to bed pretty soon after coming home from work. I finally got the hang of it – you adjust to your environment and lifestyle, it’s not a struggle forever!
Q: Do you have any advice for coping with these adjustments?
A: You have to make sleep a priority, or your day is going to be horrible. I also make to-do lists all the time, and make time before/after work or during lunch to get things done.
Q: What are some of your current short-term goals?
A: Currently, I am the assistant to a real estate broker, and my goal is to become an agent sometime in the next year.
Don’t miss the chance to hear our founder, Lori MacNeil, speak at the “Take Charge of Your Job Search” guest lecture on April 14th at The UT School of Communications!