Real Life: College to Career – Emma

Emma Pence

Emma Pence, Staffing Manager

Name: Emma Pence
Age: 23
College: DePauw University, May 2014 graduate
Company: Elwood Staffing
Job Title: Staffing Manager
Place of residence: Denver, CO
Hobbies and interests: horseback riding, snowboarding, hiking, yoga.

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: I had absolutely no idea what I wanted my major to be when I entered into college. I was never very interested in subjects like math or science, but knew I liked working with and being around people. I ended up choosing a major in Sociology and fell in love. Now, I work at a job where I can utilize my major on a daily basis. Sociology taught me how to better understand and communicate with all different types of people.

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: I applied to different types of jobs and a lot of them! Most I found through networking, LinkedIn, and researching businesses that I liked in the Denver area and then checking out the careers tab on their websites. I probably had about five interviews before I interviewed with Elwood Staffing. Once I found Elwood, it was roughly a four-week process before I actually got the offer. All in all, my job search took about 3 or 4 months. I was never in a hurry to find a position before I graduated college. I knew that I wanted to be in Denver, Colorado by August 2014 so I worked towards finding a job that would help me achieve that goal.

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: One of the most stressful things about my job hunt was not hearing back from places I had applied to and the uncertainty of whether my application was even reviewed. The best advice I could give a recent grad to counteract this feeling is to know that everything is going to work out. The job hunt process is filled with lots of uncertainty and rejection, which can be very discouraging. It is easy to start feeling like your skills are not good enough and that you might not have what it takes to land a great job. Don’t give in to those feelings. For me especially, I didn’t have a specialized degree that I could use to land a specific job. I had to rely mainly on my interpersonal skills and personality. In the end, it all worked out and I got a job that fulfilled my end goals.

Q: What was the biggest adjustment or adjustments for you going from college to full-time employment?

A: Without question, the 8:00 am-5:00 pm Monday through Friday work schedule has been the biggest adjustment for me. In college, having 3 classes in one day was a struggle. Little did I know, that was probably the easiest schedule I will ever have! Even though working an 8:00 am-5:00 pm schedule is tiring, knowing that most of my friends are on the same schedule is reassuring.

Q: Do you have any advice for coping with these adjustments?

A: My advice would be to make sure you are managing your time well. I am usually very tired on the weekdays when I get home from work. It is important that I utilize my time well to make sure I can get everything done that needs to be done during a week’s time.

Q: Is there anything else about your college and career experience that you would like to add? 

A: I just want to reiterate how beneficial networking can be. Whether it is with college alumni, friends of your parents, relatives of distant friends, or whoever, networking is an awesome way to make progress in the job search process. That is originally how I got introduced to Elwood Staffing. Finding a job is affected greatly by who you know and networking is a great way to expand your contact base.

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