Name: Jenna Green
College: Auburn University, May 2014 graduate
Company: Levenson Group
Job Title: Account Executive
Place of residence: Dallas, TX
Hobbies and Interests: Exercising, cooking & baking, shopping, being with friends and family, traveling
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 started college as a Public Relations major. After one semester, I decided to switch to communication. My advisor told me that people who majored in Public Relations had to take more hours than communication majors and I would not have the time to fit in a minor. Auburn provided a minor within the English department called “technical and professional communication” which changed to “professional and public writing” by the time I graduated. I was very interested in adding that minor to my curriculum, so I switched my major to communication which ended up being a great decision.
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: My major required a three hour credited internship. I came back home to Dallas in Summer 2014 to intern in the entertainment department at Levenson Group, where I am currently employed. Throughout my three month internship, I was crossing my fingers that there would be a position available for me by the time the internship ended. However, nothing was certain, so I applied for several jobs throughout my internship experience. I started by using several job search websites, but I also reached out to family and friends in Dallas. I interviewed for one job which was sales related, but realized after the interview that the position was not for me. In mid-July, just as my internship was coming to a close, my supervisor offered me a position at Levenson and I accepted the next day.
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 challenging parts of the job search was having patience. I would apply for several jobs at a time and would worry or become frustrated when I would not hear back right away. Now that I am employed, I understand that everyone is busy with his or her own work and getting back to people takes time. Another part of the process that was stressful was not knowing exactly what a company was looking for. On some websites, the companies would describe what the position available was about, but not all of the requirements. Because I had just graduated college and had very little experience, it was important to me to see specific requirements, because many jobs wanted applicants to have several years of experience. I would advise college students to be patient and start early. The earlier you start looking for a job, the more time you give yourself to understand the whole process and research what jobs would best suit you.
Q: What was the biggest adjustment or adjustments for you going from college to full-time employment?
A: The biggest adjustment for me is the hours. In college, I had classes at all different times and had lots of down time to study or do things with friends. Learning to get up early each morning and look presentable and professional for work is a big adjustment. Also, knowing that you might not get to leave after an 8 to 9 hour workday or at an exact time has been an adjustment. I work many long hours in my job, so having to plan my schedule to fit in errands, exercise, etc. has ben difficult and one of the biggest changes to my lifestyle. Another adjustment is learning how to complete tasks quickly. In college, if I got a text message or email from a friend, I would take my time responding. However, in the working world I am learning the importance of getting back to the client or my colleagues right away because it shows that you are value their time and are prioritizing their request.
Q: Do you have any advice for coping with these adjustments?
A: I would advise college students to start setting their alarms earlier their last semester of college to begin preparing both your body and your mind for early mornings and long days. It would also be beneficial to start dressing nicely for class, if you don’t already, so you get used to making yourself look presentable and professional each day.
Q: What are some of your current short-term goals?
A: One of my goals is to keep networking in this field to meet as many people as possible. I want to constantly develop new relationships, build deeper ones, and learn from people in my industry. I think that the more people you know, the better chances you have for great opportunities down the road.
Q: Is there anything else about your college and career experience that you would like to add?
A: For me, finding the perfect major and minor helped me really enjoy my classes at Auburn because I was so interested in what I was learning. I think it is very important to love what you are studying, because if you end up in a career that involves your studies, you will be very happy after college.
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