Name: Amy Holland
College: University of Texas at Austin, May 2014 graduate
Company: Uptown Diamond
Job Title: Account Executive
Place of residence: Houston, TX
Hobbies and interests: Certified Yoga Instructor, reading and 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 had no real vision going into college about what my major should be. However, I did know that I love being around people. I love communicating, understanding, empathizing and interacting with people. So that’s how I knew Communications would be the best fit for me. Since I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with my degree, I decided to stick with a broad major, Communication Studies, and also worked to get my Business Foundations and Real Estate Certificates. I felt this gave me a broad enough range to explore all options before I narrowed in on a specific career path.
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: Around September of my senior year I began looking for jobs. I decided that I should focus my search on Commercial Real Estate jobs because my father and uncle have a strong presence in the CRE community. I was successful with my job search because of networking. I started calling every connection I had ever made in regards to the industry: my parent’s friends, local businesses, older Chi Omega’s, you name it. What started as informal coffee chats or meet-and-greets turned into showing up for actual interviews. Because of my activeness, I had about 3 or 4 solid job offers by November and started in June right after I graduated. Since then, I have actually left the Real Estate Industry. Although I learned a ton and was surrounded by amazing people, I felt that I was not passionate about my work, and did not want to continue to stay in a job where I was not excited and ready to work hard every day. I started using my network again, and was put in touch with a man who has been in the diamond industry for over 20 years who was ready to hire an Account Executive. So now, I work for a diamond and colored stone cutting house called Uptown Diamond. We design custom pieces and manufacture the jewelry in house. I absolutely love it, and I am thankful that I was brave enough to leave my first job, and search for something that made me happy.
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: The most challenging part of the job hunt is the unknown. The added stress and fear can be a challenge. I wish I would’ve told myself to chill more, enjoy senior year, and have faith that as long as you work hard, everything will fall into place as it should.
Q: What was the biggest adjustment or adjustments for you going from college to full-time employment?
A: Time is not your own anymore. You can’t spend two hours a day on Netflix or decide to go run Town Lake in the middle of the day. Time is limited. So you learn to pick the things you enjoy and make those things a priority. You also learn to appreciate the weekends much more!!
Q: Do you have any advice for coping with these adjustments?
A: I would say to go into it knowing that it’s going to be tough. It is an adjustment, but once you find an occupation where you are fulfilled, it all becomes worth it.
Q: What are some of your current short-term goals?
A: I’d like to sell my first diamond engagement ring.
Q: Is there anything else about your college and career experience that you would like to add?
A: Time goes by way too fast. Cherish it. Go out on a Tuesday, stay up late chatting with your roommate, and have fun.
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