Let’s talk Graduation

You’ve graduated and now you’re finally in the big world. Now what? Yeah, I’m sure you’re excited that you don’t have to get up for 8 o’clock classes and run across campus in hopes that you won’t be late. There’s always that moment you feel discouraged or a little nervous about what you’re going to do next after college. And believe, me post graduation depression is very real. Well luckily there’s no need to feel nervous or discouraged about your next journey in life. You’ve literally gained the experience and knowledge to get you to the next step.

Looking for an internship or job right after college can tend to be a little overwhelming. At that point you’re going to want to research internships in your area or jobs in your area, that correlate with you degree. But I’ll get in to that a little later. The first step you’re going to want to take is branding yourself. This is going to be the most important step because this will be considered your foundation of your career. Without the experience and or background that most jobs are requiring in the work force are detrimental. I’d first start with the knowledge and expertise you obtained through education and go from there. For example, if your degree is in science, look at the hours spent doing labs and re-imagine the tools you equipped during that time and apply it to your branding.

For example I have a bachelor in Science with a concentration in Apparel Design and Textiles. Unfortunately, living in North Carolina there wasn’t much to pick from in the fashion industry unless I wanted to work in retail. However, being that I’ve already experienced the retail business, I was in no rush of going back to it. I wanted to do something a little more fulfilling and exciting. So, I started branding myself. I took the knowledge I gained from working many hours in the alteration shop, designing patterns, working with Adobe illustration and photoshop, and applied it to my brand.  

The next step is putting yourself out there. After you’ve established your brand this step becomes somewhat second nature. You’re now able to reach out to others in your related field and start an internship or job. Speaking of internships, never down play the power of an internship or collaboration with someone. It’s a great way to pick their brain and gain more intel on what to expect. It can also help land a job opportunity in your desired field.

Some may look at an internship or collaboration as free grunt work. Although, that may be somewhat true, you can’t even imagine how learning those skills in the beginning can really pave a way into your future. 

I’m a living example. After graduating college I wasn’t exactly sure where to start when it came to fashion. So, being that there weren’t many fashion jobs to pick from. I not only started branding myself, but I also started honing in on all of my talents and knowledge; fashion related. I literally became my very own walking billboard. I reached out to others who had similar careers as well as goals. I sent countless emails and DM’s in hopes that I’d land something. During that time, I also started doing makeup part- time for photo shoots, prom and weddings. I eventually progressed to styling shoots behind the camera and then working as a model in front of the camera. During the process, I learned creative directing, staging, skin care, and set design. I even took it further and taught myself how to work in front of and behind the camera. Everything from lighting to editing a photograph.

After, collaborating with others in my field, I found an amazing job at Vert and Vogue as an in house model. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first walked in for my test shoot, being that I hadn’t had too much experience in the modeling industry. I took everything I knew about fashion and makeup and allowed that to be my crutch in a way.

I was able to go in there feeling confident and deserving. Which is very important. Mindset can ultimately be your make or break factor. If you don’t have the confidence and mindset that anything is possible you’ll never succeed in life. I know that may come off a little harsh but lets be real here. No one is going to want to work with someone who is a negative Nancy or has no confidence in themselves.

At the end of the day its all about the pitch.

Which leads me to the final step. 

These days you look on “Indeed” or “Glassdoor.com” and they are expecting you to have years of experience in a field that you haven’t even had the chance to work in. I never quite understood that method. I mean if you haven’t been given the chance to work in that field, how do they expect you to have the experience. However, no worries, take what you’ve learned through branding, collaboration/internship and apply it to your experience now. For example: if they’re looking for someone who is great with people and can communicate well, then just think back to the times you worked with different people from different backgrounds and were still able to get the job done. You can honestly find experience in your own life that will correlate with what they’re looking for, you just have to do some evaluating.

So don’t forget to apply branding, collaborating/internships, and your pitch to your methods after graduation to obtain the desired job in your field.

Knowledge is POWER, never forget that!

See you next week, and don’t forget to hit The “Z” Spot.

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