Tag Archives: graduation

1,095 Days In

10th May 2013

Yesterday I watched (via Twitter) as a new class of Grady students was welcomed into the Grady Grad family.  It has been three years since I said adieu to Athens and graduated from the University of Georgia and while I’ve loved every second of my last three years in the “real world,” I would go back in a heart beat.

UGA Graduation

The last three years have taken me on a journey to learn to balance, given me more opportunities to step up to the plate at work than I could have ever imagined and have quickly proven that as I may have thought on that day three years ago, life does not end after graduation. While three years isn’t quite a life changing milestone, major life event or whatnot, I’m simply going to stick to the pattern I’ve made out of the last few years (you can read more on that here and here), and share what’s changed in the last 1,095 days.

Here are a few tid-bits I’ve picked up in my ageless 24-year old wisdom:

 1. Own technology, don’t let it own you.

How crazy is it to think that just three years ago most of us didn’t even own a smartphone? I myself didn’t make that leap until summer after I graduated college. It’s difficult to even imagine that during my four years in school I not only didn’t have a tiny little computer in my pocket, but I also didn’t even take one in my backpack. I left my laptop at home and took notebooks full of scratch. To think, I would go a WHOLE DAY without checking email, Facebook or Twitter and that was completely normal? Don’t even get me started on what it would be like in college pre-computer days though, that might just blow my mind.

The class of 2017 (yes, that’s a thing now) doesn’t know a world without smartphones. So here’s my challenge to you: control it. Yes, be sure to Instagram the leaves as they change on North Campus come October, but be sure to sit down under an actual Oak tree and enjoy them as well.

 2. Own a blazer

And other nice things. I’m the queen of bargain hunting when it comes to clothes. It wasn’t until my 24th birthday that I spent more than $50 on a single piece of clothing (and I still cringed). But if there is one thing my mother (and work) has taught me, it is that you can’t have too many great staple items in your closet. This might seem trivial, but the old adage of “dress the part” does ring true.

Working at a relatively laid back agency, there is no official “dress code,” but don’t let that fool you. I can assure you, your boss isn’t wearing mini skirts better fit for a night downtown. My rule: if you would have been called out for wearing it in high school, or wouldn’t be seen wearing it in church, it goes back in the closet.

 3. Put effort into defining your own path

Yes, you are in your twenties. No you will not have the next five years figured out, but if you don’t at least start to think about them, don’t count on someone else to do it for you. I’m a big believer in doing what makes you happy, but it’s also important to realize there may be some bumps in getting there. Simple hand written to-do lists are my thing (everyone has their own method), keep the day-to-day tasks listed, but also to make sure at least a portion of that is going to something larger than a deliverable.

Have you explored new ways to display that powerpoint slide you’ve created six times (slideshare is my BFF)? Have you taken a look at what your client’s competitors are up to this week? Have you asked someone who doesn’t work on your business day-to-day to take a look at your work lately? Seek opportunities to grow and improve, don’t expect them to land on your desk with a pretty ribbon wrapped around them.

1,095 days in, the real world isn’t nearly as daunting as it seemed just a short time ago. I’ve now had the opportunity to see friends start jobs, leave jobs, get married, start having little ones and the most exciting part of all? We’re not alone. It’s a big world out there, but an incredibly exhilarating one. Embrace each and every moment, it only gets better from here.

365 Days In

9th May 2011

It’s been exactly one year since I became a University of Georgia alumna, yet it certainly doesn’t feel like 365 days. A lot has happened in the past year and I could not be happier with path I have started down.

Graduation always seemed like a terrifying step, and indeed it was, but as with everything else in life, it always works out just the way it’s meant to. To the class of 2011, (or any other class for that matter) here’s a little about what I’ve learned so far during my first year of the real world:

  1. Follow your gut: I know, cheesy right?  It’s true. Don’t settle for the first job offer, or the tenth, if it doesn’t feel right. The job market is tough, I’m sure everyone has heard that a time or two, but the right fit is out there for everyone.
  2. Be patient: Following your gut may take a while, but in the end, it will be worth it, promised.
  3. Make life a priority: If working in the non-stop agency world has taught me anything, it’s that I could literally work 20 hours a day and not run out of things to do. Sometimes it’s hard to leave the office at six or resist emails on a Saturday, but do it. Your body, your mind and your boss will thank you when you are rested and can work at your fullest potential.
  4. Step out of your comfort zone: If anyone had told me a year ago I would be attending new business pitches to talk to total strangers, I would have told you you had two heads. Sometimes trying something totally terrifying can lead you to discover a passion you never knew had.
  5. Build relationships not connections: Business cards are great. Getting 20 at an event and not remembering a single conversation isn’t. Make connections by building relationships with others, it’s harder, but it will pay dividends in the future.
  6. Keep learning: For me, sometimes this is as simple (or difficult depending on the day) as checking Twitter. Find out with other people are up to and learn from them.
  7. Have fun: If you’re going to be at work for at least 40 hours per week, have a little fun while you’re there, even if this means YouTube video breaks in between meetings with the DIG team.
  8. Learn what other people do: Sure, I’ll probably never know how to build an iPad app, but learning what other people bring to the table helps to understand the company and constantly be amazed by how much smarter everyone I work with is.

I’m 365 days in and I know I certainly have a long way to go to really make the list above a reality for my professional life each and everyday, but the excitement is in the pursuit. I cannot wait to see what the next year, or 40 bring for my career and all of the amazing people around me that I have been blessed to have along share it with.

Three new LinkedIn tools to power your career search

17th November 2010

The transition from student to employee can be a difficult one – especially in this economy. As December graduation looms around the corner, it can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, especially when everyone seems to point out to you “just how tough it is to land a job in today’s market.” Believe me, they got to me too.

But…the class of 2010 has something most all before us have not. We are social savvy and that chatterbox mentality just may land you a job.

The most powerful tool in that box is LinkedIn and they have recently added a few new features to keep an eye on, as they too may be the key to landing that first job out of school.

  1. Trends. When looking for a job, I constantly checked to see how many people were looking at my profile or searching for me from day to day (this shows up on the right sidebar on your homepage). This new feature allows you to see a graph of your page visits and appearances in search over time.Checking this frequently might help you correlate why people are looking at you. Did you post a status update, add a job description or make a recommendation last week? Look to see if it caused a spike. If so, this is something you may want to focus on in the future.
  2. Jobs you may be interested in: Once you have listed your interests, experience and have started to follow companies on the site, LinkedIn will begin to show you personalized job results. An easy way to keep up with changing openings. Also keep in mind that LinkedIn’s jobs section is powered by Indeed.com and will allow you to not only see job postings, but also show you who your contacts may know at that company to help you land a job.
  3. Career Explorer: This feature is perhaps the most robust and interesting of the three, especially if you are still at a loss for what you may want to do after tossing your cap. Simply list your major, degree and industry and LinkedIn will begin to show you matching job titles, job openings and salaries and promotions associated with that job. As you move along, you are able to see how your career may progress over time through this path. If you find that path isn’t suited for you, you can start and save another.

If you aren’t on LinkedIn yet, or aren’t an active member, become one. It could be the first step in defying the naysayers and landing that dream job.

This post is the first in a series of posts since reaching the six-months out of college milestone. It’s a tough world out there, but that doesn’t mean your dream job doesn’t exist, it’s just a matter of finding the right fit. If you have any suggestions or advice for those beginning a search, please share via the comments or email me at kdennihy[at]gmail.com