Let's begin by saying, coming into college, I didn't even know how to work an office copier. I worked for three years at a food service job, so my skills included smiling when people were yelling at me and making a sandwich in under 30 seconds. I felt like I was way behind my peers when it came to professional experience, especially since some people I knew had internships even as freshman! I needed an on-campus job but felt I would never get an office job given my experience and knowledge at the time. I ended up working for the Starbucks on campus at the library since I was there almost every day anyway.
A portion of the way through my time at Starbucks, I had the opportunity to work for an apparel company that allowed me to work from home and make my own schedule. I took the job because I thought it would be a great resume builder and hey, I could use the money, too! I ended up leaving Starbucks after about a year to focus my efforts on this new sales job.
It was sophomore year when I felt I needed different experiences that were more in line with what I wanted to do in the future. In the summer, at the end of my sophomore year, I started working for the marketing department at a local dealership near my hometown. It was a great opportunity for me, as I got my foot in the door to get some real-world experience and to see what the marketing world was like. I learned how to use Photoshop and got to help with the process of making, finalizing, and submitting advertisements through different media. And guess what? I also learned how to use the office copier.
At the end of the summer, I had the opportunity to stay with the company, working remotely while still going to school in Tucson. It worked out well being able to work two jobs, and being a full-time student, I got to work around my own schedule.
Being the kind of person that likes to fill their plate, I got another job my junior year, totaling three jobs while being a full-time student. This was an on-campus job working with Student Engagement & Career Development (SECD) as the marketing assistant.
If you're wondering how in the world I juggled three jobs as a student, a big key was time management. I ended up leaving my sales job with the apparel company to save my sanity and focus my attention on both of my marketing jobs since being a marketer is my main goal.
During the winter, I had the chance to do a job shadow at one of my favorite companies, Fox Restaurant Concepts. I shadowed their Digital Media Specialist along with a few other departments for the day and got to see some of the day-to-day activities that go on in their office. It was a great way to see if I would like the company's culture and was a good networking opportunity.
Since it was the last summer before I graduate, I wanted new experiences. I ended my role at my remote marketing internship and started applying for a new summer internship. I went through countless application processes and job denials before I finally got an offer to work as a Product Intern in Scottsdale. I wanted to find an internship where I could learn something new, and this one hit the mark! Although, I was a bit intimidated. At my previous roles, I was comfortable working with Adobe software, coding, and advertisements within the marketing departments. This new role was a little outside of my knowledge. I did a lot of competitive research for the company and even got to work with some analytic tools, something different but exciting for me to learn more about.
It's now the start of my senior year, and I am looking forward to attending career fairs and applying for post-grad jobs. I feel my school and professional experiences have prepared me well for what's to come when I graduate. I plan to start applying for marketing roles as soon as possible and start my professional career!
I never really knew what my next steps were during my time in college and my work experiences never worked out how I planned. Sometimes you don't get the job you originally wanted and sometimes you have to fill out 20 applications before a company even emails you back. Find your path, you might have to try 100 different things first; do it and don't forget to make the most of it!