It’s that time of year. Graduation.
When you think back on your years as a student, what comes to mind? Studying hard and good grades? Or maybe not spending nearly enough time studying…and paying the consequences. We decided to take a trip back in time and ask our digital team what they wish they’d known at graduation. For some of us, that was not long ago, for others, it was a few years back.
Dustin Cederholm – Digital Marketing Manager
The two things I wish I knew most at graduation were:
1 – You don’t have to jump into a career. Have fun and try your hand at a few things. While many people major in a particular field, stats show most people don’t use their major, and almost all of us get our real training on-the-job. Go have some fun and do something you’ve always wanted to try. You’ll be more well-rounded when you do find your career, and you’ll have a better chance of finding that career earlier on.
2 – Start saving. Start your own savings account, contribute to your 401k, start being more frugal. Financial freedom allows you to make life decisions based on your heart and not your stomach. Even if you don’t make a lot of money, having some savings can be incredibly helpful. Additionally, banks look at a lot of factors when it comes time to make big purchases. The habits you start now can set you up to be in the driver seat when it comes time to make those buys. Make it a goal to get financial organizations to chase you, not the other way around.
Matt Angel – Digital Project Manager
It hasn’t been too long since I graduated, but the year since has probably been a bigger learning experience than my four years at BYU combined.
I wish that I knew at that time that a degree opens doors to a variety of career options, and you don’t have to settle for the first opportunity that comes along. I was able to dip my toe in a few different fields before I started at Fluid, and while some of them looked appealing, none of them fit my passion. My advice would be to take your time, and apply everywhere! If you find a place you want to work but there’s no job opening listed, send them your resume anyway. You will find your dream job, but only if you are persistent and actively search for it.
Thatcher Olson – Digital Marketing Assistant
It was almost exactly one year ago that I graduated. First of all, time really flies. What I learned in school was invaluable, and I had a lot of experiences and classes that helped prepare me for the post-grad life. However, you simply can’t learn it all. Your first full-time job after graduation will be an adjustment, but in some ways, it will be a continuation of your education. I’m not far removed from college, but I hope to continue learning “on-the-job” for years to come. The workplace is always evolving, and to stay current, you have to continue to learn and grow.
As far as advice for those still in college — enjoy it. Don’t only go after that major or class that will be impressive on your resume, go after what you love. Find a major that you can be passionate about. Try a lot of different classes, learn a lot of different things, and apply that to something you care about. You’ll be happier and you’ll be more productive. Also, just because you select a specific major, it doesn’t mean you’re stuck to that for life. A varied background will open up many different doors and opportunities down the future. Have fun, and above all, find a passion and run with it.
Todd Hooper – Digital Marketing Intern
I’m just graduating now, but I feel pretty prepared. I am just glad I had a mentor tell me to get involved. Do as many internships as you can. If you have the opportunity to extend your schooling for a year and complete more internships and extracurricular projects do it. I have completed 7 internships, counting the ones I found and created myself. One of those resulted in game changing legislation that passed in the most recent legislative session. My most fulfilling projects are the ones where I saw a public need and drafted a strategy to make change. Recruiters notice those projects, interviewers are inspired by them. I’m certainly proud of them, but I know there is a lot more I can do. Dive in and don’t be afraid to try new things. Always be a solutions person, especially if you like to critique things. The critic that can’t produce solutions is a roadblock. Don’t be that guy!
Oh, and one last thing — those people that intimidate you — they are just ordinary people like you, with a different title, and a different job description. Find out their goals and help them achieve them. That’s how you make a mentor.
Brandon Bednar – Digital Marketing Assistant
I wish I had known several things that are important in life, yet still seem to slip through the curriculum of all high school and higher education institutions. Things like, how to buy a car from a dealership without getting ripped off. How to create and stick to a budget. How to manage your credit score. How to say no that extra piece of cake or pizza. How to register to vote. How to cook. How to pay taxes. How to save for retirement, or invest in the stock market. These things I have all had to learn through painful trial and error. They are infinitely more useful to know than 80% of the “generals” curriculum that is required by almost every school.
What have you learned since graduating, or what do you hope to learn while still in school? Let us know in the comments below!