Hi everyone! My name is Erin Frye. I graduated from UNC Asheville with a Mass Communications degree (a group of students fondly referred to as “mass commies” by Professor Hantz at the graduates award ceremony…) in May 2014. I attended UNCA for a grand total of five years, taking one semester off in the fall of my junior year. Read: TAKING TIME OFF IS OKAY. I would be lying if I said my parents, friends, professors…(genuinely everyone) thought that I would come back to school when I took that gap semester. But, I did. I worked full time and got my head around what I really wanted and I came back to UNCA instead of transferring, as I had planned. I realized it was the best place for me. Looking back, I’m so glad I did. The Mass Communications degree I earned has proved to be very valuable just in my few months as a post-grad professional!
THE DAY IN MY SHOES
After eating inhaling my dinner I sat down to write this blog post. It’s 7:09 p.m. Today I worked at Minx Boutique, and enjoyed almost every minute of it (minus a few frustrating technical difficulty moments)! I landed this position two weeks ago as an intern promised 15 hours per week. Four days later, I was offered a full-time position with the company! I was elated.
My job description is ever evolving, but I was hired as the Ecommerce and Social Media intern, so let’s just go with that! Today I added lots of new items to our online inventory via Shopify (technical difficulties ensue), wrote a blog post, and posted across all of our social media platforms. It was a busy day in Minx HQ! However, I am in awe almost daily that I get paid to do the work I do. I mean…one of my duties today was to take the perfect picture of new shoes we’re stocking for Instagram. My hobbies have officially become my career. Can you say: the dream?
As I graduated just over two months ago, my first big girl job hunt was very recently! But what my job search lacks in history, makes up for in drama…trust me. So. My plan upon graduation was to move to Denmark and become an AuPair. I went to Europe immediately after graduation and quickly decided that it wasn’t going to happen. I was homesick the entire time and just got this gut feeling that it wasn’t where I needed to be. I came home and started completely over with my job search. Learning lesson, begin. I landed a position just a few days after returning state side. I posted all over social media about how excited I was immediately after getting the news. A week later, I received an email stating that my position had been resended.
I freaked out. I totally and completely freaked. I didn’t know that was even a thing that could happen. But I assure you, it can. And it did, to me. I quickly learned that nothing is concrete until you know it is (and even then- concrete can crack) so it’s best to just stay quiet about new jobs until you’ve at least at your first day at the company. I picked myself up though, and accepted the position at Minx a week later.
All of these job opportunities might seem like they happened so fast, and it’s because they did. But they were not handed to me. I was up every morning to set up my imaginary “office” in different coffee shops around town. I shot out my resume for every posting I could find that was ANYWHERE relevant to what I wanted to do. I printed out tons of copies of my resume, asked people to keep me in mind if anything opened up, and scheduled back-to-back interviews several days in a row. Needless to say, the job hunt itself became a full-time job for me for a few weeks. And it paid off, literally.
THE TAKE AWAYS
1: Intern. I had several relevant internships while I was in college (paid and unpaid). Babysitting isn’t going to impress a future employer. Focus on finding something that will build your resume. I assure you, the positions are out there if you’re willing to look! …Or have the career center help you look. Hello, the services are FREE!
2: Network. My internships and networking often went hand in hand. It really is a small world and you would be amazed at how connected your bosses and coworkers are. Always dress to impress and follow up with people when you say you will. They won’t forget you.
3: Know that you will hit some bumps in the road, but bounce back quickly. I let myself get discouraged for about 24 hours after I lost the job I thought I had. You have to accept when things don’t go as planned and let it fuel your desire to make something even better happen!
3: Remember that the job market is fluid. Don’t rule out internships or part-time positions that look interesting, because they could evolve into much more. Focus on finding a job that you enjoy before worrying about paying the bills. Things will work out.