This Wednesday was a very self-fulfilling day for me as I met with the Career Center at the University of Denver. I attended DU for four years before I graduated in August 2008, where I was unsatisfied with the services provided from the Career Center from day 1. The services were half-ass, and not marketed at all to students. The career fairs were beyond disappointing, and the online career website was basically useless as it had less than 25 employment opportunities searchable for the state of Colorado.
Since graduation, I tried working in the financial planning industry where I quickly realized that sales and building my own book of business was not the place for me to be happy or successful. As a result, I have spent the last four months learning more about myself as an individual since college seems to teach you all about the books, but little about yourself. I will admit I fell into the category of ignorant college students by assuming that when you graduate you not only will know the path for your future, but you will also have a very good job waiting for you.
As I have learned this is not the case at all, in fact I graduated having no idea what I wanted to do as a career and I most defiantly did not have a job lined up. I understand that I graduated in to a recession, which does not help my case. However, I cannot describe the pain and trouble I have found myself in finding that “right” job. I didn’t say dream job on purpose, but from trying financial planning I realized it is important to find a job that will lead you in the right direction to your future goals.
You might ask how I have been discovering myself and why I feel that it is important. Finding who I am was very challenging, as I believe that people continuously change and grow. Who I was in college is very different from who I am today, and more importantly who I want to be in the future. Please do not get me wrong, I think it is very important to live all different parts of life as together they build up to who you are at the moment and in the future. Getting back to my personal story, when I was in college I studied abroad my junior year with Semester at Sea. This is a ship that travels around the globe stopping in 10 different countries, mostly third world countries. This was an adventure in my life that I never thought I would forget because I grew so much as an individual; however, when I returned back to my life in Colorado I slowly acclimated to my old life forgetting the person I grew to be and loved. A month ago Semester at Sea hosted a reunion voyage where 50 students from my voyage attended including myself. This was where I remembered who I had been during my semester at sea: a fun, caring, helpful, adventurous, intelligent, giving individual – all qualities I am proud to have associated with my name.
While sitting in my apartment searching for a job it is very important for me to remember who I am, or how I like to describe myself. It is very easy to get down while looking for a job, so remember who you are is crucial. As I remembered how much helping others was important to me, I thought that many other students from DU are most likely living jobless like me, with no help of the career center. This is why I thought it was important to contact the career center and offer help making their services more beneficial to both students and alumni. The director of the career center listened to my presentation this week, and glowed over the work I had put into helping out. She took fault for many of the mistakes the career center is making, and plans to make many changes.
While looking for a job and discovering who I am, I created my own job for myself which has helped me connect with many professionals as they are impressed with the work I have done for the University of Denver. My moral of my job search is keep in mind who you are. It is impossible to job search all day, so be yourself and it may even help you with your job search and connection with other professionals!