20something profile: Alexa
I started researching colleges in middle school. Ever since I was about 12 years old, I knew I wanted to work in communications. It was just something that I was good at and kept me interested. My early researching made making a college decision quite easy.
In the fall of 2009, I enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — the school I had pegged as my dream school since a young age. UNC’s journalism school is consistently ranked as one of the best in the nation. The beautiful campus, excellent athletic programs and lively student body made me fall even more in love with the university.
This past May, I graduated with a degree in journalism and mass communications, just as I had planned so many years ago. I had an amazing experience at Carolina and wouldn’t trade it for anything. I was absolutely in love with everything from the basketball team to the journalism school. I couldn’t imagine graduating from anywhere else.
Throughout my college career, I gravitated towards working in sports communications. My mother and grandmother had always encouraged me to pursue working in that field, and once I gave it a try, I absolutely loved it.
In college, was lucky to have an internship with the UNC athletic department, as well as working for a sports radio station in my hometown of Denver, CO. Combined with the discovery of my passion and knack for graphic design, I had some direction as to the career I wanted to pursue when I crossed the stage in my cap and gown in May.
Unfortunately, finding a job would not be so easy. Sports communication is an extremely competitive field and even with a degree from a highly regarded university, landing my first job would not be as simple as I had hoped. Even though I started my job hunt in December of 2012, I spent several months after graduation filling out even more applications.
It was very frustrating, especially since I always like to have a plan. I was on the verge of giving up, thinking that maybe spending a few years at an advertising agency or in marketing would help me get to where I wanted to be, when everything finally started to work out.
Two weeks ago, I was offered my first job doing graphic design with an NFL team. The job, which is more like an internship, is paid hourly and is only guaranteed until December of 2013. From my own experiences, I have found that like a lot of recent college grads, it can be difficult to land a permanent, full-time and salaried position, especially in competitive industries.
It seems that in today’s economy, internships are the only thing guaranteed after graduation. A lot of my peers, even those who interned in college, are continuing to intern even after they receive their diploma. I am hoping that my current position will be a great stepping-stone to a permanent position in the future. I haven’t given up quite yet!