20something profile: Michael
When I was a kid in San Diego, I never really knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I didn’t dream of becoming a doctor, lawyer, teacher, professional athlete, or anything else. I guess I was just too busy being a kid, making new friends, laying out at the beach, and playing tennis. As I inched closer to graduating from high school, I still didn’t have any idea what my dream job was, let alone what I wanted to study in college.
Nothing changed as I began my undergraduate days at Princeton University. I was so caught up in getting accustomed to college that the first couple of years just flew by. I was training for tennis season 24/7, constantly up late working on problem sets and papers, and figuring out my way around campus.
Trying to discover what subject I was most interested in, I took a wide range of courses from philosophy to US History to geosciences. When time came to declare my major, to be honest I wasn’t 100% sold on anything. But I ended up choosing economics; it was a popular field, and I thought I could get a good job in investment banking or something like that after college.
So, I took plenty of economics courses. I tried securing a finance internship the summer after sophomore year, but to no avail. I settled for a marketing internship for a sporting event in my hometown. Turns out, it opened my eyes to new ideas, and I realized that perhaps finance wasn’t my calling.
After another internship the next summer doing digital marketing, I found that I wanted to work in social media or at least in the marketing field. You might think then that my economics degree was a waste, but it wasn’t. I don’t regret anything at all; I learned from some of the world’s best, acquired valuable skills and tools, and gained a new perspective on the world economy. In a way, economics was my academic pursuit. And now, marketing is my career pursuit.
Well, the 4 best years of my life zoomed by, and I graduated this past June. I haven’t had any luck in the job market thus far. I’ve spent all summer applying for jobs and have had some interviews here and there, but nothing has worked out yet. Of course, it’s a little frustrating.
I’ve come to realize, however, that there are plenty of others just like me out there. Everyone’s path towards their dream job is different, and there are always going to be ups and downs. It’s really all about patience and trusting that in the end, it’ll all work out.
For those of you still in college, my advice to you would be to make the most out of the rest of your college years. The college experience is one unlike any other, and it’s the last time in your life before the next chapter of your life begins. Explore everything, make new friends, find your true passions, and try not to worry too much about that thing we call the real world.
People can say all they want about the job market, hiring practices, how to ace interviews, and such, but in my opinion there is something out there for everyone, and it’s just a matter of finding it. I look forward to making that first step towards finding mine soon.
Check out my blog, America’s Finest Tiger, as I continue to navigate through post-grad life.