20something profile: Sonya
Throughout the year that I have been out of college, I believe I have learned more about the real world and more about myself than we were ever taught in college.
I learned the need to negotiate, especially as women. I learned the need to recognize a mentor early on and build your leadership skills. I began to master the art of networking and was exposed to the politics of industries that is not part of academia.
On a personal level, I was reminded to never forget your dreams. I learned quickly about the need for independence. I learned that I was capable of more than what was on my résumé. And most importantly, I learned that you forge your own path and should never forfeit it for someone else.
I graduated in May of 2013 from the University of Florida (Go Gators!) with a Bachelor of Science in Advertising. I had focused my experience during college on social media with jobs and internships at local businesses, PR firms, and even Country Music Television in Nashville, Tennessee.
I was always trying to exceed the expectation — in school and in extracurricular activities. I had the dream of going big — that every professor urged you to go after. Originally, I had the dream of going after the Big Apple. I dreamed of finding myself at a Manhattan ad agency, with little time to sleep, little money to eat, and a whole lot of rooftop dreaming.
Of course, life gets in the way sometimes. For me, it was love that got in the way. When I fell head over heels, it was a different type of dream to come true. So I changed my path. And I headed to a city that was not part of my plan. For me, then, it was a different way of going big.
But then life got in the way again. And this new city, new life, new job, all didn’t seem to fit when the love that got me here faded away. But in just a few months’ time, I have grown more into my skin. In really just a handful of weeks, I have looked at this past year and seen how far I’ve come.
No one in college tells you whether to follow your head or your heart — you wouldn’t take their advice even if they did. But I chose love. I chose fighting for the one job I wanted in the stranger city that took 7 interviews and a recruiter telling me to give up. But I wouldn’t give up on love. And eventually I got the job.
Thankfully, I’ve learned about the advertising world and about myself from being here (whether it was in my plan of not). I’ve learned about career and personal success, none of which are taught in textbooks.
So here I am, growing in my career, realizing that sometimes life has a different plan for you. Because this job of mine is getting me farther than I imagined. And losing this love instilled in me the need to go back to an unrequited love — writing. So, I guess everything does happen for a reason.
As for the future, I continue to have broad dreams. I want to work abroad. I want to get my Master’s in Creative Writing. I want to climb the corporate ladder. And I want to inspire others with words.
I’ll continue to follow my heart but in a different way. Love can follow me next time. Follow my single journey at: http://singlestrides.wordpress.com