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July 6, 2012
Life After Graduation
 
I was so excited before graduation. I felt accomplished and was curious about what my future would hold. I think I speak for most people when I say that college is fun, but most of us look forward to life after college…except the student loans. I welcomed the last day of college. Starting my career was the most important thing to me. I was ready to get to work and make the big bucks. Getting to work wasn't hard, but the big bucks? Not so much.

Soon after graduation, I landed a job making okay money. The downside was that it wasn't my dream job or even what I went to school for, but it paid the bills. After about a month I was miserable. I continued to work, but I networked and established new contacts every chance I got. That's a very important part of landing a job, and I'm about to tell you why. Even though I was unhappy with my job, I stayed because the student loans had to be paid. I went to work every day and came home and sent resume after resume.

That's one thing the professors and advisors don't tell you. It can prove to be difficult trying to get into your chosen profession without experience. Most of the time, your internship isn't enough to break into a market. Most hiring managers look for experienced candidates because people, for some reason, don't have time to train in today's world. Sending out resume after resume with no response gets a little wearing on the ego. I became a professional at writing cover letters. 

Then one day I received an email. I remember how excited I was when I realized what it was. I tripped over the carpet in my office trying to rush and take a break because I had a sneak peek at the subject line, and I knew it was something good. I ran down the steps and out the back door to read the email on my phone. (I love technology.) It was an email from a close friend alerting me of a job position she knew was available. She said, "…but it's a marketing position." I thought, “Okay I can do that.” Next thing you know I had an interview.

After a few email exchanges I knew I wanted to work there. After my first interview, I really wanted to get the job. Two interviews later the boss offered me the position. It was an entry-level position, but it was more than that to me. It was someone giving me a chance to do what I loved, and nothing else mattered. I even took a slight pay cut, but it's paying off. Someone once told me to do what I love and the money will come. Well, I'm doing what I love, and I see money in my future.  

My new job couldn't have come at a better time. I am able to freely express myself and my ideas matter. I was given a great opportunity and it wouldn't have happened without networking and staying on top of my priorities. Now I go to a job I love and I have time to dabble in things I love.  

The moral of the story is that you should never give up. It doesn't matter what struggles you have to endure. Work hard and stay dedicated to your dream, and one day it will come true.

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Acenna Martin is a recent graduate of Webster University with a B.A. in Public Relations. She currently holds a PR/Marketing position at a small company. In her limited spare time, she maintains a review blog on the latest gadgets and helps promote local events. The review blog is a new project, but she hopes it will grow into something that can help deliver accurate information to her readers. As for her future, she's working on that!
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