tThis past week, I was invited to serve as a keynote speaker to the public relations students at SUNY Plattsburgh. As a student at SUNY Plattsburgh, I often fantasized about returning to my college classrooms, sharing fabulous nuggets of career and life wisdom. However, my fantasy came to life at age 24, an age when I often feel just like the college girl that left campus only two years ago.
When my professor invited me to speak, I was surprised. Who am I to share advice with bright students? I have yet to reach the peaks I plan to conquer, haven’t snagged that promotion, backpacked through Southeast Asia or bought the Career Woman Power Wardrobe I so, so, SO want! My professor assured me that the students requested recent grads to share the truths of post-grad life. After speaking with my permanent cheerleaders (my parents), I decided to pay my old university a keynote visit.
As soon as my dear friend, Cara, and I arrived on campus to speak, we were met with nostalgia and that permanent feeling of possibility, which is always found on every university campus across the world. I shared with SUNY Plattsburgh PR students my positive college experience, finding my first job, leaving my first job and discovering my current career that feels right.
When I was speaking about graduating and securing my first job, I realized how far I have come. No, I am not living my dream job quite yet, but am surely moving in the right direction. Additionally, I remembered how much zest I had as a college senior! I was ready to take on the world with knee-high leather boots and a cape! My daily job and life responsibilities have distracted me from some of my long-held personal goals. I can’t forget that girl with knee-high leather boots and a cape. Ever.
PR is a female-dominated industry, which is a beautiful, beautiful thing, but also holds the risk of being catty and negative. I encouraged all the young female students to support, encourage, and respect one another in the work place. We are all in this together! We are the ones that lift each other up!
I was impressed by how curious the students were about post-grad life. They wanted to know everything! It was great to chat about my journey and to remind everyone to be optimistic, humble and relentless in life. Go out there, kick ass and do your thing with style, grace and compassion! That’s what post-grad life - and every life stage - is about.