A year ago I wasn’t sure where I’d be now. How long it would take me to get to this place. But, as of a month ago I’ve found a job, a real job, at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry aka OMSI! I’ve always been interested in working at OMSI, and my work there incorporates a lot of my past experiences and interests as a person. In that sense, I wasn’t so shocked at my hire, but at the same time… it was a long time coming for me.
I’ve done so much since I graduated, it still amazes me when I look back on the past year. From learning how to make nut butter spreads, thanks to Nut-Tritious Foods and its owner Ken, to spending two weeks at a call center screening potential patients for a clinical drug trial. I’ve had a lot of crazy work experiences I’ll never forget!
Going to the University of Oregon Career Center in Portland helped me through a lot of my job searching trials. I kept in touch with Julie and Linda who work there, a couple of wonderful women who do so much to help recent Duck Grads. I was surprised when Linda asked me if I’d be interested in being a part of their Alumni Perspective blog. But I was also honored. It’s no surprise they named my article Juggling Jobs!
Not all of my advice was mentioned in the article.
First, if I could go back in time I would have been more involved with groups on campus. I didn’t get involved with anything until my junior year and at that point I missed out on some opportunities. As a copy editor for Ethos Magazine my senior year my “boss” was a sophomore who had been involved since the beginning of her freshman year (she is now a senior and Editor in Chief). There was also PRSSA, Ad Team, student-only internships, and Student Government… Things I flirted with but never got involved in. There are so many opportunities that are pretty much up for grabs when you’re in school (as long as you have interest and dedication). Once you’re out of school everything is up to competition. I would tell students to find something they love and show improvement over time within a group or with an activity.
Graduates — know what you’re good at, and where you fit. And just because a job isn’t posted doesn’t mean the position isn’t there. Everyone wants a job but if you show interest in a organization without even knowing that there’s a position open it shows that you’re interested in THEM. Find mentors and keep those relationships. It’s so helpful to have people working for you, who believe in your abilities.
If I thought about it I knew what I wanted to do when I graduated but it took me a year to figure it out for myself. After working at Disney, the Oregon Zoo, and Make-A-Wish, I got a better idea of where I fit. My love for tourism and community outreach has lead to me to pursue a career in nonprofits, and an education oriented attraction like OMSI is perfect!