I had the pleasure of speaking with Kayla Glanville, the community specialist for Global Digital Marketing at a major athletic sportswear company. Glanville attended the University of Oregon, graduating in June 2013. Since starting her work in social media the following July, Glanville says the biggest thing she has learned is how to manage the hundreds of things going on in the real world. The once full time journalism student now balances a 90-hour work week. I was lucky enough to pick her brain for 25 minutes and gain some insight on the transition from school to the working world.
As a recent graduate, Glanville knows what it is like searching for a job. She says her No. 1 tip for graduating seniors is “network, for sure.” Being able to make connections is the best way to figure out what it is you want to do. When meeting with people, let them do the talking. People want to talk about themselves and give you some insight into what they do. Networking is not about you, “it is about understanding what a person does, not asking for a job.” You network to learn and be an asset to whoever your future employer is –utilize these connections. “Do your homework. Let them talk. Hear them. Come prepared.”
You Do You
Sit down and refine what you want to do. People are going to ask, and you need to be ready to respond. Glanville thought having a succinct answer would limit job opportunity, “it may seem like it will restrict you, it won’t.” Glanville took the time to really sit down and analyze the specifics of what she wanted to do. She says that this was one of her greatest assets in interviews: “It shows that you’ve taken the time to think about it and know what you want to do.” It may not be where you start off right away, but it shows you have initiative.
Know Your Stuff
Starting off the job search can be tough; it seems as though everyone is rooting against you, telling you that you will not be able to do it. “Don’t give up. Don’t let people tell you that it’s too hard and that you can’t do it,” Glanville said about the motivation to keep your dream alive. “If you’re passionate enough, you can do it. You make happen what you want to happen.” However, it is imperative that you are knowledgeable. Don’t go into something unprepared, “being unprepared make you seem like you are uninterested. Learn everything you can before you go and talk to someone,” Glanville suggested.
Your Portfolio Does Matter
“I thought the whole portfolio thing was stupid,” Glanville said of the final portfolio. That all changed when her portfolio was the thing that landed Glanville her dream job. Glanville’s biggest tip for those making their portfolio is numbers. “Make sure everything is backed by numbers. People want to see what you’re doing. People want to know that you can justify your work.”
I asked Glanville what the one thing she would have known going into senior year was: “Do things you are interested in.” This is the last time in life we have to really explore different areas of interest. “It’s your responsibility to make sure you stand out,” Glanville said, “It is important to utilize all of the different tools available to you.” Take the time to network and discover what it is you really want to do.