Graduation, the culmination of four years of hard work. After a couple short hours, I will go from being a student to a real adult (queue hype music). Like so many Georgia Tech grads, I will be graduating with a job, and will quickly be entering the working world. I will have to wake up before 8 a.m. every day, get dressed in work clothes, and fully function. A scaringly normal but also daunting series of tasks for a recent college graduate.
After four years at Georgia Tech, I am feeling confident and ready to move on, but also a bit nervous and anxious. The best thing about student internships is the student status. You are there to learn. The expectations are different. And for Georgia Tech students, we normally blow those out of the water, with colleagues saying, “get this, she is only a student.”
Recently, I had a big decision to make. I was fortunate enough to have multiple job offers, and I had to choose one. It’s a good problem to have, however it left me with more questions than answers. Questions that had me thinking, “am I ready for this?” Panic, doubt, and insecurities crept in; however, I was able to reflect on my past four years at Scheller and use lessons learned from my personal experience and the support of my Scheller community to make this big decision. These lessons reflect my personal experiences and I’ve shared some of them below:
1. It’s okay if you feel a little lost.
Learning and growth come from putting yourself in uncomfortable positions. It’s nearly impossible to know what you want your career to be without first trying a few jobs out. I’ve worked three very different jobs since starting a Scheller, all of which helped me get a better idea of what direction I should take. Some of my best memories came from exploring a new opportunity, and I’ve also learned a lot about myself through the experiences I didn’t enjoy.
2. It’s okay to fear that everything won’t work out the way it is supposed to.
I’ve never been one to believe that there is one right path for myself, however I still fear that things won’t go as planned. Sometimes, you just have to take a leap of faith. Whether you have a 10-year plan, 10-day plan, or 10-minute plan, you have equipped yourself with the tools to guarantee that things will all work out how they should.
3. Take everything two years at a time.
Some of the best advice I received was from a Scheller alumna who once told me to “take everything two years at a time.” This helped put everything in perspective for me. Life is unpredictable (I will save you from one more pandemic reference), my goals are very different from when I started college and will continue to change. If you stick too closely to a plan, you may limit yourself from exploring new opportunities. Myself four years ago would never have made the same decisions I have today, but she also did not know as much as I do today.
4. Do what’s best for you, not what you think you are supposed to do.
Everyone has their own unique terms that define what success is for them. Scheller sets you up for success, whether it is at a top tech company, consulting firm, in marketing, or other dream job. Put your trust in the knowledge you learned and connections you made while at Scheller.
5. Give yourself some credit – take a step back and appreciate what you’ve accomplished.
Four years flew by, and it is hard to believe how much has changed from my high school graduation to now. I think the biggest mark of success is being able to say that my younger self would have been proud (and maybe even surprised) by how much I have accomplished and who I am today.
After nearly eight semesters of business school, it was time to make my biggest decision since deciding to go to Georgia Tech. I had to choose which full-time position I was going to accept. I am grateful to have had so many of my supporters offer words of support and encouragement. However, I was absorbed by many insecurities and had a hard time believing them because I felt that I was alone in those insecurities. Now that the stress has passed and my decision is made, I can admit that they are right. Hopefully by reading this, some of my peers can relate to my same fears and find comfort in knowing that we don’t all have our lives figured out yet!
At the end of my four years, I am thankful to Georgia Tech for giving me a supportive community – whether it’s finding a job, talking through job offers, or needing a friend to lean on. Georgia Tech has also tested me in ways that have proven my own resilience and skills, giving me the confidence to always take bets on myself.