During the last few months of college, while all my friends were securing jobs and sending in graduate school deposits, I was planning a trip to Southeast Asia. At the same time that many of my friends were finalizing their moving plans, I was Yelp-ing the best local seafood in Koh Phi Phi. I had no idea what I was going to do next but I knew I definitely wanted to travel.
I’m the ultimate planner, so naturally I felt the pressure of 99% of my friends having their next steps figured out while not having a clue what I was going to do. I thought I wanted to be in the healthcare or nonprofit space, but I wasn’t sure in what capacity. By the end of senior year I had one offer and was in the final stages of interviewing with a few companies. Unfortunately, I felt virtually no connection to any of these opportunities so I dropped the search for a little bit. I firmly believed that the right job would come to me.
Halfway down the coast of Vietnam and nearing the end of my trip, Porter Novelli re-contacted me with a potential opportunity. Although it wasn’t in the original department I had expressed interest in; would I want to come in for an interview anyway? Sure. I was ready to re-ignite the job hunt. I confirmed with an email from one of the most beautiful beaches in Nha Trang.
A couple of weeks later, my interview was rescheduled three times due to various conflicts. Many would have taken this as a sign to give up and move on. By July, I had been in contact with Porter Novelli for over four months to no avail but I felt strongly about this opportunity. Oddly enough, I felt the strongest connection to the one company I had the least prospect of working for.
When I was offered the position on the business development and marketing team, I was thrilled. While it wasn’t what I initially saw myself doing, it felt right. I had great conversations with everyone I met at Porter Novelli. I loved the people on my team. I was excited about all the awesome work going on and most importantly, I believed in the company and really saw myself growing here.
I could have never predicted I’d be working in business development and marketing for a global public relations agency. That’s the best part of it all. I accepted a position outside of my comfort zone, unsure of what would really happen, and I couldn’t have asked for a better first job.
Reflecting on my first year in the workforce, I can clearly see how each of my decisions brought me to this place. I didn’t take the first job that came my way, even though it would have given me security five months before I graduated. I didn’t fall into a rut when everyone around me was securing jobs and I couldn’t seem to land one. I didn’t focus my search around a certain salary or title. I waited for the opportunity that called my name. And I went in full force. I embraced the unexpected.