Let’s rewind four years back. I was 18-years-old and preparing to graduate high school from Hickory High in North Carolina. A question that I hated seemed to always come up:
“What are you going to do after graduation?”
I knew exactly what I was going to do after graduation, but I hated talking about it. I was nervous that I would be under a giant microscope, and not attending a prestigious southern private school would instantly brand me as being a “free spirit” or something of the like. Regardless, I did what I wanted to do and could not imagine my higher education years going any better.
Fast forward back to present day. I’m about to graduate from the University of Oregon with my B.A. in journalism with hopes and dreams of a job. People, once again, come up to me and ask me the loaded question that seems to run through American’s life blood like Osmosis Jones:
“So, what are you doing after graduation?”
The only difference is, this time they say it with a somber tone—expecting you to say, “I’m moving back in with my parents,” or “I’m thinking about going back to school,” or the god-forbid “I don’t know.”
But, you know what, I do know. I am wrapping up an 10-week internship at a Portland publication through an immersive program that has taught me more over the duration than many classes did put together. I now know the inter-workings of an industry that prides itself on a calm-collected external image while all hell is breaking loose in the internal—I am 100 percent sure that couldn’t have been taught any of that in a classroom.
So, to all those who are wondering, I know what I will be doing come June: I’ll be graduating and using the skills given to me over the past four years and translating them into the business world with the internships that this school has provided me. The PDXSX cohort has been an extremely hard-working cohort, looking forward to big, bright futures. And you know what, we earned it. I’m excited to see where we go.