Six weeks ago I wrote my first post for this blog, “How To: Become an Adult,” and I can’t help but chuckle. I imagined that this term would be an abrupt introduction to adult life but instead these past weeks have been a comfortable, slow transition out of the “college-scene.”
I’m not surprised because, let’s face it:
- I’m living at home.
- I’ve lived in Portland my entire life.
- I’m still taking three classes.
- I’m in my comfort zone surrounded with family and old friends.
But in one month this could completely change. In one month I could be living in a new city and working at my first salaried job. I could be living with strangers and making new friends in an unfamiliar place; I could be drastically out of my comfort zone.
Although these past weeks haven’t been necessarily difficult in terms of my personal arrangement, the Portland Senior Experience (PDXSX) has let me peer into the adult world and learn how to prepare for it. My internship is allowing me to gain the tools needed for an entry-level position and also to experience office culture. This program has been the perfect taste of being a real, live adult, even if I’m not exactly there yet.
So, what’s in one month? A couple of weeks ago I went to San Francisco to visit friends, explore a city I love, and, ultimately, pursue moving there. To accomplish the latter, I set up informational interviews with four very different organizations. The informational interviews offered great insight into each agency and about the process. This is what I’ve learned so far:
Connect to UO
I’ve found that perusing my LinkedIn connections and filtering the search by city and past education is very effective. If you can make the connection to a UO alumni and even better, a student organization, that person will likely be happy to talk with you about their work. The UO’s School of Journalism and Communication is highly reputable and reaching out to fellow ducks will work in your benefit.
Want to work there
This might seem obvious, but if you’re taking the time to set up an informational interview, you should want to work there. Even if the organization is small and might not be hiring, take a chance talking with someone if it’s where you’d like to be. Your enthusiasm about the organization will show, and as the saying goes, the more the merrier!
Show your gratitude
You’re speaking with busy people who are taking time out of their schedule to meet with you. Their time is precious and they’re spending some of it with you. Say thank you in person and mean it; send an email and thank them for their time; write a thank you card and show your gratitude. Overkill? I think not.
As scary as it is, I could be out of my comfort zone before I know it. I’m going to vow, as you should, that in the next couple weeks while I’m still a student and in this top-notch program, that I won’t take this time in my life for granted.
I’m excited to hear what everyone’s next steps are…
Farewell, PDXSX blog, and in not so long, farewell PDXSX!