CampusRVA

 

Jack_Image_September2020

Career Planning — “Confused but Confident”

As I look forward to this coming school year, I am doing my best to prepare for the continual unpredictability that 2020 brings. While I have many goals and aspirations for this year and the year to come, I am constantly reminding myself to take things one day at a time. I am a marketing major at James Madison University and am on the football team as well. I am setting goals both on the field and off the field. With regards to my “off-the-field” goals, I am hoping to graduate with a GPA of 3.2 or above and narrow down my interests to at least 3 industries that intrigue me and begin searching for jobs there. I am looking forward to some of the classes I am taking this year to not only gain knowledge, but to also get a better idea of what I specifically am interested in. These classes include analytics, global marketing, integrated marketing communications, and professional selling. I am excited for all of them, and maybe slightly more about selling since I am on track for a concentration in professional selling.

Covid-19 has changed the way we work, socialize, and go about our daily lives. Unfortunately, our football season was cancelled due to the virus. While it seems completely unfair, we are far from the only people affected by these changes; it is something everyone is struggling to deal with. The only reasonable way I can cope with this all is to really do my best to take advantage of the opportunities I have right now.

I am so fortunate to have had this opportunity with the ChamberRVA as the YRichmond intern for the summer. Especially with so many internships having been cancelled, I am so grateful that I was able to have such meaningful work with amazing mentors. The experience  really opened my eyes to new things I might be interested in going forward (like working for a chamber!). I was also able to meet many different people with different backgrounds in Richmond- I can really see myself being a part of it.

When I think about where to live after I graduate, being within a reasonable driving distance to my hometown is the most important factor to me. However, I do not mind driving as far as 8-10 hours during a road trip. I have a few places I am interested in living after college, but I am doing my best to keep an open mind about it all. A lot of people from my school are interested in cities such as DC, Charlotte, and Boston. I think a big draw to these areas is the “bigger city life”, and the fact that kids want to try something different and want to be around the social life and crowds when they are younger. I also think these areas provide a lot of known opportunities for business since they provide a diverse number of industries to work in. Another factor is that some of our friends already work in these areas, so word-of-mouth plays a role. While I am definitely keeping an open mind to these, I want to also be able to find a place that I would enjoy and not be completely influenced by my peers. For me it is important to keep in touch with friends and being able to visit them whenever would be something I would like to do. However, I know there’s so many places out there that aren’t talked about as much (at least in my circle), and I don’t want to limit myself from any opportunity.

In the first few years of college, I did not think I would consider moving to Richmond at all since I’ve been here my whole life living in Goochland County. However, as I have gotten older and, more recently, with this awesome internship experience, I am much more open minded to coming back here. I think I could see myself experiencing Richmond in ways that differ from how I viewed Richmond growing up. Working with ChamberRVA has shown me the vast opportunities in the business community that I didn’t even know existed. I think Richmond is a growing city that is really all about what you make it. I like this idea for a number of reasons, the biggest one being that there is a great mix between big companies and startups, both of which I want to work for just to gain the experience. I also think Richmond would be a great place to start a business which I am interested in. It has a diverse market and opportunities to grow and expand. Whether I start out here or come back here one day, I could definitely see myself living in Richmond.

I am a big believer that opportunities present themselves at the right times; in other words, things happen for a reason. As I see my peers preparing to enter the “real world” and get “adult” jobs, I see this recurring stress people have over not having everything figured out. I fall victim to this same thing, and I am still working on catching myself when it happens. While I am majoring in marketing and pursuing a concentration in sales, I do not think sales is something I want to do my whole life. In fact, my favorite class so far has been a business law class that I would’ve gotten a C in if it weren’t for the extra credit opportunities. Maybe I will find myself in the law field some day! Looking towards my last year I think studying sales is going to be a great experience and something that I can apply to whatever job or career I pursue after college. I am still learning that you do not have to have it all figured out in your 20s, or even 30’s for that matter. The media and our perception of people’s lives push us into this rat race that is not all bad, but certainly does not need to be the standard for our generation.

I honestly have no idea what I want to do when I get older. I have ideas of what I might do after college: marketing/sales, advertising, analytics, consulting. I am trying to balance seeing myself in a position with keeping an open mind to all positions- or better said, I am still a little confused and have no idea what I want to do. However, I do know that if I pursue things that I love and things that intrigue me, I’ll find my way through and not regret a moment of it. Opportunities are all about what you make them, and I apologize for my cliché’s, but they are clichés for a reason. My end goal is to start my own business one day, but if you ask me any more details my answer will be the same- just not sure yet.

Thinking more specifically towards job searching, I am leaning towards taking my redshirt year in football, so the earliest I could get a job is in the spring of 2022. After physically typing that it seems so far away. I know even though it may seem like this, it will come sooner than I think, and I need to start looking now. I have been in touch with several companies this year as I was searching for an internship, as well as meeting with people at career fairs. I am going to do my best to meet as many people at different companies at JMU’s career fairs this year, as well as network with whoever I can. I think these career fairs have helped me talk through what companies look for in certain positions, and also open my eyes to certain companies I wouldn’t normally think of or ones I haven’t even heard of. I am excited for what this coming school year has to bring.

As I look forward to this coming school year, I am doing my best to prepare for the continual unpredictability that 2020 brings. While I have many goals and aspirations for this year and the year to come, I am constantly reminding myself to take things one day at a time. I am a marketing major at James Madison University and am on the football team as well. I am setting goals both on the field and off the field. With regards to my “off-the-field” goals, I am hoping to graduate with a GPA of 3.2 or above and narrow down my interests to at least 3 industries that intrigue me and begin searching for jobs there. I am looking forward to some of the classes I am taking this year to not only gain knowledge, but to also get a better idea of what I specifically am interested in. These classes include analytics, global marketing, integrated marketing communications, and professional selling. I am excited for all of them, and maybe slightly more about selling since I am on track for a concentration in professional selling.

Covid-19 has changed the way we work, socialize, and go about our daily lives. Unfortunately, our football season was cancelled due to the virus. While it seems completely unfair, we are far from the only people affected by these changes; it is something everyone is struggling to deal with. The only reasonable way I can cope with this all is to really do my best to take advantage of the opportunities I have right now.

I am so fortunate to have had this opportunity with the ChamberRVA as the YRichmond intern for the summer. Especially with so many internships having been cancelled, I am so grateful that I was able to have such meaningful work with amazing mentors. The experience  really opened my eyes to new things I might be interested in going forward (like working for a chamber!). I was also able to meet many different people with different backgrounds in Richmond- I can really see myself being a part of it.

When I think about where to live after I graduate, being within a reasonable driving distance to my hometown is the most important factor to me. However, I do not mind driving as far as 8-10 hours during a road trip. I have a few places I am interested in living after college, but I am doing my best to keep an open mind about it all. A lot of people from my school are interested in cities such as DC, Charlotte, and Boston. I think a big draw to these areas is the “bigger city life”, and the fact that kids want to try something different and want to be around the social life and crowds when they are younger. I also think these areas provide a lot of known opportunities for business since they provide a diverse number of industries to work in. Another factor is that some of our friends already work in these areas, so word-of-mouth plays a role. While I am definitely keeping an open mind to these, I want to also be able to find a place that I would enjoy and not be completely influenced by my peers. For me it is important to keep in touch with friends and being able to visit them whenever would be something I would like to do. However, I know there’s so many places out there that aren’t talked about as much (at least in my circle), and I don’t want to limit myself from any opportunity.

In the first few years of college, I did not think I would consider moving to Richmond at all since I’ve been here my whole life living in Goochland County. However, as I have gotten older and, more recently, with this awesome internship experience, I am much more open minded to coming back here. I think I could see myself experiencing Richmond in ways that differ from how I viewed Richmond growing up. Working with ChamberRVA has shown me the vast opportunities in the business community that I didn’t even know existed. I think Richmond is a growing city that is really all about what you make it. I like this idea for a number of reasons, the biggest one being that there is a great mix between big companies and startups, both of which I want to work for just to gain the experience. I also think Richmond would be a great place to start a business which I am interested in. It has a diverse market and opportunities to grow and expand. Whether I start out here or come back here one day, I could definitely see myself living in Richmond.

I am a big believer that opportunities present themselves at the right times; in other words, things happen for a reason. As I see my peers preparing to enter the “real world” and get “adult” jobs, I see this recurring stress people have over not having everything figured out. I fall victim to this same thing, and I am still working on catching myself when it happens. While I am majoring in marketing and pursuing a concentration in sales, I do not think sales is something I want to do my whole life. In fact, my favorite class so far has been a business law class that I would’ve gotten a C in if it weren’t for the extra credit opportunities. Maybe I will find myself in the law field some day! Looking towards my last year I think studying sales is going to be a great experience and something that I can apply to whatever job or career I pursue after college. I am still learning that you do not have to have it all figured out in your 20s, or even 30’s for that matter. The media and our perception of people’s lives push us into this rat race that is not all bad, but certainly does not need to be the standard for our generation.

I honestly have no idea what I want to do when I get older. I have ideas of what I might do after college: marketing/sales, advertising, analytics, consulting. I am trying to balance seeing myself in a position with keeping an open mind to all positions- or better said, I am still a little confused and have no idea what I want to do. However, I do know that if I pursue things that I love and things that intrigue me, I’ll find my way through and not regret a moment of it. Opportunities are all about what you make them, and I apologize for my cliché’s, but they are clichés for a reason. My end goal is to start my own business one day, but if you ask me any more details my answer will be the same- just not sure yet.

Thinking more specifically towards job searching, I am leaning towards taking my redshirt year in football, so the earliest I could get a job is in the spring of 2022. After physically typing that it seems so far away. I know even though it may seem like this, it will come sooner than I think, and I need to start looking now. I have been in touch with several companies this year as I was searching for an internship, as well as meeting with people at career fairs. I am going to do my best to meet as many people at different companies at JMU’s career fairs this year, as well as network with whoever I can. I think these career fairs have helped me talk through what companies look for in certain positions, and also open my eyes to certain companies I wouldn’t normally think of or ones I haven’t even heard of. I am excited for what this coming school year has to bring.

Life in Richmond – “How Richmond Chose Me”

As a native Richmonder, If anyone asked me why I stayed in Richmond after graduation, I’d answer with the same general responses: “There’s so many good companies here..” and list a bunch of companies with zero knowledge of the company or its function. Or, I would tell them that my family, friends, and boyfriend are in Richmond, which honestly gave me little to no incentive to move. In actuality, I initially chose Richmond because it was comfortable. I had grown up here, went to school here, and even fell in love right here in the city. It didn’t dawn on me that my presence in Richmond had a bigger meaning until very recently. Over the last couple of years, I’ve received so many opportunities to really immerse myself in the Greater Richmond community, that I had some semblance of an epiphany: maybe I didn’t choose Richmond, instead Richmond chose me.

It all started with my decision to attend Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), a school located directly in the “Heart of the City”. Because I grew up in Henrico, one of the three neighboring counties surrounding Richmond City, I just knew that I was going to be the RVA expert! I mean, I had driven up and down Broad Street about a trillion times, knew how to get to the campus Walmart, and was a master at reading the street signs, if I do say so myself. But, somehow someway I kept getting lost around the city and soon realized I was wasn’t the RVA connoisseur I thought I was. Being a first-year at VCU allowed me to access different events in The Fan area, which introduced me to events like Broad Apetit and First Fridays on Broad. While in school, I also developed a greater appreciation for the places and events I was already familiar with, such as the 2nd Street Festival and all the delicious restaurants located on the historic street, my personal favorite being Southern Kitchen. (I recommend the country fried chicken!)

As I got a bit more acclimated to city life, I decided to explore Richmond further, meaning outside of campus! Richmond is home to some of the nation’s most important history lessons and historical figures, with its history starting even before the United States was a sovereign nation. St. John’s Church in Richmond was where American revolutionary Patrick Henry gave his famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech. I made sure to take a trip the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood, home to Maggie L. Walker, the first African-American woman to charter a bank. One October day, a few friends and I took a chilling tour of the Edgar Allen Poe museum, luckily for us there weren’t any Ravens around! I also made sure to take a moment to visit Shockoe Bottom and its historic ports and auction houses to learn the painful but necessary history of slavery in Richmond, and how the city has progressed since then. It was important for me to get to know the city where I lived, and it’s even more important for me to be somewhere that is constantly learning from its own history and taking measures to progress forward despite a challenging past.

While in school, I continued to get to know Richmond by interning with several various organizations that represent the many different industries in the region. During my first year, I was one of a few virtual social media interns for a movie production called “Born That Way”. I was able to tap into my creative side and run a Tumblr blog featuring imagery I personally curated. I traveled to my favorite scenic locations in Richmond such as Carytown, Maymont Park, the Virginia Capital Trail, and Belle Isle, most commonly known as “The Rocks” by most Richmonders. RVA’s vibrant landscape made for beautiful blog posts as well as the portraits of Richmond’s unique and diverse population. After that internship, I decided to take on another job in the entertainment field as a volunteer for the Afrikaana Film Festival. The Afrikaana Film Festival is a three-day event in Richmond that highlights the work of Black filmmakers. I was fortunate enough to work with some of the best filmmakers, restaurant owners, event planners, and dedicated community representatives to put on a wonderful event showcasing a respected artform in Richmond. Working this event helped me to become familiar working with professionals with high experience in their careers and pick up on a few soft skills necessary for young professionals to have in the workplace. The skills I mastered within my first two internships helped me to land my final one at ChamberRVA. While at the Chamber, I was able to use what I learned from previous jobs and apply them to a totally different industry. Working multiple jobs in Richmond helped me to develop a better understanding of the city, introduced me to different ways Richmond companies work with each other, and helped me to become a better professional. After graduating college, I was offered a full-time position as the Marketing and Communications Coordinator at ChamberRVA!

After starting my job, it took a few months to transition from being a full-time student to a full-time professional. Learning how to maneuver working downtown was a bit of a challenge, especially learning where I could or couldn’t park. I came up with a perfect route into the city in the morning using the GRTC Pulse. It took a couple tries, but after a few trips I started catching the Pulse like a pro and even started to recognize people on my morning commute! I moved out on my own into a community I absolutely love! Growing up East of Richmond meant I spent my childhood playing in corn fields and riding my bike down long, rural roads. Now that I’m on my own, I chose to stay in Glen Allen, a northern-Henrico area that’s 20 minutes away from every place I’d ever frequent. The Greater Richmond Region is unique because each part of the city has a different look and feel, which allowed me to not feel limited when looking for places to settle down.

Now that I have been out of college for almost a year and have finally adjusted to my new life in RVA, I’m realizing that Richmond was the best choice for me from the jump! I chose to stay in Richmond because it felt like the safest option, but now I’m realizing that Richmond chose me. RVA is a city full of rich history and opportunity that calls out the ambitious. This city has reinvented itself to become a place people are proud to be from and is striving for better. Every professional opportunity, girl’s night out, and trip to work fit perfectly into my life. All this time I thought I was playing it safe, I was really developing into a talented and eager young professional in one of the best environments on the East Coast. Although there may be other lovely river cities, nowhere has the perfect balance of leadership success, business resiliency, and regional prosperity quite like Richmond! If you’re looking to align your goals and ambitions to a progressive and dynamic city to settle down in, Richmond, Virginia is the place for you.

Janea

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