When I speak with my friends and peers about post-grad plans, we all have different stories about how we found our first job. However, one thing we can all agree on is that landing that your first, straight-out-of-college career requires hard work, persistence and preparation. I’m writing this blog to tell you the not-so-elegant story of how I landed my first job out of college.
One day while perusing LinkedIn, convincing myself that I was working on my professional development, I accidentally tripped across my current employer. I kid you not, I wanted to see the power of the LinkedIn “Easy Apply” feature and, after a few clicks, was surprised by how easy it really was. In the matter of 30 seconds I had accidentally applied for a position I was dramatically under qualified for at a company called 2U. After a few moments of panic, I was able to withdraw my accidental submission. However, after looking into the company I had just accidentally applied for, I found that they were actually the company of my dreams, a technology company with the mission of making higher education more accessible.
A week later I scheduled a meeting with Jeanne-Marie Ryan, the Executive Director of the Center for Career Development, in order to strategize about my job search process. After expressing my interest in 2U, she gave me the contact information for Davidson Alum, Andy Thompson (’10), an employee of 2U. I connected with Andy within the next few days, had a great chat with him about his role at 2U and expressed my interest in joining the team. Presumably, Andy liked what he heard about my education and work background, because after we hung up he walked down the hall and recommended that HR review my application.
Fast forward a few weeks and many interviews later, and I have received and accepted an offer from 2U to work as a Marketing Associate in their office in the suburbs of Washington, DC. I could not be more excited about this opportunity, and sincerely believe I owe a large part of my success to the Davidson College alumni network.
In addition to 2U, Jeanne-Marie was able to connect me with Alumni at almost every company I applied to, whether it was a 30 person company or an almost 50,000 person company. Some panned out into offers and even for those that did not result in anything, I found the conversations to be extremely rewarding. The willingness of Davidson alumni to work on our behalf is encouraging. The support of the Davidson community extends far beyond this campus and I encourage all of my peers to think hard about tapping into the power of the Davidson alumni network in looking for jobs or making connections in new cities.