Post-Grad Success: A Conversation

BP Nov 23 CZarin & ATaylor

By Ava Taylor, B.A. ’13, Communication
and Carson Zarin, B.A. ’13, Sociology

Carsen: It became clear very early on in my conversation with Ava that we define success quite differently.  My mind immediately began whirling of my fellow classmates who graduated to work at places like Google and Time Magazine.

Ava: While it’s true some of our peers and fellow GW alumni are killing the game, I have come to realize that “success” is whatever you-the individual-define it as. We are both killing our own game because we are working hard to better ourselves all the time – from joining student orgs in college, to getting internships, to landing full-time jobs after graduation and paying our own rent. These are all successes in my mind and comparing our version of success with someone else’s version is like comparing apples to oranges.

Carsen: What Ava was trying to explain to me is that we’re successful simply because we have a job. Moreover, we have a job where we collaborate with each other every day and work to help millions (literally) of NSCS members across the nation on a daily basis. Having a job in itself was a benchmark and we got to check it off our list. For that alone, we’re successful. Additionally, Ava recruited me to this job, which means I had a friend in the world looking out for me! How lucky am I?

Ava: Not to mention neither of us would be in this position to talk about our “successes” if it hadn’t been for GW. We had a solid group of peers that pushed us to achieve more but we also were inspired by our professors there as well. Christine Clapp, my advisor in the Communication department, was an amazing example.

Carsen: Christine Clapp! What a legend. I was a Sociology major and still had the profound pleasure of being taught by Professor Clapp. Larry Lipman, too. Did you ever work with him?

Ava: No, I didn’t, but I could go on for hours about all the amazing teachers I had who impacted my college experience. But not only were the people at GW impactful, just being in this city was an advantage that not many college students and recent grads get to benefit from like we did.

Carsen: DC definitely gave us a step up in the game.  While I’m a huge ally of those who left their comfort zone and moved away from “college-land” there is something to say about the pre-established network we both have in DC now simply because we’ve been here for 6 years now. Wow…6 years…

Ava: But even in other cities that network stands strong. The community of GW alumni across the nation is HUGE. It’s so comforting to know that no matter where we find ourselves next, there will be someone to reach out to because of our shared GW experience.

Carsen: The culmination of all these things are what led us to our careers at the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.  I’m even managing an intern right now who went to GW- it’s surreal and lovely to see the cycle continue and know that I am now a part of his DC network that will lead him to great success one day.

Ava: Using the connections and opportunities provided by GW and the DC community definitely helped shape our “success stories” – even if we still feel like there are more successes to accomplish in the future – and I think I can speak for both of us when I say I’m excited to continue to be a part of the success cycle.

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