By Alex Whisnant, May 2015, BA in Psychology
If I can offer any words of advice for those of you currently in school, it would be to pursue your dreams and don’t settle!
I graduated from GWU in May 2015 with an undergraduate degree in psychology. I had known for a while that I was not going to immediately go to graduate school but was instead going to venture out and try to work for a little while. Unfortunately, I had not applied to any jobs in my field prior to graduation (I had felt too overwhelmed with classes, my current job, and my countless other extra-curriculars) so I had no leads. And I know many of you are thinking, “haha, a bachelor’s in psychology, you might as well just go to your nearest burger joint and apply now.” Well what I did was much worse… three days after our commencement ceremony I found myself out in Oklahoma going door to door selling alarm systems! And I did this for three months. Womp. Womp.
It was grueling to say the least, and most importantly I wasn’t happy. Adding to my discontent was the unhappiness of many of my co-workers; yet, a lot of them had been returning to the job for multiple years simply because it paid/ had the potential to pay well. I knew that this was not what I had spent the past four years forgoing much needed sleep and good home cooking for. It was not the proper fit, and it was not my passion.
So when my allotted time to work for the company was up, I returned home to DC as soon as possible. I am delighted to say that after nearly taking an entry-level job at a pizza company (I guess I was a little desperate) I now have found truly fulfilling employment at two different jobs. At one job I teach kids with learning disabilities how to read. Additionally, I am a supervisor for CASA DC (we represent and befriend youth in the foster care system).
I am SO grateful that I didn’t settle, that I didn’t undermine my hard work, my experience, and ultimately my truest self. I searched until I found the job that fit my skillset and interests. Sometimes, all that is needed is the right combination of perseverance and patience.
All the Best!