While vacancies have returned to pre-pandemic levels, competition for entry-level positions remain fierce. Recent graduates face not only each other, but also those who waited for the pandemic in graduate school and the more experienced workers who have been made redundant. The Wall Street Journal spoke to five workers in their mid-twenties who pursued careers in fields ranging from engineering to entrepreneurship. Here are their tips for pursuing your childhood passion in the professional world.
Key points to remember
1. Know the challenges your industry is facing.
Before Sergio Santamaria became a data analyst for the Detroit Pistons, he studied sports management and data science in college. He says understanding the challenges facing the industry you hope to work in, and then positioning yourself as someone with the skills to meet them, is key to landing a job in a coveted field. “I was really aware that the NBA was moving more and more towards analytics and technology,” he says. “I knew these skills would serve me really well as a job candidate. “
2. Keep your wonderment childish.
Cheyenne Chapel has always loved disappearing into the immersive worlds of animated films and games. She is now a model maker and dresser for Walt Disney Co.’s Pixar Animation Studios, where she builds the digital environments moviegoers get lost in. “Keeping the same energy you had when you were a kid and translating it into the application process, although I know it can be tough and difficult, everything will work as long as you keep trying,” says Chapel.
3. Build relationships with everyone.
After a series of internships and a job at a tech startup while in college, Josh Belinksy was well positioned for a successful career in sales after graduation. Instead, he decided to start his own business in 2018, co-founding Slate Milk, which makes ultra-filtered, lactose-free chocolate milk. He relied on his ability to build relationships when searching for a job and recommends that students and graduates, even those who may not have his gift for gossip, do so as well. “Just start talking to people,” he says. “You would be amazed at how willing people are to help. “
4. Internships often result in decisive opportunities.
Other interviewees say that their internships have been a crucial part of launching their professional careers. A university internship showed Madeline Firkser, major in sociology, that she wanted to work in criminal justice reform. The relationships she built through her internship helped her find a job at JustLeadershipUSA, where she says the best part of her day is working with a large group of colleagues who are equally passionate about mitigation. the effects of the pandemic on people in prison. Likewise, Gabrielle Lanuouette, a full-stack machine learning engineer, says it was a tech support internship that put her on the path she wanted.
“Everyone needs help with their computer, no matter what their job,” says Lanuouette, who works at Orbis International, a non-profit organization focused on treating blindness and eye disease in developing countries. economic development. “I was hired full time in the engineering department because I was able to meet people from that department. “
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