Thursday, October 3, 2013

Reaching Your Dream Career

Let me just say, dreams really do come true. Now I’m not saying that your dreams will all of a
sudden go poof, you’re the world’s best basketball player, or poof, you just landed your dream job. But what I’m really saying is that if you work hard, be determined to reach your goals, and utilize the resources around you, your dreams just may come true. As a student ambassador here at Anderson, let me give you my perspective and insight into reaching your dream career.

Have A Vision:  Where do you want to go and what do you want in your future? Is it success? Is it a type of position? I always knew I wanted to be successful, and when I entered Anderson, I was in awe of the many opportunities I could grab to make that happen.  After taking a few classes, I realized my passion was marketing. But it’s not just enough to say, “I enjoy marketing.” What I really wanted was to become a marketing director.  It’s about having direction to where you are headed. Or, as in another analogy, “I really enjoy kids maybe I should become a teacher.” Knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing is beneficial in keeping you on track of what you really want to happen. Think of vision as a guideline to success and to your dream career.

Grow Your Network:  Expand your relationships with the 3 P’s:  Peers, Professors, and Professionals. In order to do this, it may require you stepping out of your comfort zone if you’re shy, or grabbing a hold of opportunities for social interaction. When I entered Anderson, I was a shy student. I went to class, did the work, and was nervous to go to events. Now that I’ve been in Anderson a few years, I can say that growing my network has been very beneficial to me. The support system at Anderson is incredible. Peers connect and help each other out, professors reach out to you, and professionals that visit Anderson are thrilled to meet you. From my experience, I knew I had to grow my network, and in fact, I really wanted to! It was then I decided to make more friends, get to know my professors, and go to events where professionals were in attendance. One thing led to another, and soon I found myself speaking in front of 600 Anderson alumni and community leaders at the 2013 Anderson Hall of Fame Awards Banquet. I would not have had that opportunity if professors and professionals here at Anderson did not know who I was. 

Capitalize On Opportunities:  Workshops, events, organizations galore! Anderson provides many great resources for you to expand your skills, knowledge, and again, grow your network! Here’s my advice: Say “Yes”. I know we are all busy and have many things on our plate, but if you have some free time, the answer should always be yes. What do you have to lose? Nothing, when what you have to gain is knowledge from Career Services workshops, increased networking opportunities, and resume building by joining organizations. I know for a fact that if I had not said yes to as many things as I did, I would not have a full-time job waiting for me at graduation. Why not take advantage of every opportunity to reach your dreams, am I right?

Polish Your Materials:  Resume, cover letter, business cards, 30 second commercial, etc. Make sure your resume is up-to-date, you always have business cards in stock, and your 30 second commercial is superb! You never know when the perfect opportunity will come along, so be prepared. The best advice:  Set up a meeting with Kate Williams ( and go to the career services workshops. If you have a job in mind, the best thing you can do is be prepared by making sure your materials are in line with that job. Before I got my internship with General Mills, I took my resume to Kate where she gave me awesome advice. I know I would not have gotten the internship without career services and her help. The right materials can lead you to getting the right job!

Do Your Best: Work hard, work hard, work hard. I cannot stress enough that doing your best in school will help you reach your dreams. I can say from my experience that hard work does not go unnoticed. The opportunities for scholarships, internships, and jobs will grow if you commit to work hard every day. One thing I also know is that employers care about grades. If you have a 4.0, it shows you worked very hard and went the extra mile to achieve that which is great news to employers and can increase your chances of getting the job.

Be passionate and committed to your success. I encourage you to think about my five principles for success during your time at Anderson. If you do, I know you will have success. I have seen many of my peers reach their dream careers along the way, and it’s because they had a vision, grew their network, took advantage of every opportunity, polished their professional materials and did their best every day. 

Always remember to #MakeHistoryASM.

Stacy Caldwell

Stacy Caldwell is an MBA student studying marketing and operations, with a plan to graduate Dec. 2013.  She also received her BBA from Anderson in marketing and MIS. Stacy is a graduate assistant, student ambassador, advocate, and leader for student success at Anderson. She has had two internships while at Anderson. After she graduates she plans to work full time in her dream career with General Mills in Minneapolis, MN. You can reach her on LinkedIn and Twitter (@StacyJCaldwell)

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