Over the holidays, I had a chance to sit down with three of my best friends and classmates from Georgetown University (HOYA SAXA!) to learn more about their career successes, blunders and nuggets of wisdom.
Biggest mistake you have made on an application?
Clare, the PR professional: When I was applying to Colgate University, I used the same essay that I had submitted to Georgetown University and it still said that I couldn’t wait to be a member of the Georgetown class of 2013.
Jill, the MBA: When I was applying to business school, I said, “I am so thrilled to join the class of 2017”, when I’d be graduating in 2017…
Christina, the doctor: I definitely did that too…
Who are your ‘second pair of eyes’ when you are applying to a job, medical school, etc.?
Clare, the PR professional: I always send my resume and cover letters to my Dad to weigh in on the job application format because he has done it so many times. I also give it to my mom because she is my biggest fan. She will remind me that I can get the job and she is also an excellent proofreader.
Jill, the MBA: Me too!
Christina, the doctor: My mom, my dad, my older sister, Clare, Jillian, you- so, friends and family!
#3 What is your biggest piece of advice for a young professional ?
Clare, the PR professional: Go everywhere. Sometimes in business you don’t necessarily expect that your job is going to take you from New York to Singapore but that is what I was able to do with my job. Taking that opportunity, I got exposure to an entirely new market and then I came back and learned so much more about my job in New York that I ever thought I could.
Jill, the MBA: Be adaptable. You can only plan so far in advance and you have to be willing to take opportunities even if it’s not exactly how you saw things going.
Christina, the doctor: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes when you feel like you’re supposed to be at a certain stage, you feel like you can’t ask for help, but people are always willing to help. You just have to find that right person.
Best piece of professional advice that you have received?
Clare, the PR professional: My boss, Tracy, once told me that the most interesting story about yourself is often at your edges, not at your core. So never overlook experiences you’ve had because that is something that is truly the game changer for your experience and what you bring to the project.
Jill, the MBA: My dad told me to always leverage your resources – that could be people, services, whatever it is. As long as you are aware of what you need help with, you can always find the help that you need.
Christina, the doctor: Don’t underestimate yourself. I think this can be taken in a lot of different ways. For me, what was important was figuring out how to be confident in myself and the skills and abilities that I know I have that are sometimes easy to forget in this competitive process. Figure out what your strengths are, be proud of them and figure out how to show them in the best way.