Archive | May, 2009

Guest Post: Taking the First Steps in Your Adult Shoes

27 May

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Graduating from college is a huge step in life. The question changes from what do you want to be when you grow up to  a more realistic one- now what? The first steps you take after college are the start to your adult life. I started thinking about this in light of a friend deciding to move back home.
My friend Matt went to college in Oregon and moved to San Diego upon graduating last summer- to live with his best friend and start a new life. He got a job as a waiter to pay the bills while he looked for a job. He felt like he didn’t fit in here and talked about it often. He was constantly reminiscing about the college days and how he was the “big man on campus.” After less than a year, Matt has decided to move back home. I have mixed feelings about his move, because he did give it a shot, but I don’t think he was open minded enough.

Here’s a few pearls of wisdom for the new grad out there:

1. KEEP AN OPEN MIND: Be ready for new experiences and new challenges. Be ready to LEARN. Managing my own money and supporting myself financially was something I had to adjust to.

2. EXPECT TO BE DISAPPOINTED: You will be let down at some point, that’s life so just be ready. You might not get the first job you interview for. You may not get the salary you expected. All I’m saying is be realistic. Especially in this economy the game is totally different.

3. CHANGE IS INEVITABLE: Even if you stay in the same city you attended college, your life will not be the same. Friends will leave and life will be different. There are no “mental health days” allowed at work like in college. You need to change your method of thinking and remember that you are being paid to be there and your company values your time so you should too.

4. TAKE RISKS: If not now, then when? Move somewhere new. Apply for a job you might be under qualified for. Travel and work somewhere exotic for a while. Go out and meet new people- NETWORK! This is probably the most valuable take away networking will do wonders for your career in the present and in the future.

5. TAKE YOUR OWN PATH: This is your time to be selfish. By that I mean, you need to make decisions for yourself  about where you will live, work and play. Don’t make your plans according to what your best friend or boyfriend/girlfriend is doing- you will be left thinking what if. Go with your gut and make sure that you are doing something that you are proud of and are in a place that you feel excited about going to work and being part of the company.

Starting off is both frightening and exciting and you will never get another first chance to decide what the first thing you will do after college is going to be so make it something great and do not be afraid of listening to your heart!

-Nicole LaVelle

Nicole LaVelle is a recent graduate from San Diego where she studied graphic design she has also studied in Florence Italy and she is now working as a Designer at a marketing company. You can see her work here http://www.nicolelavelle.com

My Twitterific Customer Service Experience

26 May

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Who would have thought that a successful tip for surviving life after college would be to use and understand a social media outlet like Twitter?  Well these days if you are not in the know about Twitter and how companies are using it for free to their advantage then your chances of getting a job will decrease greatly.

Oh no not that word again…TWITTER! It is literally the hottest word in the world and is slowly causing a whole new slew of words to arise.  There are new words associated around Twittering for example, Dweet, which is a Tweet you write while drinking alcohol. Due to the uproar of Twitter and the limitations of expressing yourself in a world of only 140 characters a whole new language has evolved and now there are even Twittonaries popping up to help people become better acquainted with the lingo.

Now on to my Twittermazing experience. One Sunday night a few weeks ago due to some frustration I tweeted from my blackberry about how much I disliked Comcast because our cable and Internet never work despite them setting it up and us always paying the bill on time. To my surprise the next morning when I checked Twitter I had an @ reply from someone named ComcastBill asking me what seemed to be the problem. I wrote back and said I simply didn’t know but was dissapointed with the fact that we paid so much and it never just worked correctly. He asked me for the # off of my cable box and then checked it through the system insuring me that it must be a problem with the actual cord because everything else was running smoothly.

He then told me he could send someone out the same afternoon and I told him that my roommate was home so that would work out fine.  A few minutes later I called my roommate to tell her that a Comcast worker would be stopping by and when she answered she told me not only had he already come but he fixed the problem and was already gone!

This amazed me, I didn’t even have to pick up my phone or go online to Comcast and I got my cable fixed within less than 24 hours of it not working! Truly a shining example of a company that has a ton of money and utilizes social media by employing someone to monitor Comcast tweets online all day and night.  I didn’t even have to ask and I got my problem solved for me!

Here are some other great examples of companies using Twitter to enhance there customer service:

HR Block http://twitter.com/hrblock

Whole Foods: http://twitter.com/wholefoods

Southwest: http://twitter.com/southwestair

If all companies were utilizing Twitter their satisfaction rates would most likely go up. The bottom line is that we live in a digital world where people like things to happen at the speed of light and if you can use a free service that is easy to use and easy for your customers to use and is totally sufficient then what are you waiting for?

Looking Back: TheMadGrad’s 1st Year

22 May

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Looking over the past year since we started The Mad Grad, I think that the blogosphere has changed drastically from blogging to facebooking to micro-blogging on Twitter. Ashley and I first started this blog because after graduation we felt that despite all the resources there was no one out there that we could relate to who had recently been in our position. We decided that taking our experiences (good and bad) and  the insight we gained from them and sharing them with others would be positive not only for us to reflect on our own lives, but hopefully to inspire and assist others who were going through the same situation.

We have learned so much over the past year from our experience with our blog. We found that people all over the world could relate and benefit from the advice we had to offer about life after graduation. We also found how much time and dedication it takes to maintain a blog and balance work and life.

From being a part of the ever growing world of blogging we have discovered so many other wonderful blogs and learned that we were not the only ones out there that felt the importance of life after graduation issues. One of the best parts for us is being able to connect and even meet with like-minded bloggers. We recently even had a meet-up with some amazing women who write similar blogs and it was great to connect and spend time with them hearing their thoughts and talk in blogger about our experiences blogging and twittering!

We both have been slacking lately with our posts but have made a pact in honor of The Mad Grad being around for a year to start blogging again and using feedback from our readers to enhance what we are writing about. We know that there are a million and one things to do on the Internet and we feel privileged to be able to share our world with you all –so thank you!

-Jenny & Ashley

Inspiring Words

9 May

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I just watched Michael J Fox’s special on happiness, and found his closing words very inspiring. Enjoy! (And be sure to watch it if you missed it)

“For everything this disease has taken, something of greater value has been given. Sometimes, it’s just a marker that points me in a new direction that I might otherwise not have traveled. So sure, it may be one step forward and two steps back, but after a time with Parkinson’s I’ve learned that what’s important is making that one step count. It’s evident in Tracy’s love and inexhaustible friendship, the toothless grip in Esma’s smilie, Aquinna’s grace, Schuyler’s grip, Sam’s intrepid curiosity. Since I’m not sure of which address to send my gratitude, I put it out there in everything I do. Its my ongoing journey and what I’ve discovered is that optimists are open to alternatives in the face of adversity- they deal with reality head on. That hope flourishes in groups and resonates when people are doing what they love and that happiness is contagious- you can give it out like newspapers and feel it in everything you do.”