I’m awkward. Weird. Strange. Those are some of the words I would use to describe myself. I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember. I never really felt like I fit in or that people really liked me.
So, here we are with another school year almost gone and the time many new job candidates enter the pool of potential employees. Now whether you are a seasoned career veteran looking for a change of scenery or a recent graduate just entering the work force, one thing is for sure, you will have to get prepared for the interview process.
We all have someone we look at and say, “That’s where I want to be in 5 (10, 15) years”. You have an idea of what your end game is in your budding career, but don’t really know how to get there, who to ask or where to start. My advice to you: find someone who is already been there and been successful! A mentor. Cultivating a mentor relationship, whether you are a veteran or a newbie, can help you put a focus on where you want to take your career.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Throughout the course of our adolescent and teenage lives we have all been asked this question over and over again. I, like many when they were younger, just thought of the coolest jobs I could think of: dolphin trainer or rock star; the latter to which I am still hopeful for. However, over the years the answer to that question is expected to get more serious. When I was posed with that question (again) at 25 years old I knew it was time to nail down what I wanted to do for a career. After attending Mohawk College in the evening, part time, taking business classes while working, I made the most terrifying decision of my life: I was going to quit my job and attend Mohawk as a full time student. So, I enrolled in the Business Marketing program. I didn’t know it at the time, but this turned out to be the best decision I could have made.
So, there I was having the ‘college experience’, meeting new people and getting the education I needed to land my dream job. I could write 200 blog posts to tell you all of the ways my experiences at Mohawk helped me get to where I am now (and where I’ll be in 5 years from now), but who has that kind of time. So I’ll settle by telling you about the one thing almost all of those experiences have in common – my professors. Whether it was learning the ins and outs of retail with Pat Koledjeski, discussing the market mix with Deborah Weston or evaluating integrated marketing campaigns with Janice Shearer each and every one of my professors inspired me to do the very best I was capable of doing.
Not only did Mohawk offer me such great opportunity for learning in class, but I was lucky enough to be involved in Mohawk with extracurricular activities within the marketing department as well. I took part in the Ontario College Marketing Competition as well as the BDC Case Challenge in Montreal.
Fast forward to 2012 and I find myself living in Winnipeg, MB with my significant other and son. Moving to Winnipeg was bittersweet for me. I grew up here and missed my family; however, it was far away from Toronto and, I thought, far away from where I saw my career. To my surprise, Winnipeg houses an award winning marketing communications firm and this is where I go to work every day. Creative briefs, marketing campaigns and client satisfaction is part of my everyday life and I owe a big thank for to Mohawk for helping me get here.
I hope to bring some laughs and insight to the Mohawk Alumni Blog. I’ll be writing about life as a working mom and my experiences working within the marketing industry.
– Jen Elson
Business – Marketing (Co-op) ‘10
Follow Jen @JenJeae