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So. What do I want to do when I graduate? I want to take a position that will enable me to gain a lot of great experience and PR skills right off the bat, so that hopefully I can be a chief communications officer in the future. It isn’t that I necessarily want to stay focused in PR; I’ve had a plethora of excellent experiences throughout various aspects of corporate communication, and I want to someday be able to oversee them all. I LOVE internal communication, and I hope to eventually have an influence in that sphere. However, I believe the route to becoming senior enough to make a real impact is through building a strong PR background. I feel that if you have the compassion, the instinct and the ability to identify the needs of employees, you can come back to internal at any time, but the external facing PR skills need to be honed while you are early in your career and can translate to a betterment of internal skills. Mostly, I believe that to be successful, I have to keep my eye on the prize and get as much experience as possible to help me when I finally get there… and I don’t think going back to school for a part time MBA would hurt either.
To be clear, I do not believe it is fair to look at a job as a stepping stone or a means to go elsewhere. I’ve mentioned before that I have never disliked a job. I know that wherever I end up, I will be passionate about my job. I know that I will do it to the best of my ability, and I know that I will work tirelessly to make sure the organization I am working for can complete its goals. That is simply who I am as a person. By approaching each career move as a new and exciting chance to learn something new and become a better communicator, I know that every position I hold along the way will be valuable to me, and I know that view will help me to be a valuable employee to a particular organization.
It scares me a bit to talk to peers who have no idea where they want to be in 15 years. Hell, some don’t even know where they want to be in 6 months. The response to “What do you want to do when you graduate?” ranges from “work in advertising” to “get a job” to “make money” to “be a housewife”. It’s strange to think that most people haven’t thought bigger picture about where they want to be positioned within an organization. Most don’t mention management ambitions, but if you push, nobody is striving to be low man on the totem pole either. I think it will be quite interesting to come to Alumni weekend at BU in 10 years and see where everyone stands with their ambitions (or lack there of). I’m sure that most of us will be successful in some way, shape or form. And success is really just measured by your personal satisfaction anyway. I guess I’m most excited to see at what level most people are satisfied with their careers and to hear about the experiences that got them there.