This weekend, I'm walking the stage

I actually graduated 6 months ago, but I’m walking the stage at the Bren on Sunday. I kept my (under the table) part time job in Newport Beach, just so I had an excuse to visit people that were important to me every single week. Of course it was expected that I should start looking for a full time job, and I did, but it was the hardest 6 months emotionally.

It was a blessing and a curse to be unemployed.

I first interviewed with an engineering firm for a graphic intern position. I got through HR and had an interview with higher ups. They asked if I was going to go back to school to get relevant education on what I wanted pursue. I said yes, but then they seemed disinterested after that, I assumed they found someone with a graphics degree already. I didn’t get any response from them after the interview. I felt defeated.

The day after, I interviewed for a Web Manager position for a fashion wholesale company located in Downtown LA. I came in confident, because it was an industry I actually had interest in, and I had relevant experience. It was a really easy interview, the manager asked what my expected salary and I gave him a number. I get an email later that day with the offer, but the pay was totally unfair, just because I didn’t major in what I wanted to do. I cried that night because I didn’t know what I wanted. I needed to get my foot into the fashion industry somehow, but I didn’t want to make my parents and boyfriend unhappy. I rejected the offer and regretted it.

This was when I started freaking out. Two interviews made me felt like I wouldn’t make it in marketing and graphic design. I like business, but I don’t think I could sit at an office my whole life analyzing numbers and doing economic calculations. I fell in love with the creative side of business, but my school didn’t offer any major related. I started sending out apps for business economics related jobs, and no responses at all. I had no experience.

I then got an interview for a graphic design position for a more well known fashion company. However, during the interview I found out that the position was at a senior level, and I wondered how did I even get to this stage. The e-commerce manager loved me, I could tell, but I did not have as many years of experience compared to the other candidate that got picked. I was in the top 2, and I didn’t get the offer. She told me I would make it far in the fashion industry with my passion and I should be proud that I made it to the final decision. This did help me stay motivated for a design and fashion job, but I still felt like it would take me forever to be good enough for it. I considered going to FIDM, and pay for it myself, but then my parents would have thought that I wasted all their money for a useless degree at UCI.

My boyfriend ends up getting a job in San Diego, and I felt this pressure move there and find something in order to be happy. At the time I thought all I wanted to pursue was something in the fashion industry, and what sucked was that the opportunities in San Diego for that type of career was rare. I applied for a few things, got a response for an internship for an e-commerce company, but was disheartened when they said it would be unpaid. I decided I would live with my parents and just find a job here in LA, and attempt this long distance relationship thing.
My parents started saying that I was doing nothing at home, when honestly I kept myself busy. My dad also called me immature at one point, and that I need to grow up. This is when I started applying to random industries, fashion or not, I just needed a job for experience and to basically tell my parents that I can do things on my own.

A month ago, a resort close to home contacted me back for an initial phone interview for the marketing communication designer position. I didn’t know if I wanted to continue with this because my boyfriend got his job offer transferred to a closer office. Our original plan was to get jobs in the OC and live together. The whole hiring process for this company took forever, it kept me anxious. I did the phone interview and right after I got asked to come in for an interview with the marketing department. That one was easy breezy, and I got asked to do a design test, and then after, I was requested to come in to interview with the Vice President of Marketing. Everyone said my portfolio and I stood out from all the candidates, and my skills will only make the company better, and guess what? I got the offer. The pay was good, the benefits were great, and the location was amazing. I couldn’t decline it.

So in two weeks I will be working in the Sales & Marketing Department at a place where people spend hundreds to vacation. The job hunt is over and I’m finally stable. My interviewing skills got better since the first, I was able to sell myself as skilled even though I didn’t really major in my field. For those who are about to graduate without a job lined up or still looking for jobs, let me tell you it was quite a journey. You may land one pretty quick, like how I did, but don’t take it just because you’re desperate. You’ll find the right job, just don’t give up. Take advantage of all the free time you have while job hunting.

I found one just in time for my commencement, I feel pretty damn accomplished.