Take it from a recent college graduate — figuring out where you fit in, especially in the midst of a global pandemic, is hard.
Let’s rewind to 2016, when I started my academic career at Rutgers University. Rutgers is many things — competitive, diverse, and… huge, with roughly 36,000 undergraduate and 14,000 graduate students. There’s a fine line between being excited and being overwhelmed, and as a new freshman among 50,000 people, Rutgers definitely had me walking that line. More importantly, Rutgers had me wondering where I really fit in.
Declaring a major in communications allowed me to meet a friendly and talented group of people. It was a great start to my academic career, and it’s where I was able to cultivate my passion for public relations, digital media, and more. I was beginning to find my place at Rutgers. In an effort to join an even tighter knit community, I signed up for Project Sunshine, a national organization that brings volunteer-led programming to pediatric patients.
For the organization’s Rutgers Chapter, this meant bringing arts and crafts to New Brunswick hospitals and creating crafts with children receiving medical care. Not only were my actions having a direct and positive impact on the community, Project Sunshine (where I went on to become president), also helped me find my place at Rutgers.
In the spring of 2019, I studied abroad in Florence, Italy. Suddenly, I wasn’t just at a new school, I was in a new country. I was in awe of the architecture, the food, and, well, everything. But I found myself wondering once again, where did I fit in?
During the first week of my classes at the International Studies Institute of Florence (ISI), I decided to volunteer for ISI’s teaching program. I taught English twice a week at a small elementary school outside of the city. This was undoubtably one of my favorite parts of studying abroad, as it allowed me to not only form meaningful relationships, but also, once again, have a direct impact on a community. I had found my place in Italy.
After graduation, I eagerly anticipated interviewing for career opportunities with a degree in one hand and three internship opportunities in the other. I was ready to tackle the real world, or so I thought. COVID-19 quickly made my transition from university to the workforce an even greater challenge than I had imagined. Career opportunities were shifting, and communication was changing. I was faced with the same question much like before — where could I fit in? Cue Taft Communications.
From healthcare, to the environment, and more, Taft champions clients in industries that do good. Taft works with a purpose, and that purpose, like mine, is to help the community. Over the years, it’s become clear that I fit best in places where I can make a positive impact, while also having fun fostering strong relationships. At Taft, I can do both and also grow my skill set by working alongside a diverse group of communications industry pros. I’m delighted to start my career at Taft. I’m delighted to have found my place.