If you asked me a year ago where I would be working when I graduated from college, there are several things I might have told you. There is one thing, though, that I can tell you I wouldn't have said: the construction industry. In fact, if I had a list of industries I never imagined myself working in, construction probably would have been at the top of it. However, just last week I accepted a position in the marketing department at a commercial real estate and construction company for after I graduate. So how did I get here?
Last fall, the beginning of my junior year, I began my search for an internship. I didn't have a clear vision of what I was looking for, so I decided that the best tactic for me was to apply to positions based on the job description and the location. Although this may sound like it narrowed down my search a lot, it really didn't. I applied for pretty much any and every position where they were looking for an intern to do real marketing work (I didn't want to just be making coffee and running errands) within an hour drive from my house. This yielded me results in quite a variety of industries. I had interviews with companies that did everything from marketing and PR to logistics to accounting to medical supplies.
As I interviewed with and talked to more companies, I got a little better idea of what I was looking for in terms of responsibilities, but I still kept my search pretty broad in terms of industries. Come springtime, I received an interview with, you guessed it, a commercial real estate and construction company. I would be lying if I said that I immediately thought, "oh construction, that sounds like fun!" but the job description sounded like what I wanted, so I went into the interview with an open mind.
As it turns out, working in the construction industry is a little bit different than I imagined. From the first week of my internship, I knew I was in the right place. I got to work on a great team, made great friends and loved the work I was doing. Despite the fact that I had to wake up at 5:40 every morning (I'm not a morning person), I genuinely looked forward to going to work every day. I learned so much in the ten weeks I spent there and quickly decided that I was doing the kind of work I wanted to be doing at the kind of company that I wanted to work for. Heading back to school after those ten weeks was definitely hard and I wasn't really ready to say goodbye to the company and everyone there. Fortunately for me, though, they decided to let me come back.
Had I decided to limit my internship search based on industries that I thought I knew about or was interested in, I can guarantee you I never would have found this job. This isn't to say that everyone needs to do exactly what I did when looking for a job. However, it is important to consider what qualities are essential to you in a job and then to keep an open mind about the rest.
Although I never would have imagined that I would be exactly where I am today, I am so thankful that I ended up here and that my unexpected summer internship turned into my dream job.