Young Professionals in an Old Professional’s World

Skylar Vukasin

In order to succeed in business you need to secure a well-paying job; in order to land a well-paying job you need experience; in order to gain experience, a company must take a chance and hire the young college graduate.  It’s an age-old dilemma, yet somehow college graduates still end up being turned down by employers because they want someone with experience. We’ve all heard or asked the question,  “how am I supposed to get experience if no one hires me?”  

We’ve all heard the success stories, the ones our professors tell us about where graduates with bachelor’s degrees land jobs with some of the top companies in the nation. We all have similar potential and the education to obtain these same internships that lead to those hired positions, but not all of us will because there are only a few positions offered and thousands of students applying for them.

So, what do the people who don’t get the Google, Nike, Deloitte or KPMG internships (the ones that lead to a future hire) do to be noticed, seen or to simply stand out? When GPA’s don’t seem to matter and you already have a LinkedIn bio to tell people why you’re a great hire, how can we be top-notch and different?

For those of us who didn’t get the foot-in-the-door job/internship, what can we do to stand out in a world where experience is still the primary driving factor behind a job offer? We still have to fight for our place in the conference room. We still have to prove to our superiors, colleagues and future employers that we’re not just another one of “those millennials”. You know the ones I’m talking about – the lazy, know-it-all, millennials that also have no work ethic. In order to avoid some of those stereotypes, here are some tips from my own experience, as well as some of my peers, on how to stand out.

  1. Dress for success. The ever-expanding tech and startup world may allow for a more relaxed and casual dress code, but many companies still want their employees to look and act professionally.  
  2. Be confident, but not a know-it-all. Just because you understand technology and the internet does not make you smarter or better than your colleagues.
  3. Don’t overstate your accomplishments. You know what you are and aren’t capable of. Don’t say you’re an experienced website designer just because you’ve logged into the backend of a website once or twice.
  4. Learn from your older colleagues – after all, it is experience we’re after and they have it.
  5. Teach your colleagues what you know about technology and new trends. The more they can know and learn from you, the more they’ll trust and respect you.
  6. Challenge yourself. There’s a lot you still don’t know – be open to learning it.
  7. Speak up, but don’t overstep. This is a tricky one. This is a “know when to speak” kind of word of advice. Offer your ideas, because as obvious as it may seem, not everyone thinks like you and it may not have been thought of before.
  8. Never think something isn’t your responsibility because it wasn’t in your “job description”. Go above and beyond. It’s usually noticed, and if it’s not, at least you know you’re doing your absolute best.
  9. Don’t let people take advantage of you. Paving your way often leads to doing things for others to either fill time gaps or prove your worth, while this is great, know when to say no – you’re not everyone’s assistant.
  10. Ask questions. No one grows by doing the same thing all day, every day. Keep learning from those around you as well as other resources.
  11. Read. You hear it from your professors and guest speakers all the time. “The most successful people read every day”. Not only is reading one of the best ways to learn, but it’s also a way to calm down, decompress and take your eyes off a screen for a while. Additionally, reading for fun or leisure is much more enjoyable when there’s no school deadline attached to it.
  12. Make time for fun. Don’t get so caught up in trying to prove yourself that you forget about taking care of yourself. Enjoy your time off and make time for it. Burnout is popular among ambitious young professionals – work for a living, don’t live for work.

Your first “real job” is terrifying, but also an exciting opportunity. Establish that you deserve to be there and you are ready to handle any task that is thrown your way. Once you get through the door and have the job, it’s not all downhill from there. Quite the opposite actually, now it’s time to work your ass off. Good luck!

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Missoula, MT -Finding Community in the Nonprofit Community

Written by: Kayla Sheridan

The Missoula community has over 1,500 listed Nonprofit organizations!v

As donors and volunteers, we want to spend our dollar and time on causes that produce the most significant welfare gains. However, many of us actually spend our resources on the causes that we care about! Charity is exceptionally dependent on our own personal identities & Nonprofit sectors help create a culture within communities.

The Nonprofit sector in Missoula has more organizations per capita compared to almost all of the other cities in the United States. Wow! The majority of these organizations work hard to both engage and educate individuals on issues and opportunities in the community. For the most part, Nonprofits strive to make positive change, provide a sense of community, and help individuals create an identity. Our Nonprofits in Missoula are essential in sustaining our unique community here.

Below are steps you can take to help you find a Nonprofit you can support.

1)    Align Potential Organizations with Your Values
2)    Decide What Type of Good You Hope to Support
3)    Research Online
4)    Fill Your Experience Gap
5)    Search Social Media
6)    Exercise Your Options

For those in Missoula, I recommend this website to help you in your search for your Nonprofit community:
http://www.volunteermissoula.org/agency/index/?dir=ASC&orderby=agency_name

Nonprofits make change by bringing people together around a common goal! For anyone who needs to hear it, go find your Nonprofit community and help make your community a better place right now. In today’s tech-savvy world, it’s easier than ever to support your favorite Nonprofits.

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Is Entrepreneurialism Art?

Pablo Picasso once said: “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” Picasso never graduated college. In fact, he only attended one semester before quitting. However, his works are regarded as some of the best and to this day his art has been reported stolen more than any other artist’s. By contrast, Elon Musk has a significant educational background and is considered to be one of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world after creating and building companies such as Paypal and Tesla. Both of these men spent many of their formative years schooling in one form or another; earning the rules like a pro. Both of these men then broke those rules.

There is an argument to be made that being an entrepreneur is not the same as being an artist, and vice versa. I implore you to ignore that and look the other way. Here’s why: Let’s delve into the life and success of Sam Kass, the White House chef during the Obama administration. Sam was hand picked by President Obama prior to his election, when Obama was still a Junior Senator. After Obama’s election, Sam became Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Policy and Executive Director for First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign, all the while maintaining a friendship with the Obama family and cooking for them on a daily basis. As a chef, you are both an artist and an entrepreneur; often crossing back and forth between the two. You must manage your image and restaurant sales, but also create art using food. So now you’re probably thinking, “Well Sam is neither an entrepreneur nor an artist, he is a cook…hence why his title is chef.” Allow me to introduce you to two other “chefs.” Jesse Pinkman and Walter White. Yep, thats right, two characters of Breaking Bad fame. Both were cooks. One was an artist, the other an entrepreneur; but both were cooks. For those of you who were in a coma for the last ten years, I’ll explain. Breaking Bad was a television show in which the main character, Walter White, is a high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with lung cancer. Walter teams up with a former student, Jesse Pinkman, to produce and sell meth in an effort to secure his family’s financial future before he succumbs to cancer. Being that Walter is an extremely intelligent chemistry teacher, the meth he produces is a far better product than any competitor and begins to take the New Mexico area by storm. Also, due to the ingredients used, the meth is blue instead of clear. This is Walter White’s art; and this is clearly translated to the audience throughout the show’s progression. Jesse Pinkman is the entrepreneur, creating a distribution chain and marketing Walter’s art. Cooks, sure, but after that would you still use the same word to categorize Sam Kass? I didn’t think so. What do Walter White, Jesse Pinkman, and Sam Kass all have in common though? They learned the rules like a pro, then they broke them like an artist.

Neil Gaiman, when addressing the 2012 graduating class at University of the Arts commencement, ended his speech by stating: “And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.” Neil did not graduate from a university, yet this is a man who is telling the graduating class of an arts college the same thing entrepreneurs are told. Make mistakes. Break rules. Fail early and fail often.  So now it is my time to end this writing, and I leave you with one final thought; one final reminder:

It does not matter if you attended university, sold an app for millions, or lived in your parent’s basement until you were 28. What matters is that you learned the status quo, and then decided it wasn’t fucking good enough.  

That is entrepreneurialism, and that is art.

-Carter Andrues

 

 

About Carter:

I dodge, I duck, I dip, I dive, and I dodge. To cure boredom I reengineer commercial wind turbines, making them more aerodynamic. Bill Clinton once asked me boxers or briefs. I responded with commando. I woo women by cooking four course meals using only an easy bake oven. On the weekends, to blow off steam, I participate in full contact chess. Orange thought I was the new black. I don’t call 911, 911 calls me.  I’m banned from 14 Las Vegas casinos for cheating at 52 card pickup. Florida only considers itself the sunshine state when I am visiting. Using nothing but a squeaky dog toy and a spatula, I defeated ISIS. As a result, the FBI has placed me in a witness protection program in the marketing department at UM.

Calling Bullshit

Two professors from the University of Washington are teaching a class that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, should have to take during their college career.  The course is aptly named Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data.  Yes, it is an actual course offered for one credit.  They have published the syllabus and the reading material used in the course so that students at other universities can take advantage of the opportunity.

Follow this link to find out more:  http://callingbullshit.org

Be the One Everyone Wants to Meet

entrepreneurship-networking-advice-1

By: Lia Sbisa

It’s no secret the power and benefits that networking has to offer. We’ve been told time and time again…or not, that creating a network of influential and successful people is crucial to one’s success. At a networking event, or just in a venue full of people, we all want to have that golden conversation with the biggest name in the room. It’s only natural to feel that the more people that know them, the more people they know. Your network does not stop with that one person, it extends to all of their networks as well.

As young adults making our way into the working world, and even those already well established in the workforce, it is important to make ourselves noticed and be the differentiator that radiates uniqueness. Be the person that everyone wants to network with at an event or even just at a casual get together.

 

  • Get Involved

 

Whether you’re seasoned in your extracurriculars or just starting out, being a part of something other than work or school is a great way to a) network and b) have something to bring to the table in an introductory conversation. The more you do, the more you will relate to a broader audience (not saying overload yourself).

 

  • You do not have to hold the highest or coolest position.

 

The status you hold within a company may help your networking reputation, but it does not solely dictate how marketable your other attributes may be. Just as we learn from those top notch professionals, they learn from us. Any influential being is on the lookout for more up and coming influential beings.

 

  • Take time to learn about your own experiences and learn to talk about them.

 

If you’re a college student or newly entering the workforce, become an expert on your experiences (internships, jobs, campus news, extracurriculars). Networking with older professionals can be intimidating, but much less tricky if you can relate to an experience even on the most minimum level. If you are more established in the workforce, know a little bit about a lot of things. Nothing is more attractive than being able to hold a thoughtful conversation over something that excites your audience, even if it may not be your cup of tea. This goes for anyone and everyone: READ THE NEWS. However you choose to keep up on current events, just do it, or start doing it if you do not. It is okay to admit that you do not know much about a topic, you become more interesting when you’re interested.

 

  • Be interested in who you’re talking to.

 

As previously stated, you become more interesting when you’re interested. Just a rule of thumb (whether you want to admit it or not), everyone loves to talk about themselves. Be able to relate to a few key topics during a conversation (talk about a travel destination that you have in common, ask about the company they work for and how they got to their position). People like you more when they think you like them just as much if not more.

 

  • Initiate a relationship that grows beyond your initial introduction.

 

Do not let the relationship end with the end of a conversation. If the conversation allows, briefly share your goals for your near future and give a rough timeline of where you’ll be in the next few months and express your interest in keeping in touch. Find common ground and set up a time to check in if you have established a relationship that will last longer than just one conversation. Grab a business card and follow up the conversation with an e-mail reminding whoever it is that you enjoyed their time and throw in your favorite topic from that conversation. 

Believe that you are worth meeting. Be interested. Involve yourself in things that you enjoy. Make people believe you’re worth meeting.