Happy first Friday of 2013!
With a new year comes endless possibilities to stretch and learn from everything around me. Currently, I am in the process of revamping my personal brand–but in the meantime, I want to present a new bi-weekly feature titled “Millennials on a Mission.” One of my many passions is to promote the ingenious talents and capabilities of my peers, and what better way to showcase their good deeds, innovative actions and career achievements than to give you a glimpse into their daily lives.
Similar to the YGP Spotlights that I did in 2011, “Millennials on a Mission” will highlight the various talents of my peers, but more importantly expose real-life situations of personal struggle, triumph and growth that 20-somethings are experiencing. I’m super fortunate to have such a growing network of amazing classmates, friends and acquaintances that have huge dreams, but aren’t taking the traditional path to get there. It’s about time for their stories to be shared to really put things in perspective. My hope is that with these spotlights, you are inspired and enlightened to keep chasing your dreams — regardless of the circumstance.
For the inaugural post, I would like to introduce you to Britney Small.
A SoCal girl at heart, Britney is a graduate of Chapman University in Orange, California where she studied Business Administration. She then attended Syracuse University and completed her master’s degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in advertising. Adapting to the east coast and frigid temperatures was definitely a challenge for her at first, but she learned to embrace getting around Upstate New York without a car and its piles of snow.
On grad school: “Grad school was an interesting change of pace. Although I quickly formed a close-knit group of friends, living in Syracuse was much harder than I had initially expected. It was the first time I was ever a “starving student”, so that impacted the experiences I had. I feel like I learned more about life and what it means to be a professional than I did any of the subjects we studied and I appreciated that.”
With awesome credentials under her belt and a wicked laundry list of internship and leadership experiences, Britney was ready to tackle the world of the entertainment post graduation. But with a rocky job market, there hasn’t been much luck in starting her dream career as she remains on the job hunt.
On the job hunt: “I have been actively looking for full-time work since January 2010 and the first job I got was a Janitor position in a Welding Factory in April 2012. Now, on paper I had done everything right according the university experts, professors and family friends; even still nothing. To date, I have written hundreds of cover letters, drafted and redrafted my resume, interned, begged professors, cold called, called in favors, literally shown up places, and even applied to jobs I did not even want. I have been to counselors, pastors, former employers, and the like asking all types of questions trying to figure out what is wrong with my approach and still have come up with nothing. For while it seemed like my Master’s degree was doing more harm than good on resume, so I took it off. I was told that I “have a lot of experience”, “had done great work”, and they potential employers “recognize my talents”, but none of this mattered. I felt like was a part of a cruel joke.”
After all this, Britney realized that it was time to ask herself some serious questions and really figure out what it is exactly she wanted to do. She tapped into her interests, and did what any typical millennial would do–share it with the masses via social media. She started her own blog called SmallScreen that incorporates her love for television, food and movies, and began utilizing various social networks to her advantage.
On tapping into her passion: ‘Well, SmallScreen was initially called “adjectivepassion” and was an ad commentary blog I had started after realizing my comments AdFreak and IMDB were way too long and oddly academic. I figured I should put all my ramblings in one place, as opposed to having random comments scattered all over the internet. As for food, I love to cook — so my Instagram is riddled homemade masterpieces. So I had come to the conclusion that what most interests me is always projected on some sort of screen then shared via another, particularly a smaller one. In 2013, I hope to embark on a career path that makes the amount of TV I watch makes me seem normal.”
If there’s anything that Britney has learned, it’s that you have to be willing to work hard to where you want to be, and that the rules may vary. As difficult as it may be, you must remain positive. There are thousands, if not millions of 20-somethings in her same position across the nation, but it is all about how you decide to position yourself in the particular market place you are looking to enter. As, the saying goes, “life is a journey, not a destination” so we all have to be open for a little turbulence every now and again. It builds character. 😉
On moving forward: “Personally, everyday is a struggle against mediocrity and the status quo. It’s easy to be average, ineffectual. So what am I doing? I’m trying to hone in on my specific talents so I can lease them at a premium.”