After graduating from high school, I had so many expectations about how my life was going to go. Excel in college, graduate, land awesome job, make tons of $$$. Turns out, it all went quite differently than I had planned. But I am so happy it did!
I attended Pine Manor College (PMC) which is an all-women’s private college in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of it…many people haven’t. And no, it is not a retirement home.
At PMC I majored in communications with a concentration in marketing and public relations and minored in visual arts. As a side note- this was not what I planned to major in initially. I started PMC thinking I was going into Forensic Science. What, what, WHAT?! Looking back, I don’t even know why I thought that was going to happen. Too many episodes of CSI, maybe? A crazy 18 year old who thought that job was the “cool” thing to do? I don’t know. Anyway, I quickly realized that gig was certainly not for me. Considering how I almost throw up when getting a paper cut or the fact that I sometimes gag at the smell of the trash, I don’t think I was cut out to examine crime scenes. Kudos to those who do though!
So after I did a little soul searching (thank heavens) I realized that there was something I had been good at all along. And I could possibly make a career out of it. I enjoyed art, computer graphics, talking people into buying things that I loved, and over-achieving. Now if that doesn’t sound like a perfect recipe for someone in marketing, I don’t know what does. I quickly signed up for anything relating to marketing and visual arts. These two passions could go hand in hand after college and I thought this career choice would really make me happy in the future. Finally, I was right about something!
After graduation from PMC, I moved to Richmond, Virginia but once again I made the same mistake; expecting things to happen according to my plan. I figured now that I had this fancy (and expensive) degree under my belt, I would just go to the first marketing agency, walk right in and begin work on Monday, right? Wrong. But that’s OK. I learned so much in the next few years from working at a small spa in the mall to managing a team of employees at a national grocery distributing company. I went many years without “marketing” in my title, but I always tried to showcase my abilities any way possible. I would create signage, plan events, promote items, design presentations, etc. Not only because I could, but because I loved to do it.
After a few years in Virginia, my husband and I really started to miss home. Maine is where we both grew up, and although we had a great life in Virginia, that aching feeling to go back to our roots was very strong. We decided to go home.
I was nervous about where my career was going to go next, back in my home state. Luckily I found a job with the University of Maine Alumni Association as a Programs Assistant which primarily dealt with planning alumni events. It was here that I got the chance to not only plan events, but create marketing material for all the events. From email blasts to alumni group logos, I was creating it all. I got to delve into my love for computer graphics once again while marketing these events.
After a few years, I began to realize that even though this was a good fit for me personally, I craved more professionally. In 2012, I accepted a great job with a great company, CES, Inc. CES is an engineering firm with six locations in Maine. Although I am not an engineer, I am in a position where I am learning everyday and finally get to do what I love. So after many years, numerous jobs, a few wrong turns, a bad idea or two, and a huge amount of patience and determination, I have finally landed that job that I wanted when I was an 18 year old high school graduate. Even though, at the time, I really didn’t know what that was going to be. And to prove I have made it – I now have “marketing” in my title.
So to sum things up- it’s great to have a plan. It is wonderful to have ambition and a view of your future. Just don’t lose sight of this view if things don’t go as planned. You may hit a few road blocks along the way but in the end, they only make you stronger. And if you are meant to do what you think you are meant to do, you will find your way and come out on the other side wiser and even more determined.