Chances Are You Won’t Find Your Dream Job at 20
It is so easy to fall into the trap of believing that everyone at Babson knows exactly what they want to do, and already has their job offer lined up. As students, this puts pressure on you to achieve amazing internships that will guide you directly to your dream job. And if you’re really on top of it, you’ll work for your dream company your junior year and get a full time offer before graduation. For the majority of people, this is completely unrealistic. It is nearly impossible to know what you want to do when you are 18-22. The reality is you have such limited work experience, and are still going through so much personal growth.
I’m currently working as a Programs intern for Venture for America (VFA). VFA is a non-profit startup whose mission is to revitalize emerging cities with entrepreneurship. How it works is that VFA recruits top college grads to the highly competitive Fellowship. If you are accepted and become a Fellow, than you gain access to VFA’s network of startups in 17 ‘emerging cities’. These startups range in size, stages, products/services, and are looking for a variety of employees for a variety of positions.
The average Fellow finds a job with one of these startups before they graduate, and then heads to a 5 week Training Camp at Brown University to teach them hard skills, soft skills, and everything in between before they head off to work. They then go to work at their start-up for two years, after which they have a choice to stay or move on to their next endeavor. As a Fellow they receive mentorship and support from VFA team members, as well as access to resources such as accelerators, VCs, networking events, capital etc. to help start their own businesses. The goal of this entire process is to connected talented youth with startup that need them and help revitalize their cities, as well as provide training and resources to promising future entrepreneurs.
As a summer programs intern, my job is to help execute Training Camp, which is the 5 week training Fellows go through before starting their jobs. This includes larger tasks like working the AV, organizing aspects of the weekly programing, and managing attendance. It also includes small tasks like running to CVS, picking up copies, and buying copious amounts of snacks. In essence, every day is something new and I am lucky to be working in such a fast paced, cross functional roll. Such a roll, however, can be a little overwhelming because the diversity makes me consistently question what I want to do in the future. In addition, seeing the 182 Fellows on a daily basis makes me think “is this the path I should take? Should I apply to become a VFA Fellow?” Which opens up a series of doors like “What city should I live in? What sort of start-up and position am I looking for? Is it okay to never have corporate experience?”
It is normal to feel anxious when your path is uncertain. During these times, it is important to remember that it is all part of the process. If you rush into a career choice, or settle for a field you don’t love but don’t hate, it will come back to you. Take the time to really decide your strengths and weaknesses, wants and needs. It will help you have a more satisfied, happier life 20 years from now. When in doubt ask adults around you what their path was. Chances are it was not a straight road; yours shouldn’t be either.