Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Go (Mid)West, Young Woman

I’ve always been obsessed with employment. My hypothesis is that my passion is a both a function of the times—increased focus on job as identity (however flawed), work as both life’s form and function, as well as a natural inheritance from my family: my father is a employment lawyer representing employees. I’ve probably been footnoting the Americans with Disabilities Act since 2nd grade. In any case, something in me gets particularly excited at the discussion of work and job searches; I genuinely enjoy the search and the applications, the fantasizing and “who knows” and “what if”. It’s like an exercise in acknowledging the endless possibilities of my life’s course.

One can imagine my piqued interest when approaching the summer before my senior year of college, discussions of which began around mid-fall. The hope was to land an internship of the “project management” or “analyst” variety in Boston, New York or Wisconsin, where my significant other’s family lives. I began applying, spending my downtime searching LinkedIn, Internships.com and Handshake. When I felt particularly adventurous I’d use Google Maps to zoom into an ideal neighborhood and cold email businesses. I listened for a response.

At least once per day I heard about Madison and Milwaukee on the news, in a podcast or in conversation. Maybe Wisconsin has always been major player in the news and I am so much a product of my Northeastern upbringing to notice the important developments and cool cities in areas that aren’t located on either coast. Maybe Wisconsin just had a particularly active past few months—site of the next DNC convention, record closures of dairy farms, more millennials moving to the Madison area, Milwaukee Bucks setting the NBA aflame. I increased my focus on Madison and Milwaukee.

Prior to CCD’s Spring Career Fair I looked up each visiting company with an office in Wisconsin. FIS Global, a large financial technology firm, had a big office in Milwaukee and I had already applied to a few roles. I marched myself up to their booth, gave my little introduction and explained to the two recent grads that I was feeling called to Wisconsin and would be a great fit for FIS Global. Within the week a recruiter for the Milwaukee office contacted me and suggested I apply to the internship in Corporate Risk Management.

I hope to use any hits to my sense of purpose this summer as fuel for finding the right career fit—a career which allows me to shift my searching elsewhere. I want to better learn about my strengths and professional interests in order to take a step back from a generic search and lean into a more specific vision for my future. I look forward to discovering what this city will teach me about what I should be looking for.