The next step

The questions have come many times over the years. Why did you leave journalism? Why did you major in Spanish? Why did you jump to work in fraternities? Why do you want to do this now? In many different ways, the questions ask one thing: why did you make choices that seem inconsistent, curious, and unconventional? Why didn’t you follow a straight path?

The answer? Every moment in my life has led to this point, and every choice I’ve made has made me better. It’s not as if every moment has directly led me to the place I’m at today, but every piece has taught me something, helped me grow, made me think. And that’s why I’m making my next jump onward and upward, to a new job, a new degree and a new city.

On July 15, I begin at a marketing/communication firm in Chicago. On September 27, I will begin a one-year master’s program in communication at Northwestern University. As I’ve thought about what I want to do long-term and what I want to be, I focused on communication. I applied to several programs in the subject, to allow me to specialize and gain expertise (and another credential). And I began a job search that led me to a very appealing opportunity.

That means leaving the world of fraternity and higher education at this point, but I’m happy I’ve had the opportunity to spend two years doing leadership programs, talking about fraternities, working with college students, and spending untold hours thinking about and working with Interfraternity Councils. I know I grew in this job (another blog post about this is on the way). I know it is how I got here.

As my current employer engaged a communication firm regarding media coverage last year, I began to think about what type of a role I could take in such a firm. That got me started on my search for communication jobs and the next step for my career, and helped me find where I am today.

As for the other looming questions:

I left journalism because it was no longer my passion, and I did not find opportunities as inspiring as what I’d done before. Looking back, I think I knew in my third year of college that it wasn’t the future for me, but I did enjoy it. Sticking with it led me to three great internships (in Nevada, New York and Florida) and my first post-college job in a new state (Florida). I learned what I liked and didn’t like, in terms of cities, office cultures, supervisors and more. No regrets.

I majored in Spanish because I studied in Spain in the summer of 2005, and I fell in love with the language and the country. (No, I don’t want to talk about Spain’s performance in the World Cup.) I actually grew to love literature in Spanish, and I cherish the ability to connect with people who do not speak English. I even got to study in Spain again in college. My previous answer also shows why I’m happy I went to a liberal arts college and majored in Spanish and economics, and didn’t have the chance to major in journalism. That might’ve been a mistake.

I work in fraternity life because I had a phenomenal undergraduate experience in my fraternity, and I believe in the power of great student groups. I’ve worked with great people (students and professionals) in two years, and I hope I’ve helped a few of them make positive impacts on their groups and communities. I’ve also gotten amazing opportunities to write, speak and facilitate with some awesome people in some awesome venues during the past two years. Thank you to the great people who’ve been part of this most recent part of my life.

As to the next step, I’m pumped. Let’s go.



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