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Plain and Simple

By: Julianne Stanley, Account Executive

As a soon to be incoming senior at Penn State University, I often find myself thinking about who I am exactly. That same thinking then gets me wondering about who it is “exactly” that this ever so complex “working world” is expecting me to be (as I will be fighting tooth and nail to make a mark in their society in just a few short months).

After stressing over these thoughts and possibilities and potential failures in my mind, I thought to myself, maybe it isn’t THAT bad, maybe it’s more plain and simple. So, I took some time to conduct a brief in-person interview with a woman and personal friend who hit the nail on the head when it came to constructing a credible career path and overall journey of success in the corporate communications world.

My interviewee wished to remain anonymous, but I will tell you this much, she is currently the Director of Agency Relations at one of the worlds top telecommunications companies. She is a highly experienced executive with 32 years spent across 14 different jobs at a Fortune 50 company. She is responsible for many different looks and designs of the company itself as well as recruiting top-notch employees to assist her and her team.

During our brief meeting, I asked her: “What are the top five things that you look for when hiring a recent college graduate?” I found her answer to be reassuring and quite frankly, plain and simple.

Here is what she said:

1. Motivated: “I look for someone who is willing and eager to learn and grow.”

2. Leadership skills: “Someone who shows me they will take initiative, try new things, and bring new ideas to the table.”

3. Teamwork: “It is always good to be a leader but sometimes you can’t lead everything, you need to be just as effective in working with teams that someone else may be leading.”

4. Strong Communication Skills: (I asked her for an example as the importance of communication skills is often stressed to me as a student):

“The ability to communicate your own experience in a way that shows me that you would be good for this job.”

5. Friendly and Considerate: “People just like to work with other friendly people, and it is just as important to show respect and consideration for ones co-workers, especially when you may need them in the future.”

So, just incase you too were lying awake at night fearing for the future, try to keep in mind these five easy tips. Although we always want to be our best and strive for success in every way possible, it is important to keep in mind that sometimes the greatest success stories of all start with remembering the simplest of lifelong skills.

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