We are proud to publish the second of four blog posts from The Opportunities Project’s 2011 career coaching scholarship recipients. Meet Alexandra Patterson, a student entrepreneur, writer, and aspiring librarian. I met Alexandra through a joint scholarship program with our friends over at YouTern and was happy to work with her while she was abroad in London.
When I met Alexandra, she was interested in exploring magazine work in New York and specifically how to market herself for those type of opportunities. As a former NYC’er, I was in full-support of that plan! I was happy to see that she made it to NYC in 2012 and followed her journey on her blog. I am even more excited that she is now a fellow Southerner.
I hope you enjoy Alexandra’s insights into her year following coaching.
PS: Want to apply for a 2012 scholarship? Look for the info at the end of the post.
My Favorite Lessons: 2011-2012
1. I was underselling myself.
Though I had had lots of internship experience in the publishing industry, I didn’t sound like it when I wrote cover letters. I thought that just because my experience wasn’t at one of the top publishing houses it wasn’t worth it but after I learned that employers look at transferable skills I rethought my strategy.
2. My professional presence didn’t reflect what I wanted.
I had been writing a blog for a few months before coaching but I didn’t concentrate on my true passion: publishing. My blog was an asset, full of clips to show future employers and I wasn’t maximizing my blog. Once I started writing book reviews and concentrating on industry specific articles to repost, my clips improved.
3. I wasn’t concentrating on what makes me special.
I have a big personality. I’m always the girl who brings in snacks for the group and plans the outings but my job search didn’t reflect this. I decided to put a personal touch into my applications by creating a “brag book” full of my previous projects. For me, this was the “something special” that allowed me to showcase my personality, for others it might be something different.
What do you wish you could change?
Inspired by Alexandra? Apply for our Second Annual Scholarship Contest by Monday, September 3, 2012 (Labor Day).