Professional, Knowledgeable, Young – You Can Only Choose 2.


I can’t be the only person with this problem. As an early college graduate, I had my first job at the ripe age of 21. Sure, age isn’t brought up much in the corporate world (I assume because most people are as bad of a judge of age as myself), however when you look like a high school senior, it doesn’t help. Lucky for me, my first two jobs out of college were at advertising agencies, which are quite a bit more laid back then corporate offices. That also can be damaging to someone who needs to dress “older”.

I’ll never forget my first client meeting – I had been working with the client for about a month, and brought them in to review ideas for upcoming promotions that had previously been OK’d. After printing booklets and preparing all morning, the client walked in and gave the worse stare down I’ve ever had. He immediately disliked our ideas, and made us redo them four times (to the point that it ended up being the original promotion we suggested!) The entire time I worked on his account, regardless of the success we had, he questioned my judgement because I was “just a kid.”

Some things you can’t change – and in 15 years, I’ll be yearning for the days of being “just a kid,” but for now, it’s important to me to rise above the “young” stereotype. I make it a point to shake hands with a strong grip, look people in the eye, and avoid the filler phrases (at work at least, at home, I am stuck on “like.”) I’ve graduated from ill-fitting black pants and J.Crew sweaters to well-fit blazers and lady-like dresses, but I do not own a suit set. I make sure my actions speak louder than words – I get results, regardless of my age. And at the end of the day, I know I have some growing to do, but I won’t let that interfere with my success.

Have you had any #PostGradProblems yourself? 

Getting Personal

Giving Thanks

Let me be blunt – I am not a fan of the “post something your thankful for everyday on Facebook” nonsense. I’m happy that you have a great family, friends, boyfriend, dog, etc. I do, too. But the things I’m most thankful for might not fall into your standard buckets.

I’m thankful for the teen moms who existed before the MTV show, like my birth mom, who may have had unprotected sex, but was smart enough to realize she could not handle a child and gave me up for adoption, allowing me to grow up in an amazing family with plenty of opportunity.

I’m thankful for AT&T, although they may not have the greatest cell reception or customer service, because they have given my father a job for the past 35 years, allowing him to support my mother and I.

I’m thankful for hockey. Yes, hockey. Hockey has given me something to be passionate about, it brought me and my boyfriend together (no joke, we met at a hockey tournament), and gives me something to connect with friends and family about.

I’m thankful for the Humane Society, Animal Protection Association and all other pet rescue companies. My rescue pup brings an insane amount of joy to my life, and these folks get to give people that same joy day after day.

I’m thankful for the Great Pumpkin (my Eclipse). Without it, I would be unable to go to the job I love every day, visit friends and family, and have some much needed me time with nothing but the radio.

I’m thankful for Martha Foote Crow. If this lovely lady did not decide to start Alpha Phi at Syracuse in 1872, I would not have had the opportunity to grow, lead, and meet some of the most amazing women on earth.

I’m thankful for communications. Communication is such an integral part of my life – my degree (Strategic Communications), my passion (writing), my relationships – that without it, I would not be the same individual I am today.

And yes, I’m thankful for my supportive family, my loving boyfriend, my fantastic friends, and my darling dachshund. But you already knew that. 

Getting Personal

Journalism: My First True Love

The glory days of journalism, when all you needed was a pad of paper and a typewriter.

I stumbled upon this killer Pinterest board this morning thanks to my former teacher & mentor Mr. Mitch Eden. Scrolling through pages of layout designs and visuals made me remember what really fueled my passion five years ago when I was accepted into the Mizzou School of Journalism – the desire to make a difference.

As an 8th grade student at Oakville Middle School, I already knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life – I was going to be a journalist. Whether I was writing for the back page of Sports Illustrated or designing layouts for Cosmopolitan, I wanted to be first in line with my notebook and recorder. I soared through writing papers and joined the school newspaper team as soon as I could. Playing around after school finding funny things to print seemed so juvinille, but I loved it.

I entered high school on cloud nine, hearing only the best about the Prowl newspaper. After waiting the necessary year, I signed up immediately for Journalism 1 and became entranced with Rick Reilly articles and principles of reporting. I knew I found my niche. That December issue of the Prowl was my first published work – an article about the 2005 NHL Lockout and how it affected fans and local players. It’s still one of my favorite articles.

The following year I took on the role of sports editor. Lucky for me, I went to a school with a pretty killer hockey team, so I was able to pitch stories and assign writers for our State Champion Tigers and more. I wrote the first Prowl article about Facebook, the quiet, college social network that was expanding into high schools. OK – I failed at predicting the future, but I learned the tricks and tips it took to become a real writer.

Towards the end of my junior year, I was pumped to start the following year of the Prowl. My best friend Jackie was Editor In Chief, and I was layout editor. It was going to be the best year yet, until Eden dropped a bomb – “I’m taking a position with Kirkwood.” I’m not sure what emotion took over more in room 234 – shock, disbelief or silent. The man who helped fuel my passion was leaving during the most crucial year of my career (or so I thought). Still, there is no one I respect more.

Senior year began and the Prowl was published as planned. I was unable to be in the Journalism class due to scheduling conflicts, yet I was in room 234 a whopping  14 + hours a week developing layouts, articles and even Yearbook pages. It was this time that I began writing columns – the prequel to Sorry I’m Not Sorry and Glatz & Glamour if you will.

I applied to the one and only University of Missouri without a doubt in my mind, and was admitted to the Journalism school immediately. I took a turn along the way, studying Strategic Communication, however I still learned plenty in my Principles of Journalism class and reporting. I even took a dream position with Inside Hockey covering my St. Louis Blues.

As I sit at my desk, writing up a document on the network I never thought would make it back in 2006, I hope that my passion hasn’t completely died. After all, you’re never too old to dream, right? Who knows, maybe you’ll see my shining face gracing the back page of Sports Illustrated someday.

Getting Personal

The Five Year Plan

If you could go back to 2007 and ask me where I’d be in five years, I’d be talking so fast you’d never fully understand, but you’d know I was excited about my future. I was going to be graduated from the best journalism school in the nation, writing copy for brands like Budweiser and the St. Louis Cardinals at a huge, beautiful office in St. Louis for big bucks. I’d be living the life in my loft apartment in Kirkwood, walking my dog every day and having an endless among of time to spend with my friends and family.

Now, here I am, five years later, nearly crying at how wrong my predictions were. Yes, I did graduate from Mizzou’s prestigious school of journalism. I have a job. I live in an apartment, and I do walk my dog a few times a week. But it’s not my dream loft or dream job, and i’m too wore out to see friends by nightfall. The friends that I’ve kept, that is. But is it really a disappointment, or just the reality of my generation?

Have I short changed myself? Have I let fear get in the way of my dreams? Or was I wishful thinking from the start?

Who knows. What I know, is that I’m not the person I set out to be. Not implying I’m a negative version of my once hopeful self, but I don’t see myself living up to the potential I set out for when I walked across the stage at my high school graduation. I feel as though I’ve become one of many – the dreary, post-grads just trying to get by, still relying on mom and dad and anyone else willing to lend a helping hand, a shoulder to lean on or a devoted ear to listen.

I look at my dad, who started as an installer at 18, and has worked his way up through a fortune 500 company with little to no college education, while I am struggling to show off my strengths and make my value known. Here I am, attempting to be “independent,” while my dad was responsible for himself and my mother at a younger age. Here I am, baffled by the thought that people my age are raising children and buying houses, while I’m struggling to find $10 to see the Hunger Games before pay day. These colleagues and friends are mature, responsible, and reliable. Where does that leave me?

Don’t be mistaken, I am extremely grateful for the life I live. My loved ones are healthy; I made it out of college without debt; I’m gainfully employed. I have friends and family who love me, a boyfriend always available for encouragement and a dog who curls up to me when I need it most, but I can’t help but think something is missing.

Who knows – maybe i’ll find my missing piece at the bottom of a glass of wine, the last bite of an ice cream cone, or even lying on a beach somewhere in the sun. but when I do, you’ll be the first to know.