After graduating from college several years ago I found myself reflecting on four of the best years of my life and wondering, “what’s next?” Obviously I needed to put all those classes and deep knowledge to work but how would I get started?
My first few interviews resulted with less than stellar results. I was told, “We are looking for someone with more experience.” How the hell was I supposed to have more experience?? I was fresh out of college! With a few internships under my belt I was ready to grab the bull by the horns but just couldn’t make that first leap.
Skipping forward a month or two and several days floating in the pool enjoying a cold cocktail I found my post college career to be more like Ben from the 1967 file The Graduate….minus the Mrs. Robinson part….where I was “drifting.” I had this fancy degree on the wall but didn’t know what to do with it. Nobody suggested, “Plastics” but one keen mentor did say, “start up.”
I didn’t start my own, I met a man who was starting a new company in Austin and decided to give me a chance. I knew nothing other than how to roll up my sleeves and get shit done.
Long story short, my exit wasn’t what I had hoped for but the experience of building a company from the ground up was better than I ever could have imagined. The lessons learned and business situations I was exposed to just can’t be taught in books. To this day I still find myself coming across situations that are familiar from being at an early stage start up and am grateful for the opportunity and experience I was handed at such a young age.
When I speak to students about to graduate I strongly encourage them to get involved in the start up scene. No it doesn’t sound as sexy as, “I work at Google,” but the lessons learned and hands on experience are second to none and will springboard you into the next career.
I recently joined the Masonry team bringing my start up experiences to the new agency and all I can say is I’m thrilled to be back on the ground floor working with people who share the same dreams of building something great. A successful company starts with good people wanting to solve real problems for real users. At Masonry we strive to exceed customer expectations and deliver world-class one-off results unique to each client.