It’s hard to believe, but in just 3 short months a wave of eager graduates will flood the stages of Atlanta with fresh faces and dreams larger than their gowns! We’re positive that panic is ensuing for most, as who REALLY knows what they want to do long-term after college, but have no fear upcoming grads! The years of all-nighters, projects with people who don’t pull their weight and the 3 or 5 times you switched your major have all prepared you for life outside of college, haha!
Though your future may be unknown, what is readily available is your level of preparation! 3 months will come fast and every article, blog, and video you watch to get ahead is definitely in your best interest. And to help, we’ve enlisted the wisdom and humor of Xcellent ATL’s CEO, Terry, to answer some questions and drop some knowledge on you!
Q – Alright, Terry! Even though you’re apart of the Crimson Tide, we’ll try not to hold that against you in this interview!
Terry – You’ve got something against Alabama?! This Q&A might be over sooner than I thought, haha!
Q – Ok, seriously! What advice do you have for someone who is graduating from college this year and trying to find their first job?
Terry – Good question. The biggest thing when I interview recent grads is I find that they limit their options to certain industries. They mention to me, “I studied accounting, so I’m only looking for an accountant position.” And while the entire goal of going to school is to utilize your education afterward, it’s important to remember that your first job outside of college might not always be the dream one. Sometimes, it’s important to keep your options open, learn new skill sets and maybe even try something out of your comfort zone that you feel will better you professionally!
Q – Are you utilizing your degree?
Terry – Not really, and that’s ok! This is what I realized after I graduated – I was good at talking to people and desired to be in a leadership or management role in the future. I knew if I found those 2 opportunities in a position than I would give it a try. I never studied marketing or sales or entrepreneurship in school, but I accepted an entry level position with growth, despite my degree, and then moved into a position where our client asked me to oversee a branch office location for them in Atlanta. I would have never been in this position now, overseeing Xcellent ATL, if it wasn’t for my lack of fear to NOT use my degree!
Q – Do you think it’s important to be really involved in school?
Terry – Yeah, I really do. What being incredibly involved shows to an employer is that you’re able to get along well with others, that you know how to manage your time and also that you’re committed. All important qualities a manager looks to have in their workforce.
Q – Favorite business mentor students should know about!
Terry – I don’t have one specific person in mind, but I would say find someone entrepreneurial minded. The reason I say that is this. Think of some of the characteristics associated with being an entrepreneur. You would probably say motivated, versatile, flexible, open-minded, driven and laden with solid communication skills. So if you had someone with a wide repertoire of both soft and hard business skills, they would probably make a balanced role model for you, right?!
Q – Ok Terry, last question! What’s your favorite business book new grads should all read!
Terry – No Excuses by Brian Tracy, all the way. That book is all about the psyche of success and how we are the only limit to our ability. If you want a book to get you pumped and not take no in your job search, this is it!
And there you have it, folks! You’re all ready to go out into the world and LAND a great first job out of school because good things come to those who work their tail ends off! Which is of course what you did in the 4, 5 or 6 years you were in school, right, haha?! As we look to fill positions within our firm’s renowned Management Training Program, Xcellent ATL looks forward to the opportunity of networking and employing some of Atlanta’s brightest new graduates! Good luck!