I Graduated… What Now?

Lessons and advice on the job search from one recent graduate to another.

22, Fabulous and Making Moves: Guest Blog From the CEO

By, JoVanna Bianco, CEO ILS, LLC

Although January will be the one year anniversary of my company, it still seems a little UNREAL to me. My goal was always to run my own company, where I make my own hours, and I call the shots, but could I possibly fulfill this BEFORE I even received my college diploma?

When my dad first proposed the idea of starting this company (ILS) it seemed almost too good to be true. The President of my own company?!  Then the reality of it all hit me. Can I do this? Can I go to school, keep my internship, AND run a company?

It was a little overwhelming at first. But if there is one thing I have learned from this experience it has been to not get discouraged.  It hasn’t been easy being twenty-two and getting professionals to take me serious. People have tried to take advantage of the fact that I was just starting out and fairly young. But I was persistent and made sure that I did my research. I wasn’t afraid to let companies know what I expected from them and that they needed to take me serious. When I was first starting my company I was even asked by an accountant “You do know how much time and commitment this is going to take, right?” At first it made me want to cry. But as I thought about it, it pushed me to work even harder.

Days like today when I am sitting at my computer filling out payroll and invoices I think how good it feels that I didn’t give up and made it to where I am today. I can’t say I haven’t made any mistakes along the way, but you learn from them and try not to make them again.

Don’t get me wrong, running a business is no picnic. It’s not a free-pass from keeping up with my homework or my internship. I still attend class and work for Battelle. I work hard to balance my time between all three, while still managing to have a social life.

“Because in this lifetime, the challenges that we face are what keeps life interesting, but it is the overcoming of these challenges that give life meaning.”

Thinking of starting your own company at a young age?

-Do your research (basic steps)

-Consult with experts

-Believe in yourself and demand respect

-Stay organized

Please leave your questions, comments, or suggestions on this post in the comment box below!
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November 20, 2009 Posted by | Advice | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

22, Fabulous and Making Moves

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While driving down the road with my friend JoVanna, our Spice Girls jam session was abruptly cut short (I wasn’t behind the wheel so there wasn’t an accident!). Peeved that she decided to mute “Spice Up Your Life” mid- song, I questioned her actions.

JoVanna defended that the bank we were pulling up to 1.) did not share a mutual appreciation for our anthem; “Never Give Up On The Good Times,”  and 2.) may not take her tax payment seriously if we didn’t act mature.

Of course I was amused that my friend pays her own taxes, never having seen a tax form myself, but was amazed to learn that she was paying taxes for HER company!

That day I learned about my friend’s start-up business, ILS: Industrial Labor Services.

Earlier in the year she spoke with her father whose company (IWC: Industrial Waste Control) hires temporary labor for many of their projects. They decided that instead of hiring an outside contractor, this was a possible business venture.

So, this past January, Jovanna, an OSU student who was already holding the computer science & engineering/ programming internship position at Battelle, set out to start her own staffing company.

She taught herself QuickBooks through software tutorials and consulted with lawyers and accountants. She ordered her own paychecks and figured out how to document W2 forms and insurance applications.

She set a one-year goal: get the company registered, running, and maintain her first client.

She has not only met these goals- she’s exceeded them! She currently employs 11 workers in 3 states and has exclusive staffing privileges to her first client!

Only 10 months later and she has cashed her very first paycheck from her company!

Now, I’m not saying that everyone is wired to start and manage her/his own company. But, I am saying that we mustn’t let opportunities pass us by.  JoVanna saw a void and took it upon herself to fill it. She didn’t wait until she graduated, she didn’t excuse it because of a lack of knowledge and she didn’t hold it in the back of her mind as a mere possibility. She JUST DID IT!!! (Nike was on to something all those years ago).

So many of my friends (all very talented and highly capable) have what I consider “pipe dreams” (restaurant owner, travel writer, personal stylist, etc.) My question is: Why not? Find the skills, resources, funds to make them a reality. The worst that’s going to happen is that we fail.

As we pulled away from the bank that afternoon I asked her what her biggest fear was. Her response: “Not getting it all to come spice_girls_500x375together or running into some legal obstacle that [I] wasn’t aware of. Not having enough time to do it all- the company, Batelle, school…” I gave her my vote of confidence then she cranked up “Spice Up Your Life” and we went back to being 22 year-olds.

“You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have really lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.” —  Henry Drummond

A more in depth look into starting a business with low overhead and JoVanna’s personal story are soon to come!

November 9, 2009 Posted by | Advice | , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Simple Thank You

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Dear Job Seeker:

Never underestimate the power of a simple thank you. One should be sent after every interview, meeting and/or conversation and always addressed specifically to the person with whom you spoke. Nothing too long, but remember to include something personal so the recipient will be able to remember you immediately. Reiterate your interest in the specific position. Emails are not nearly as personal as a hand-written thank you. Be prompt. All letters should be in the hands of the professional no later than one week after the encounter.


Best of Luck,

Danielle

November 5, 2009 Posted by | Advice | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keep Your Search Straight

clever-miss-multitask-lg-83513889Lists, journaling, excel spreadsheets- whatever method best suits you- get started!

I recently spoke to a family-friend who is investing his time in helping me get connected to the right people. His first question was: “What have you been doing on your own?”

No matter how much you’ve done so far, it’s important to keep track of everything. What would be more embarrassing than being put on the spot by a reasonable question, such as this, that we aren’t prepared to answer.

I feel that I’m reaching out to many people for advice, direction, and mentorship. To be honest, I laughed at my dad when he originally suggested that I keep track of everything, so I’m not confused. “Dad, I know who I talk to and I know what I’ve applied for,” was my response.

Honestly, he has a point (Although I’d NEVER admit that to him, and I doubt he even knows what a blog is.).  I can recall who I’ve talked to and what I’ve applied to, yet I wasn’t able to provide a sufficient response to this question. Organization keeps us from forgetting anything as well as keeps it in order. STEPS are important. A simple example:

  1. Emailed Joe Smith to inquire about a position with ABC company.
  2. Joe Smith put me in touch with his HR department as well as gave me John Doe’s contact information at XYZ corporation. He thinks they may be hiring.
  3. Got in touch with John Doe, who is forwarding my resume on.

Thanks to my newly developed list, I will not get my connections mixed up, I will have record of initiatives and results, I won’t forget to follow up with John Doe, or to thank Joe Smith for his efforts, and I’ll now be able to give a detailed summary of the steps I’ve taken on my own. The friend will now be able to recognize my determination and dedication, thus assuring him that his own time will not go to waste. Also, I can refer back to my list to see what actions resulted in positive feedback, and which actions yielded little response.

October 29, 2009 Posted by | Advice | , , , , , | 2 Comments