5 Tips to Finding YOUR Path

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Graduate School- COMPLETE! An ode to those who got me here and how you can do it too!
Debates of college education, student loans, and true values of the educational system have been all the buzz throughout this most recent recession and current economical times. While I do understand where the debate comes into play, I cannot say that one side is better than the other but that the student ultimately determines their own future. 
 
Sorry, I got pretty serious there…



Let’s back up for just a second here…Upon completion of my bachelors degree in 2008, I was highly discouraged and let down from the lack of workforce interest in my new accomplishment. Hello! I have a degree, where’s my job??? After all, we grow up with this concept that jobs will be thrown at you after you get a degree! Where was mine??? 
I struggled for a couple years to figure out where I went wrong and how I would get back on track to making my millions of promised dollars. Luckily, with the support of such amazing friends and family, I found my way back into school and more motivated than ever! (I actually WANTED to learn…!)

 
Scoring a great gig as a Graduate Assistant for the university, I was able to afford tuition along with my standard living costs while continuing my education. By this time, I had a better idea of what my career goals were, and chose to follow the path of marketing with an MBA. Here, I met some pretty awesome people I am happy to call classmates and now friends. 
 
We definitely struggled through some pretty tough courses (Business Modeling had to have been the absolute toughest!) but pulled through like a team. I would like to publicly say THANK YOU to the following, also now MBA graduates: Callan, Ana Maria, Beatriz, Juan, Talaj, Daniel, Alejandro, Victor, Alex, Anthony, and Michelle. We did it!
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Through these relationships, and some other EXTREMELY important people in my life, I have been able to better understand who I am, where I want to be, and what actually makes ME happy. I could not have done any of it without my two crazy sidekicks, C.A. and Cristie,  pushing me to my limits and beyond and forcing me to see how amazing I actually am inside and out as well. I don’t say it enough, but I love and miss you both everyday!
 
I continue to send many thanks in your direction and hope that I have somehow enriched your life as much as you have mine. 
 
So, what it all boils down to is you. You are the only person who will get you to where you want to be. I was lucky to be surrounded by motivated and focused goal-oriented individuals to help me realize my own future and encourage me to chase those dreams. Any student can go to college and receive a degree. Without having a solid picture of the future, it’s so impossible to fight for that end result, and ultimately pave the path you desire. For some, school is not the answer. For others, they have no choice (yes Mom…). Either way, we all have a path, a dream, a goal we’re chasing.

So how do you really figure out your own path? Here are just a few tips that I pass along to you:
  1. JUMP IN! In most cases, you are a fish out of water right now. Surround yourself with people who are already motivated and following their own dreams. They know your struggles and can share their experiences to help you along your path. They may even have great tips and recommendations for which direction you think  you may want to explore. These people will also lead to better networking.
  2. FIND A MENTOR. Yes, I know it sounds cheesy and like a waste of time, but it really does help. Even if it’s your boss or coach- mine is THE best 😉 thanks coach!- find someone who knows the real you both professionally and casually to help you with the millions of questions that you WILL have and to basically knock some sense into you. Oh, and be sure they are a true role model for you as well- don’t rely on your crazy half-drunk roommate who can read your palm and show you the future…
  3. TAKE A SELFIE! Well, not really, but yes! Take the time to look at yourself and who you have really become. For me, I was at that turning stage where I knew what I liked, what I didn’t and what I inspired to eventually be as a person. This is the time to evaluate your interests, goals, and whatever makes you happy outside of work and relationships. This is all about YOU. More often than not, this evaluation could help lead you towards your true path. One of the greatest pieces I’ve seen or heard was by Alan Watts: What If Money Was No Object, and really encouraged me to do some soul searching and recognize how much happier I would be if I just did what I loved. I highly encourage you to listen to his few minutes and then take a selfie!
  4. JUST DO IT! Once you have an idea of who you are, what you enjoy, and what path you would like to follow, it will be so much easier to achieve your dreams and actually be happy while earning a living.  For some, it may mean pursuing a degree, for others, starting from the bottom of the pond and swimming up to the top. Either way, use this time now to learn as much as you can about anything and everything! There are tons of great networks online that help people like us to realize our true potential and how to make the best of our skills and desires- one of my most recent fav’s is The Levo League which provides a great community for professional women to grow, be inspired, and learn from one another. Go search and take charge! 
  5. YOLO. I hate to say it but, you do only live once. This may be the last opportunity you have to check some big items off your bucket list and get crazy! Take the time for internships, volunteer, travel, explore, and be sure to enjoy the great friendships you have around you while it lasts. These happy moments will ultimately reflect in your overall personality and characteristics and often strengthen your values and perception of your own life. 
Hopefully these few points will help guide you to your happy place.

What about me, you ask? Well, I may not be at my ultimate dream place yet, but rest assured I will get there soon! My determination and drive is at an all time high and increasing everyday as I am continuously inspired and intrigued. I’m sure my name will be up in lights soon enough…

Did I miss anything else? Is there something else that helped you to land your dream opportunity? Let us know!
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