This week, I graduated university (in case you hadn’t noticed by my Twitter account…) – I walked confidently down the cathedral aisle, managed to stand proud on my rarely worn 5-inch heels, and shook hands with three men I’ve never met before. But one of the unemployed masses I will not be. After 5 months, 38 applications, and just 2 interviews, I’ve landed an incredible opportunity in the industry I’ve been dreaming of – starting on Monday. It might not be the role of a lifetime, but it’s the most fantastic way to begin my career, get my foot in the door, and really get stuck in to the world of publishing.
Regardless of what people often say to me, these achievements haven’t been easy, but they were always going to happen. In my life, academic success has been paramount, and I’ve always strived to be the best I could possibly be in all areas and subjects. As such, despite feeling disillusioned by my degree choice, to be leaving with a strong First was always my goal – I don’t know what I would have done had it not happened, but the fact that it did is a reminder of making each opportunity worth it. Combined with a higher-than-expected dissertation grade and being named the winner of the Garrick Club Library Prize, I have been overwhelmed by the recognition I have been given for my effort, despite the highs and lows. I haven’t coasted through life – it was determination and hard graft that got me where I am today, and I’m proud to admit it. It’s not arrogance, it’s an acceptance of what I’ve put in, and the rewards I can now reap from it.
Life is what you make of it. If you sit back and just let things float by, it’s unlikely that anything will truly fall into place – of course, these things do happen, and I know many people who just always seem to be in the right place at the right time to achieve well with minimal input. But I’ve always been one for pro-activity, putting yourself out there to get what you want. If you apply for everything, the odds will most likely end up favouring your attentiveness, and if you’ve been doing your best to gain relevant experience and personal skills, you’ll be even better.
So now I’m frantically shopping for office-friendly clothes, charging up my new Kindle (thanks mum and dad!), and preparing myself for the life of a commuter. It’s been a whirlwind romance, from first letter, a brief 40-minute interview securing my passion for the company, to an offer three days later to start as soon as possible, and the HR Officer letting slip that the managers were buzzing after we first met. I’ve had little time to get my head around it, but perhaps that’s for the best – after all, I am an avid over-thinker. Instead, I’m jumping in head-first, leaping from student- to adult-life without so much as a pause to take in the scenery. This is an exciting world we live in, and mine’s about to get a whole lot bigger…