Life After Graduation: Experiences, Tips And Suggestions For Success

Life After Graduation: Experiences, Tips And Suggestions For Success

A Blog Post by Alumna, Victoria Centrella

Hello OW English Students!

I’m Victoria Centrella, an Old Westbury Alumna from 2011, but most here in the OW English Department simply know me as Tori.  It’s hard to believe that it has been three years since I’ve earned my degree from Old Westbury. A few weeks ago, on November 5th, I was given the opportunity to return to the OW campus and speak to many of you at the English Department’s open house about my current job as an Online Copywriter at Publishers Clearing House and life after graduation. I was thrilled to get the opportunity to reach out to so many of you, and for those who couldn’t attend any of the open house sessions I want to reach out to you now!

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Many of you are probably getting ready to graduate and maybe some of you are just starting your English career here. No matter what your class standing is, it is never too early to think about life after graduation, and that is exactly what I am here to tell you about. This is my story.

I graduated in May 2011 with a Bachelors in English and a minor study in Media and Communications.  Graduation was one of the most important days in my life, and I will never forget the feeling of walking across that stage and receiving my diploma after 4 years of hard work. I also knew that his marked the closing of one chapter, and the beginning of a new chapter of my life!

The day after graduation, while many of my peers were still celebrating and letting the novelty wear off, I was busy starting my job search! Ever hear the saying  “the early bird catches the worm?”  Well, in the job searching world this is 100% true! After applying to tons of jobs, I went on about a dozen interviews, including two “round-two” interviews before I landed my first full-time  job as an Assistant Copywriter for an advertising and Public Relations firm in Great Neck. I was super excited to have a full-time job only 3 months after college!

To make a long story short, that job only lasted about 6 months before the company ran into financial trouble. Mid-February of that year I found myself laid off and back at square one. After a ton of persistence and another 3 months of job searching I landed a temporary position at a small start-up company to hold me over. Unfortunately I sensed some issues with the company, and when they couldn’t increase their start up loans any further, I started applying to new positions in fear of being laid off again. Luckily, I landed my current job at Publishers Clearing House and have now been there a little over a year and a half.

So, what would I tell everyone whose still out there searching? I’d have to say my biggest piece of advice to you all is to be persistent. It truly pays off in the end. I did the job search more times than I would have liked after college, but I never gave up and I ultimately believe this is why I am in the position I have today.

Other advice I’d like to pass along is to stay organized and keep an open mind. I’ve worked in so many different industries, from journalism to retail and more. You never know what you can do until you try. Apply to everything and anything that you feel you are qualified for and that interests you.

Staying organized is probably even more important. Keep a log of places you’ve contacted. List the position, contact person, location, phone numbers and anything else that you feel is important. Nothing looks worse than speaking with a potential employer and forgetting everything about the company and the position.

I hope that this advice helps you all in the future! It’s rough out there after college, but with some hard work and dedication you can make it what you want.

Additionally, I know many of you have an interest in where I am currently working now at Publishers Clearing House (PCH). My company is more than just the sweepstakes part that everyone knows and loves. In actuality we are also a direct marketing company, selling fun products and magazines directly to our consumers. As I have been told, many of you have an interest in internship opportunities at PCH. Currently PCH is looking for marketing and social media interns. The people I have worked for here and the vast amount I have learned has probably been one of the most rewarding experiences in my career path thus far. Any interested students should absolutely contact PCH for a shot at one of these opportunities. You can apply by visiting where you will find a complete listing of all available job and internship opportunities.

Best Of Luck!


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