My First Job… Advice from the Seelio Team

Advice for your first job


Feeling intimidated about how to find your first job out of college?

We asked the Seelio team to share about their first job and their top advice for new grads. See what they had to say and share your advice with us on Twitter @Seelio!

Don’t be afraid to apply to positions where you’re not a perfect fit. Transfers are much easier than getting hired – especially in large corporations. My degree is in engineering. My first job was at my dream company, as a programmer because I knew an obscure programming language. After 6 months I was able to transfer to an engineering role. Also don’t be afraid to move away from your major. Six months later I was back in software and have been ever since.

- Mike Deming, VP of Product & Technology


My first job was sales (of course!) and was a result of on campus recruiting. I also got my summer internship at Disney that way. In both cases I was sure to emphasize ways that I was involved in campus leadership and I believe that’s what set me apart.

- Mary Shepard, VP of University Partnerships


My first job right after I graduated was vacuuming a dollar store and placing misplaced items back where they belonged. I eventually joined Americorps and did a year of volunteer service before getting a customer service position at a call center. Do your best work at whatever job you get and that will help you advance.

- Christina Zinkel, University Partnership Lead


Meet people in your field and in your community.  During business school, I was interested in pursuing a career in Human Resources, so for one of my classes I had to interview 3 HR professionals and create a short term and long term plan for how I wanted to build my career.  I stayed in touch with each person I interviewed for the project, and after I graduated I ended up getting hired at one of the companies.

- Holly Stuard, Managing Director of Educational Services


If you are pursuing a job in a field that is unrelated to your major, be willing to start from the bottom and work your way up. I studied Economics but joined a startup as an intern and ultimately was hired as its graphic designer and UI/UX lead.

- Sharon Chen, UI & UX Designer


Follow up on rejection emails! I landed my first job by replying to a rejection email because I noticed it came from an actual person. I said I was glad to hear they found a great candidate and that I hoped for future opportunities to join the great work they were doing. I guess no one does that because by the next day I had a phone call, then an interview, and an offer within the month at an amazing organization!

- Emily Keller-Logan, Director of Marketing and Communications


In the software development profession, always remember that you’ll never know everything. There’s always more to learn. And my biggest advice to young grads is to learn good communication and people skills. That’s how I landed my first job in the field. I was competing with other recent grads who all had resumes basically identical to mine. You want to stand out ahead of the others, and personality takes you a long way.

- Jeff Cogswell, Software Engineer


My first job after graduating from undergrad was teaching English in France. Spending time abroad was something that I had always wanted to do, and I’m glad that I did; it’s one of the best experiences that I’ve had. After France, I went to graduate school, where I stumbled upon my current career. I spent time talking to people who were working at jobs that interested me, and by joining projects outside of the classroom that let me develop and practice a certain skill set. If you’re struggling to figure out what you want to do, or how you can achieve your dream job, talking to people in the field and getting involved are some of the best things you can do.

- Candice Yono, User Experience Lead


Stay connected! In the summer of 1991, I landed my first job as a warehouse associate for a leading test publishing company. Within the first year, I moved into the research and development division. In 1994, I was promoted to a management position within the education division. I left this organization after 15 years as Director of Education and National Sales. I first met the president of this company in 1989.  From 1989 to 1991 I wrote to him periodically sharing accomplishments and often indicating my interest in working for his company. I never got a response. In 1991, I was new to the job market and wrote to him again advising that I had just applied for a position at his company.  I started the following Monday. I continue to periodically reach out to him with updates, etc.  He always responds.

- Justin Long, VP of University Partnerships


Get an internship! I landed a great internship in New York City during my junior year and then leveraged it to get 8-10 offers upon graduation in the investment banking industry! Internships are even more critical today than ever before. If you have one, use it to signal to others that you are in demand.

- Moses Lee, Cofounder and Group President


Don’t stress too much about the first job that you take after graduation. It doesn’t have to be the perfect fit; it just needs to give you a way to start learning new skills and figuring out your niche: what you enjoy doing for work and what you’re good at. When I came out of undergrad I really didn’t know what I should do with my life. The day I finished my last class before graduating, I talked my way into a marketing internship with a local company. After the summer internship, I had enough on my resume to get a job at an advertising firm. These first two jobs weren’t the perfect fit for me, but they were building blocks for future success because they gave me valuable skills and, maybe more importantly, awareness about what skills I had and what jobs I should pursue next. So don’t worry if that first job isn’t your dream job; you don’t need to be there forever, and you will learn so much during your time there that will help you figure out your next career step.

- David Nesbitt, Educational Services Lead