Emily W.

Creative Director, Zoom Grants

When did you start looking for a job?

When I was a sophomore, I interned with the company for which I now work, and I continued doing odd jobs for Zoom Grants even after my official internship was over. As soon as I graduated, I was offered a full time position. Admittedly, my job search was easy (which takes away from my advice for students, I suppose), but I've been helping my husband search for a new job and I've seen how frustrating and disappointing it can be.

 What have you learned over the past few years that has helped you succeed in your career?

People are always people, regardless of their clout in a company or the letters behind their name. When I meet CEOs and directors of philanthropy or make a sales pitch to the head of a non profit organization, I remind myself that they were once my age, too. I can either be intimidated or encouraged - that person has done such great things with his or her life and has been very successful - there's hope for the rest of us! Adopting that attitude helps me shake off the nerves, which allows me to rid myself of the cold businesswoman appearance (brought on by being too nervous to be anything other than overly professional) and don a more approachable, friendly, and fun demeanor.

If you can't laugh while you are at your job, you're in the wrong job! (Unless, of course, you are into that stuffy office sort of thing - which is totally your prerogative!)