Sips of Brilliance: Advice for New College Grads

June 3, 2020

It’s graduation season and Brilliant Ink is celebrating by kicking-off of our new summer intern program– BINK SIP! This 10-week internship will provide recent grads with an opportunity to do meaningful work with our brilliant team. There will be no coffee runs for our BINK SIP interns, instead they'll get a taste of what it's like to be a part of our close-knit, supportive team while doing work that lays a valuable foundation for a fulfilling career.

To kick off this exciting new program, our team thought back to the end of our college days and shared some advice we wished we’d been given:

1. Your career is an evolution

“It's okay if you don't have your life planned out yet -- in fact, it might be better that way! There's no rule requiring you to start a job at 22 and continue with it until retirement. Try something you're interested in, see how it feels, then adjust and try something else! Your career is an evolution, not a one-time decision.” Jennifer Gunst, Senior Strategist

2. Don’t compare yourself to your friends

“Don't compare yourself to your friends! It's okay if your path after college looks different than your friends, everyone moves through life at a pace that is best for them. Don't stress over what your friends are doing because all you can control is you, your choices and ultimately your happiness. So trust your gut and surround yourself with people that support you and leave the rest to the birds!” Claire Stuart, Designer & Project Coordinator

3. Network, network, network!

“Network! Don't be scared to reach out to people who have jobs you want and ask them if they have time to talk about how they got there. People are much more willing to talk to you than you might expect and learning about how they seem to fall into these cool jobs is reassuring and inspiring. LinkedIn is an amazing tool for seeing who you know that knows someone at your dream organizations or dream jobs so leverage the power of an introduction.

Also, get plugged in with local chapters of professional networks (especially as a volunteer) like the International Association of Business Communicators. Don't expect anything. If you take the time to connect with people authentically and just do good work though, people will notice and it almost always leads to something down the road. Sometimes when you least expect it.” Gabriel Galdamez, Marketing Strategist

4. Put yourself out there

“Networking can (and often does!) occur outside of a crowded career fair! You never know when you're going to meet someone, who knows someone, that works for a company that’s hiring for your dream job. All it takes is a quick intro to spark a conversation that eventually turns into an offer! 

Don’t be afraid to talk to people outside of traditional networking channels – chat with family members, your parent’s friend, a neighbor and everyone else that’ll listen to your #goals. Be your biggest advocate, put yourself out there and then rinse and repeat until you land your next gig.” Lindsay McCleary, Head of Project Management

5. Expect the unexpected (and be kind to yourself)

“Graduating in today's environment is a lot different than the one I graduated in, but I have two pieces of advice that still hold true.

  1. Expect the unexpected. You may be tempted to set out on your post-college job search with a defined set of criteria and a vision of what your entry job into the career world will look like, but you cast a wider net if you remain open to possibility.
  2. Be kind to yourself. A job search is inspiring, momentous, nerve-racking and sometimes downright disappointing. Know that this is par for the course and don’t let it kill your confidence. “You’re gonna make it after all!” (Oh, and bonus tip 3: watch Mary Tyler Moore. You’re welcome.)” Patty Rivas, Vice President

6. Take a break! 

“If you can swing it, don't jump into a job the day after graduation. Go volunteer or travel, even for a day or a weekend. Give yourself a break and see the world through a different perspective!

There are so many organizations out there that will match you up with volunteer / internship opportunities that could lead to full-time jobs. Don't discount those! It could quite possibly shift your mindset and help you refine what you want to do in your career—while you're giving back to a cause you believe in.” Kate Angus, Head of Account

7. Try everything

“Try everything even if you think you'll be terrible. ESPECIALLY if you think you'll be terrible. You can't think your way around experience and the best way to learn and grow is to be brave and just try.” Sara Forner Howland, Vice President

8. Wear sunscreen. 

Wear sunscreen.” Becky Sennett, Senior Strategist

9. Be grateful

“Be grateful for what you have and where you’ve come from. You’ve worked hard to get here, and you’ll have to work hard to get to where you want to be, but focusing on the things you’ve achieved and the gifts in your life will make life feel sweeter and help the road ahead less daunting.” Anna Downing, Head of People

Ready to get started?

Whether you're applying for yourself, or can think of who'd benefit from this experience, visit BINK SIP to learn more about the program or send us a message!

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