Yesterday was June 5, 2009 and I was a 22-year-old college grad with zero experience, and no earthly clue of what I was doing. I sat quietly at a table while the owner of one of the most influential political media firms in the country, donning sweatpants and a Navy t-shirt, told me he wanted to hire me. To this day, I don’t fully understand why out of everyone who applied, Adam Goodman picked the shy, awkward, novice who’s most significant work experience up to that point consisted of roller-skating with fast food.
That night I went to bed for the first time since starting college without a knot in my stomach. My life post-USF was starting to take shape and work, education, and my love for politics were finally converging into one path.
This morning, I woke up and it was June 2015…I swear it happens that fast. It’s been six years since I began my life-changing adventure with The Victory Group and to call it an adventure is no exaggeration. I’ve met and worked with people who influence change in the world, travelled to places I had never been, and experienced things that have forever influenced the person I am.
I’ve also internalized a few fundamental things that I wish more new or soon-to-be college grads understood about life in the real world:
Be Adaptable. Be Curious: The real world is not a McDonald’s line kitchen where you’re trained to make fries and that’s all you need to know to sustain yourself in life. Learn new things that increase your worth. It’s not a suggestion, it’s a requirement.
Hustle, Hustle, Hustle: Produce quality work and do it faster than anyone else. In six years, I’ve learned that a surprising number of people accept mediocrity and a general lack of urgency. You’ll make friends for life if you consistently break that mold.
Dare to Share: Have ideas, express ideas, push back and play devil’s advocate with everything and everyone (even the boss). Don’t become a monkey who only knows how to push the colored buttons they’re told to push.
But the most important lesson/realization that’s come out of my six years at VGI is this: When someone takes a chance on you, trusts you, invests in you, and treats you like family…know what you have and never take it for granted. Adam Goodman opened a door for me that would have otherwise been dead bolted shut. Through my successes, my failures, and my growing pains, he’s never given up on me, instead seeing each as an opportunity to challenge me and make me better.
*Cracks open a celebratory beer*
Here’s to a first job turning into career, an opportunity turning into an adventure, and a boss turning into a mentor, and a friend.