It has been a rollercoaster of a year. Of course, everybody has ups and downs in their lifetime, but we learn from our personal and professional experiences. With all of the good things and bad things in the world, we move on to a better future.
I finished my internship at the Boston Symphony Orchestra near the beginning of 2015. I had a good feeling that I would find a job with a Bachelors degree – impressing my family, my friends, and myself. I would pay off those students loans, move into my place, and grow into someone who is successful.
While I dreamed about all of these things I would do, reality took a punch in my face. I had a few interviews from Marketing firms in Woburn, Massachusetts. I was very pleased that I passed the first set of interviews. In the second round of interviews, I found out that entry-level people would work at Fortune 500 companies such as The Home Depot and the duties would solicit customers to buy Home Depot’s kitchen packages. My brain stopped, and I panicked. The plan was not something I had in mind. I didn’t want to bug people in person and try to meet a quota for the firm to expand Home Depot. I would have worked for them full time with no benefits until I reached the management level – which would have taken a year. When I got home, I cried. “This was not something I’ve worked hard. My dreams focused in the music industry, not the Home Depot.” I felt let down that my dreams wouldn’t be coming right. I was depressed as a dog.
I continued to apply for more jobs in the music industry and other companies that needed PR professionals. I lost count on how many places I’ve used to, maybe close to one hundred. Still, I had no bites for interviews. I was getting calls from temp agencies in the Greater Boston Area. “We will help you” they claimed. I tried to force myself that it would be a great thing to put temp work on my resume. But then again, my anxiety came back. I didn’t want to work for an agency that only lets me sit around and wait for the next opportunity for a temporary job. I told them it wasn’t for me. They tried to convince me to why temp work would help my chances getting a full-time job, but I didn’t believe it (and today, I still don’t).
During the spring, I had an interview with the BSO about a potential job for their Development department. I was so excited to finally have a possible break from my worries and troubles being unemployed. As I geared up for this important day of my life, I printed out my resume and my experiences. Little did I know, I fumbled the whole way. I was too nervous and blanked each question, and a week later, was rejected for a second interview. Yes, I was frustrated and angry with myself. I analyzed what I did wrong and why I wasn’t chosen. My dreams, again, wouldn’t be coming right.
It was until then that I had to think about a new path – graduate school. I wanted to get a Masters in Flute Performance, but what would have I done after that? Probably nothing since auditioning and winning a seat for major orchestras is slim to none. I started to research schools that offered public relations degrees. It turned out that Southern New Hampshire University offered what I was interested. After submitting a request for more information, I received a call from one of the admissions counselors. She learned about my troubles and what I wanted to accomplish in my life. I learned from our conversation that it’s a tough road finding a job with only just your bachelor’s. Getting a Masters will help myself grow more and stand out from other candidates. I applied to the Master’s program in Communications and was accepted.
I worked at Monadnock Music again during the summer with a new position as a PR Coordinator and Box Office Manager. I managed the group’s Facebook Page and created online videos for new audiences members to view and witness the MM experience. I’ve also helped set up stages in each venue across the Monadnock region of New Hampshire.
Read more of my experience at Monadnock Music: 50 Years!
Teaching the Flute to younger kids is still on-going in Lowell, MA. Teaching students can help not only to your students but yourself. I’ve learned what to do and what not to do when playing or performing the Flute when I am guiding my students. I’ve thought about teaching a classroom, but I would get headaches if I were responsible for twenty kids at a time.
Before being accepted to SNHU, I was advised to contact the career center for helpful tips on how to excel in my job searches, polish my resume and cover letter, and how to create your brand on social media. After speaking with my career counselor, I learned that I was doing everything wrong. My resume didn’t reflect on who I was, my cover letter was mimicking my resume, and I never published blogs. How are recruiters suppose to know what your interests are? After learning more about blogging in my first term of grad school, I created this blog so people who have similar experiences can connect and network with me.
After Monadnock, I applied for a new position at the BSO. Luckily, I was invited for an interview. Learning new tricks and researching how to nail phone interviews, I felt prepared and confident in my skills. The interview was about the same as the last interview I did, and this time, I felt like I aced my interview. Though, I found out I was up against seven other candidates that wanted the same position. Although I did not make it to the next round, I knew that I did the best I could and realized that getting a job behind the scenes of a symphony is competitive as auditioning. Three times a charm next time, right?
I performed in my first pit gig in November with Kids Coop Theatre’s production of Mary Poppins. It was a blast performing with this theater company and performing work that can be taxing to the winds section.
Read more of my review of the production.
So far I have completed four courses in my graduate journey. Personal branding opened my eyes to a new perspective of how everyone should consider branding themselves on social media and the internet itself. I’ve also learned how to create a digital PR campaign – which means planning what social media channels to use to boost your company or organization. Now, I am learning more about crisis communications and how law and ethics used in the media.
Though I am still without a job, my confidence at the beginning of the year has been shattered with rejection. Now, attending grad school has lifted my spirits and now I have somewhat of a clear direction of where I want to go. I know my dream job is to work for a professional symphony, but it’s all about where my experiences will take me – even if I might not make it to the BSO or other symphonies. I love telling stories about the world, music, and my journeys with everyone. I still have ways to go in school, but once I complete my Master’s, I hope that I will be working where I know I can excel.
Here’s to a brighter and happier new year.