Network, Network, NETWORK!

                         Transferring to Temple University for the spring 2017 semester I felt a lot of emotions. I was excited for the challenge and new beginning yet anxious like a little kid the night before their first day of school. I was also nervous and a bit scared that I would be out of place. See, I wasn’t the traditional student. I went to college straight out of high school in 2009 but dropped out to enlist in the military. After enlisting, I started school again but due to the constant geographic and work schedule changes that came with my new line of work I was constantly taking breaks from and changing schools. Not to mention that I was also pregnant with my first child so making the decision to go to Temple was one that would require a lot of determination, discipline and dedication.

                         I could only take online and night classes a few times a week because of my job and my commute was an hour each way! And although I was just a few years older, initially sitting in classes at Temple I felt a bit unconnected with my classmates at times. Because of my military background some of my instructors and classmates thought that I was so cool, experienced and had the upper hand. However in my eyes I felt out of place and far behind. Not only was I completely switching career fields but going into my senior year I had yet to have internship while other kids in my class was working on their 4th and 5th internships. On top of that I was having scheduling and other miscellaneous issues with my command which conflicted me from taking the classes and from fulfilling my internship requirement, all of which I needed to graduate. After much debate and jumping through hoops, I made the tough decision to separate from active duty so that I could fully focus on obtaining my degree. Thinking the hard part was over I was feeling completely liberated! However in the same breath I still felt discouraged, scared and far behind because I had yet to secure an internship, I was juggling being a newly single mom nine hours away from family, I had just quit my job and not to mention it had taken me all of nine years to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel of undergrad.

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Learning Outside of the Classroom

During my time interning for the Temple Small Business Development Center, I learned a lot of valuable things about small businesses, marketing, advertising, and myself. To own and operate a small business takes a lot of hard work and determination. The two clients who I had the pleasure of working with both faced daily struggles. To be a small business owner you must be resilient. Sometimes you have to be able to drop everything, pick up again, and start a whole new marketing plan in the blink of an eye. SOS Daters, a dating coaching service, was the company that I worked more closely with of the two because the work was more hands on. I also felt a personal connection to the company itself and the message she was sending to her target audience. I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many times the owner, Annie White, would call me to tell me to “stop the presses” because something in her marketing plan had changed. Being able to work with her and experience the amount of hard work and dedication that she puts into her business was very inspiring. This experience made me realize the interest that I have in entrepreneurship. I admire the way that they are able to persevere and keep building both themselves and the company. I believe that I tend to have the same qualities that it takes to be that kind of leader. If one day I find something that I am passionate about, I would like to become a business owner. During my time interning I also realized that I really have a natural gift for graphics and more creative work. I would like to do work that is more creative based in my future career, despite the fact that I am in the account management track.

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