When I got to college, I had no idea what I was doing. Not in school. Not in life. Not in anything.
But the thing was I thought I knew everything. Of course, as a freshman, I thought I had it all planned out. It was easy, right? All I had to do was follow that colorful little degree chart until it magically led me to a job on the fourth floor of some office building making $50,000 a year with a 401(k) and full benefits.
Oh, how long it has been since freshman year.
I learned very quickly that nothing is ever guaranteed and that there was no substitute for hard work. And I learned that I didn’t know how to learn. It wasn’t until I started immersing myself into all of the experiences TCU had to offer (not just academics) that I really started learning.
Classes taught me a wealth of knowledge that would serve as an amazing foundation for years to come. But my experiences at TCU are what taught me what it would take to succeed in the “real world.”
I worked in the Skiff’s advertising office, which helped me immensely in sharpening my communication and leadership skills. I studied abroad in London and visited one of the world’s top advertising agencies, which provided me an incomprehensible amount of inspiration. I became a part of ushering in TCU’s very own strategic communication agency.
But all of this became possible for me because of one particular trip with the Advertising Club to the Moroch Agency in Dallas. While on the agency tour, I heard three words that changed my life: learn every day.
A man stood up in front of all of us and said he lived by this motto because he wanted to make sure he was always the best at doing what he did. He wanted to make sure that by learning every day, no one would ever be better than him at his profession and that he absolutely loved his profession.
This struck a chord with me, and from that day onward, I applied it in every aspect of my life. Now mere weeks before graduation with no offers on the table, I am not worried in the slightest about finding a job out of college. My experiences at TCU have taught me to never settle for less than my full potential, to never stop learning, to be independent (but with a great support system) and to never take “no” for an answer.
So now with less than a month until I am outside of TCU’s comfy confines and am thrust into the “real world,” I just smile. I smile because I took my experiential learning and applied it; I started my own company.
A few of my closest friends and I started our own advertising and marketing agency, and I have my dream job. I will graduate and officially become the Director of Account Services for my own agency.
The job I dreamed of having from the time I took my first Ad Principles class with professor Catherine Coleman will now be my very first job out of school. I am willing to bet that there are not a lot of people out there who can say they literally got their dream job coming out of college (for undergraduates, nonetheless). But in the grand scheme of things, there are also not a lot of people out there who can say they went to TCU.
We are a small school, but we are proud. And we are go-getters. We really are learning to change the world. I guarantee I would not be in the place I am in if not for the experiences TCU provided me and without the love and support (mental, emotional, financial and otherwise) of my family. There are only two words on earth that I could think of to properly end this:
Ali Kassam is a senior strategic communication major from Grapevine.