A Letter To My Younger Self

May 11, 2018

Yesterday, Facebook reminded me that it’s been four years since I graduated from college. This means in June I will have spent as much time as a Fast Horse Pony as I did a Golden Gopher. Woah.

I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve learned since then. A lot. Things I wish I had known when I was going on pre-graduation informational interviews. Things I’d like to pass on to the siblings of my friends about to do so.

So, to Ms. Sam Tuttle of 2014, who is dreaming of her first apartment in Uptown and starting to think agency life just “might not be for her,” and everyone about to enter their new lives, listen up. This is for you.

 

You don’t know what you want to do with your life. That’s okay.

When I started applying for agency positions, ya girl didn’t know the difference between account management and project management. I had no idea what I wanted to do, other than I wanted to work on cool projects. I was afraid to be honest with people about this. I was told by some that I should fake it, just say I was passionate about one facet of agency life or another. But what was wrong about being genuine and honest? I was confused about this.

At Fast Horse, this wasn’t a problem. Fast Horse saw my potential and helped develop it. I was able to try lots of things. I discovered new paths. When I started I thought I wanted to do experiential or social media. But it turns out I love being in account management. Who knew?

If you feel like you’re in the same boat as I was, here’s my plug for our Integrate program. Come in with a positive attitude, a passion for learning, a lot of drive, and you’ll do fine. You don’t have to know your whole future. We’ll help you find it.

You’re going to learn the most when you’re uncomfortable.

When I look back on my biggest periods of growth at Fast Horse, I think of the times when I had to stretch way out of my comfort zone. I was often terrified. But that’s when I learned. The experiences gave me confidence. Don’t be shy about raising your hand to try something new. Just make sure you ask good questions along the way.

You’ll meet some of your best friends.

Before graduation, I always thought I should draw a bright line between my professional and personal life. But that’s hard when you’re working at an agency. And the truth it’s unnecessary when you enjoy your colleagues. Between the early mornings, late nights and weekend work, you form deep bonds with them. That’s a positive thing. The reality is I spend more time with Fast Horse people than I do with friends outside of work. And that’s OK. Getting to hang out with your friends every day isn’t a bad gig.

Trust your gut in interviews.

This kind of ties into learning #2. It can be easy to want to take any job you can get during the craziness of interview season. But at the end of the day, these are the people you’re going to be spending a lot of time with. I had interviews my senior year that made me feel dumb, like I wasn’t being taken seriously or where I felt like my time was a hassle to the person interviewing me. Trust your gut. Your time and experience matters. You don’t want to spend your career with people who make you feel small.

Be nice. Work hard. It’ll all work out.

It’s as simple as that.