Happy Grad: Allison McDavid

  Age: 23Graduation Date: 2013Major: PsychologySchool: George Mason UniversityCurrent Position: Office Manager  


Q: What was your biggest fear about leaving college and entering the “real world”?

My biggest, most violent fear was being unable to pay my bills, pay my rent, and end up back in retail at the local mall and living in my parents house. I have a fantastic relationship with my parents, don't get me wrong, but the level of independence I desired was including a salary, one that reflected the completeness of a degree.

Q: What five words would you use to explain your job search as a recent grad?

Exhausting, Constant, Wide-ranged, Hopeful, Reflective.

Q: What is it about your situation now that makes you a happy grad?

I am very fortunate to say I have a solid, challenging job with the perks of a steady paycheck, the confidence of my employers, and the responsibilities of a real-world office worker. I have the solidarity of a 9-5 work schedule, and the familiarity of my job cycle: I know what is expected of me, I can complete my work and go above and beyond what is expected of me.

Q: What are the best things about your current role?

I love being entrusted with many of the important things that need to be completed in order to run a business. For example; payroll, invoicing, accounts payable and receivable are all components of a business that require meticulous handling. I am young and see the potential to grow into my role and earn more responsibility as the business grows. It's also a wonderful feeling when you're opinion holds water in the work environment. There's nothing like proving yourself and then reaping the benefits: being trusted.

Q: What advice would you give recent grads today about leaving college, and finding a career and life they love?

My best advice: do not limit your opportunities. I graduated with a psychology degree and at first when I was job searching I had a difficult time finding the one specific job I wanted. Did I ever imagine becoming an office manager? No. I was stuck on the perfect psychology related job - but I soon became discouraged.
There are many stairs on the staircase to our dreams.
I learned in order for there to be any hope of finding a good job, I needed to realize "Ok, my first job may not be my dream job, or my career, but that doesn't mean I can't gain great and valuable experience doing a job that utilizes my strengths and also getting my foot in the door." There are many stairs on the staircase to our dreams.

Q. What are some of the best things about being a recent grad?

Some of the most exciting things I've experienced in the last year is just that: experiences. I am able to say I have been fully supporting myself for a year now. Financial independence has been wonderful. With that, I have been able to plan for the future: my goal is to go out of the country on a trip to Paris in 2015. Last year, I was able to afford to go skydiving, among many other things I will soon be crossing off my bucket list. I feel accomplished, successful and making my family proud while contributing to the success of a company.  
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