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Happy Grad: Chantel McCabe

  Age: 24 Graduation Date: Dec 2011 Major: Sports Studies and English- Print Journalism School: University of New Hampshire Current Position: Pre-Game Show Host and Sideline Reporter on Fox Sports Caorlinas for the Carolina Hurricanes  


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

In broadcasting, you go TO the job. I was applying to any news station in New England, but even that was really limiting myself. I was not confident in myself or my skills, let alone leaving familiarity and my comfort zone. I later expanded my borders and applied for any and everything (even in Winnipeg, Manitoba!) Luckily, I moved to Springfield, MA, a two hour drive from my parents house. I didn't hesitate at all. I got the job, took the first apartment I found, and the next day, moved in the essentials by myself.
I was not confident in myself or my skills, let alone leaving familiarity and my comfort zone.
The fear sank in later that I took the best job available as a career stepping stone. I got incredible experience, but it was challenging to pay my student loans on the salary I was making. I was working 7-days a week, and I missed my friends and family… and even where I am now, that hasn't changed. It's a sacrifice you have to make to better your career.

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

Tedious, rewarding, navigating, desperate, eager.

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

I got my dream job at age 22. I have one of only 30 jobs that exist in the world. Every day is a challenge, but it's a chance for me to share my passion for my favorite sport, and continue to learn and build at a relatively young age. I was given a role with a great deal of responsibility and it has given me the chance to grow as a professional. It has also helped me grow as a person and build mental toughness in an elite atmosphere.

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

Leaving college feeling prepared has to start with what you are doing leading up to graduation. 'Networking' isn't just a word, it's as important as food for anyone entering the job market. Sending out emails to alumni or showing up at a couple of job fairs doesn't cut it. Explore the industry you look to join - commit to it. Subscribe to journals and bloggers writing about your industry. Everyone is connected now, so you have to stand out. The best way to do that is to create relationships with people with engaging conversations so they remember you. Go the extra mile - your future self will thank you.
'Networking' isn't just a word; it's as important as food for anyone entering the job market.

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

I interned every semester of college except my very first one during my freshman year (even as a sales rep for the LPGA futures tour - how random!). It was not always glamorous and I was worked hard with little appreciation. As a recent grad, I can reflect and feel the reward for each experience. It proves everything happens for a reason.
As a recent grad, I can reflect and feel the reward for each experience. It proves everything happens for a reason.
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