Happy Grad: Matthew Petrella

  Age: 25Graduation Date: 2013Major: Industrial and Organizational PsychologySchool: Eastern Kentucky UniversityCurrent Position: HR Generalist  

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

The simple fact that I began looking for jobs five months before graduation, and had received nothing but "you don't have enough real world experience," or "you're too educated!" I feared I would have to settle into a job, instead of a career.

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

Taxing, Frustrating, Hopeful, Humbling, Worthwhile.

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

After I spent months refining my skill set, interview techniques, resume, and cover letter, I finally saw results. I was getting interviews and call backs. I was then offered a position doing exactly what I wanted - being directly involved in hiring the right people for the right place. I now spend my days helping others find the best job for them, or offering them advice in the job hunt. From my after-grad experiences, I am able to relate and empathize with applicants, and it has impacted me more than I could ever imagine! I am a happy grad because that "light at the end of the tunnel," was worth every obstacle that was put in my path.

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

I am able to apply my education to my job everyday, as well as learn constantly. The over all best part of my job, is that I am able to offer applicants all the things I wished recruiters gave me during my search. I have met some truly amazing people in both my search to find a job, as well as helping others find theirs.

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

Do not stop trying. You will have days that you just want to give up, or settle for less then what you deserve, but don't. Instead keep channeling that energy, because one day you'll land that perfect fit. When that day comes, it makes every other aspect of your life seem that much sweeter. If you can take one thing away from me, take away the idea that dedicating yourself to a goal is the most important part of the process. Do not go into the job search with no idea which direction you want to take. Set yourself a goal, and don't stop until you've achieved it!

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

The real world is much more fresh then school! Gone are the sleepless nights and countless papers. That's now replaced with moments where you can apply that knowledge to the real world. I love being able to learn from my peers, as well as teach them new things everyday. Every single day of my job fulfills me, even the days where its stressful!  
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