Maddie Stuart

Hi Readers,

It’s me, a second-semester senior unprepared to face the reality of moving away from home and getting a “real job.”

After almost two and a half years at The Daily Nebraskan, it’s finally time for me to move on with my life. Sure, I’ve had some other jobs and internships during and between my semesters at The DN, but this is still the most consistent job I’ve had.

Yesterday, 24 hours after applying for my first full-time job, I received a rejection email.

I wasn’t too surprised. Last summer, out of almost 20 internships I applied for, I got five interviews and three offers. Not the worst odds, but still not very promising.

The cool thing, though, is that I ended up having one of the best summers of my life at a super cool internship I never would’ve expected enjoying so much. I knew nothing about media planning and buying before I applied for an internship at a media agency in New York, and had I not taken a risk and applied anyway, I probably would have stayed in Nebraska all summer doing whatever boring job I could find.

I was optimistic, despite receiving multiple rejections and not even hearing back from some ad agencies. I believe (perhaps naively) everything happens for a reason. If I was meant to spend the summer in New York, I’d get there.

Obviously, I had to come back home to finish my last year of school, but I’m only here to prepare for another big move. Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like it’ll be easier to move right after graduation than to settle into a job here for a few years before deciding I want to relocate.

So, now I’m back in the same position — blindly applying for jobs far away from home, so far with a one-for-one rejection rate (waiting to hear back on four more, though). As terrifying as this is, I’m optimistic once again.

OK, maybe not optimistic, but realistic, for sure. I have enough faith in myself to believe I’ll be the right choice for at least one of the jobs I apply for. It may take a few (or 50) failed applications or awkward interviews, but I have to end up in the right place someday.

If I have to take a less-than-perfect job just to get me out of Nebraska, that’s fine. Turnover rate is pretty high in advertising, so it’s likely I’ll have to move around after a couple of years anyway. Plus, I wouldn’t apply for a job I think I’d hate.

Rejection is part of the process. There’s no way any one person is right for every job, and I often set myself up for disappointment when I apply for jobs I’m not qualified for. Graduation is terrifying, especially when I have no idea where I’ll be in a year — let alone six months — from now. Until I figure that out, I guess I can keep redesigning my resume, updating my website and waiting on the inevitable rejections from 80 percent of jobs I apply for.

I’m just over here doing the best I can.

Sincerely,

Maddie Stuart

Senior Arts & Entertainment Editor