Unfair Advantage

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July 2014 Articles:





Alumni Advantage is a newsletter for current students written by members of the National Professional Advisory Board and their colleagues. It provides insider advice, insight and inspiration so that when our graduates enter the real world, they are ready to rock it.


Put Passion Into Action!
by Charlene Chang, photo courtesy Charlene Chang
Charlene Chang

Charlene Chang

My education will always be a foundation of my successes thus far, but for many, the additional desire of finding your passion or dream job isn’t always discovered in the classroom. The journey to understanding what motivates you, what creates a hunger and desire to go work, and what you thoroughly enjoy doing isn’t always in a textbook. Often I have been approached on how I navigated my career and achieved my goals in finding my passion.

My biggest advice has been to simply use process of elimination and to take risks.

Understanding the elements of a job that you do not like is just as critical in identifying what you do like in a job. If anything, I think it’s even more important. It helps you understand the qualities of a job, company culture, environment and standards which you enjoy. Thus, it will always be a great foundation, and from there you can then tie it to the industry, title, and job description that you see on paper.

Those are important to know and like, also, but the core drivers, as I like to call them, will never really change. The core drivers are your passions that will keep you at a job longer, make you happier, and allow you to grow in an organization. Even if you don’t know what all of your core drivers are, go into a growing company that allows you to be exposed to various roles to further bring to light other avenues of opportunity.

Also, I cannot stress enough how you are not confined by the subject of your study. It’s about how you position yourself as a quick learner, a collaborative person, and all the soft skills that stem beyond your education. This is what will set you apart and should be stressed in any interview or conversation when job seeking. Again, it’s the passion you convey that will be what the company remembers the most.

Lastly, taking risks. So what does that really mean? Don’t think taking risks has to be a big ordeal. It can be simply choosing a position that isn’t directly tied to what you studied in school. It can also be changing from a corporate environment with a nice cushy office to a tiny startup that has a small basement office. No matter what the size of the risk, making sure that you take it (while still keeping to your core drivers) will make you stronger and more knowledgeable. That is how you excel above those who may have more years of experience, but never took any risks to further develop themselves.

Be smart, strategic and savvy in navigating your career to find your passion. It’s not a science, but listen to your gut and surround yourself with trusted friends, family and colleagues who understand your strengths. Most importantly, it’s about actually putting thoughts into action!





Charlene Chang studied Retail in the College of Human Sciences and graduated in 2008 from Texas Tech University. She lives in Manhattan and has worked at mark. by Avon, Refinery29, and now Vox Media, in digital sales and marketing. Charlene has a passion for all things digital media, fashion and beauty. Her hobbies include traveling across the globe, enjoying the array of food and music NYC has to offer, being involved in the NYC Delta Gamma alum chapter, and supporting the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

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