Mathew Reynders gave an informational one hour presentation on the path he took to become a Senior Advertising Finance Manager at Time Inc. This session was helpful for me because I feel as if I am in a similar position that he was coming out of college. Although I do not think I will ever be willing to move to New York City like he was, it is nice to hear that someone who isn’t 100% sure what they want to do, even after four years of college, can be successful.
Reynders kept going back to the idea of finding a mentor. He mentioned how helpful the mentors he had were to helping him really figure out what he did, and did not like. The mentors he had were great ways to build relationships that allowed him to communicate freely to really help him understand what he wanted. As soon to be college graduates we are constantly reminded of how important networking is, and how key knowing the right people is. Reynders also talked about this point but really stressed the idea of finding someone who is willing to be completely honest with you, whether good or bad.
Reynders also spoke of things to look for in your first employer. He believes it is key to find someone who is willing to capitalize on what college students are best at, learning. Show an employer that you are willing to work hard and learn how to do the job to your best ability. The odds are that very few college students will know exactly what to do in their first job. But putting an emphasis on your attitude to learn will help you get further.
Reynders also said to never underestimate yourself. Set goals, work towards them and if you fail, try again. Mistakes mean you are taking risks. And when you really don’t know what is going on ask questions!
Reynders is also in a Masters program through Duke University that has given him the opportunity to study for a short period in various countries. Although he does have some friends who have experienced a few cultural mistakes, fortunately for him, he has been able to avoid such mishaps.