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No experience is ever wasted

" No experience is ever wasted. Every experience has meaning". -Oprah Winfrey. This could relate to any aspect of your life, but in relation to young adults and new graduates entering the workforce, this philosophy is extremely important. One of the main problems we as young people encounter when looking for jobs in our career field is not having the necessary experience.

Photo of Valeene Wilson
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A few days ago I had the opportunity to sit down with Sharon Harris, the Global Sales Strategy Lead at Microsoft. Her position sounds very technical, but her presentation was surprisingly very personal. She spoke about knowing who you are, knowing how to present yourself, and knowing how to use the experiences you've encountered and the people you've met to create the future you want and should have. 

Sharon quoted Oprah Winfrey, " No experience is ever wasted. Every experience has meaning".  This could relate to any aspect of your life, but in relation to young adults and new graduates entering the workforce, this philosophy is extremely important. 

One of the main problems we as young people encounter when looking for jobs in our career field is not having the necessary experience. Having 5-7 years experience in an entry-level position coming right out of college is quite impossible for most of us. I want a career in advertising, specifically as a strategic planner, and I've come to realize that there are hardly any entry-level positions in this field. So experience is of the utmost importance when applying for this kind of position. This is not just an issue in the U.S. I have friends in the U.K who have graduated and are running into the same problems. 

Experience really does make all the difference. I am participating in the Marcus Graham Project this summer and I am so thankful for an opportunity like this one. The Marcus Graham Project is a non-profit organization that gives culturally diverse young people the opportunity to create their own advertising agency for the summer, with real clients, real work, and a real experience. Programs like this are essential for success especially when it comes to young people of color.
 
The advertising industry is lacking in diversity, and experiences like these give us a chance to change that. We need more professionals and industry leaders who are passionate about investing in our generations’ future, who want to give us the experiences we need for success in our chosen careers and to help us grow personally and professionally. I am grateful to be a part of the Marcus Graham Project and I think this program definitely needs to be expanded to reach more people like me. I have been exposed to so much this summer and have gained so much knowledge in my career field. I want others to have this same experience. 
 

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Photo of Matt Augustin

Great team!

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Photo of Meena Kadri

It's great to have so many students from the Marcus Graham Project joining this challenge! We hope you'll be back for the Ideas phase too – to share some fresh thinking about new ways we might approach our challenge topic. We're sure there have been learnings from the Marcus Graham approach which could inspire new ideas on how to engage, encourage and empower more young people to improve their career prospects and pathways.

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Photo of Luisa Fernanda

Valeene,
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I totally agree that is vital to learn how to present ourselves to be able to get the jobs we want. Also having an opportunity like the one you are having this summer is definitively a very valuable one to access networks and skills that will support you when looking for employment.

What are other types of support that you wished you had received to help you find the job you want?