Build Your Career by Following Your Passion
Elyse Flynn Meyer, Marketing ’07. Marketing, Thunderbird Online.
When I graduated from the Eller College of Management in May 2007, I felt as though I was thoroughly prepared to work and succeed in the professional world. Eller taught me the fundamentals of business, time & project management, and overall, what it means to be a leader and team player either within a project group or for a team that you manage.
I began my career working with a medical device company based in Northern California focusing on business operations and analytics. I began to realize that I was really more interested in marketing campaigns, analysis, programs, and all that is marketing, instead of just purely, operations. I decided it was time to pursue my real passion of marketing, and took an opportunity with another medical device company located in the Bay Area. I accepted this role because I knew it would bring me back to the marketing field, and challenge me on a new professional level. I recently moved back to Arizona to pursue an opportunity at Thunderbird Online, a professional development division of Thunderbird School of Global Management. Throughout my career, I started to hone in on my true passion, which is still marketing, but with a focus on training, development and continuing education. My current position allows to me to do marketing every day, but focus on my passion of professional development.
My advice to Eller students, particularly, graduating seniors is:
1) Follow your Passion – Always follow your passion. It may take some trial and error to find what you are really passionate about, and what makes you want and enjoy going to work each day, but once you find it, you’ll know. For example, if you are interested in golf, and are truly passionate about it, but want to stay in marketing, try to find a career that will let you live and breathe golf each day by marketing either a product, facility or service that is completely connected with that passion.
2) Stay Connected – Remain engaged and active in your alumni community at U of A & Eller. There are so many U of A & Eller grads all over the world. It is an enormous benefit to reach out to these alums if you are moving or travelling to a new city.
3) Continue to Learn & Grow – Remember that after college, you will still have countless opportunities to develop skills that will really impact your daily life. Continue to embrace those career development opportunities either offered to you through your job, or something that you may find interesting to attend like a seminar or speaker in your area. These are wonderful learning opportunities to gain expertise in specific focus areas.
4) Give Back – Volunteer within your community. Make sure that you continue to give back to organizations in the area. A great way to get involved is through the University of Arizona Alumni Association. There are chapters all around the world, and oftentimes, they will host volunteer activities. You can stay connected and give back at the same time!
5) Don’t Be Afraid – If an opportunity arises that you are passionate about, go for it! Don’t be afraid if it is something that you weren’t expecting, like a new position, or new project at work. Take the opportunity to develop new strengths and expand your potential.
As you continue your journey at Eller, and prepare to enter the world as a new, vibrant working professional, remember that there are endless opportunities for you to continue learning and growing, and exceeding even your own expectations.