Nine Pieces of Advice to New Graduates

Whether a graduate is entering the workforce, the service, or continuing their education, new graduates will soon be looking at what lies ahead. We sat down with the Strategic Elements leadership team and each member reflected on their own experience and offered advice on navigating this new chapter. You can read their insight below.  

“Take risks. Not every risk you take will pan out, but you will learn from each, and it helps inform the next. Don’t let others place limits on you. They don’t know you, and they are usually wrong.” – Christine Stineman, President and CEO 

“Create an interesting, well-rounded life for yourself based on more than your work career–you will be happier and more attractive to employers.  Read a lot, travel a lot, make life-long friends.  And, always, always allow yourself to be teachable.” – Tony Zagotta, Strategic Partner 

“Set long-term goals of where you want to be in 5, 10, 15 and 20 years then seek out the entry-level experience in your field of interest and work your way toward those goals by staying focused and undeterred in your pursuits by utilizing all available paths to get there—although they may seem insignificant or irrelevant, each of those steps builds upon the previous experience and can be traced back to the initial milestone goals you set for yourself.” – Michael Wascom, Strategic Partner  

“Get to know as many people as possible in your career field and work on building strong relationships – add them on LinkedIn and stay in touch. Networking will benefit you for the rest of your life and lead to other opportunities down the road, whether you’re looking for a new job or selling something at your current business.” – Mak Heddens, Vice President of Operations 

“Be open to unexpected opportunities – you never know where it might take you or who you might meet, that will make the world of difference in your career.” – Lynn Stinson, Vice President of Digital  

“Always be kind, work to live, and never stop learning. Learn from every situation that’s thrown at you and every person you meet, take the time to listen and help others, and remember to put your faith, family, and friends at the top of your list.” – Jillian Newhard, Vice President of Creative Services  

“Take the risks and enjoy every minute of it. Learn what you love to do and how you can continue doing it every day through your work. Make it your passion.” – Maura Kennedy, Vice President of Communications  

“Education doesn’t stop at graduation. Always look for opportunities to improve your skills or learn something new. Find mentors willing to take you under their wing and peers who will give you honest, constructive feedback.” – Kevin Carpenter, Vice President of Public Affairs  

“Take the risk, step out of your comfort zone, and make it happen. The scariest things in life aren’t that scary after you’ve done them a time or two. Never fear failure; fear the regret of lost opportunities. You’ll likely become more risk-averse with age. The younger you are, the less you have to lose.” – Pete Rimsans, Vice President of Policy and Business Development 

Congratulations to the Class of 2022! Strategic Elements wishes you the best of luck in your new endeavors.  

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