Taylor working at Bad Rhino in West Chester

The 411 on Life After College: Taylor Bechtel

All throughout high-school all anyone can think about is what college is going to be like. Then suddenly everyone can’t wait to graduate seeming like the past four years were unbearable. Then, you go through summer counting down the days until you leave your hometown and can finally live on your own. Finally, the time has come. You are finally a college student. You now know what all of the hype was about but what most don’t realize, is that you have just embarked on one of the most exciting, confusing, and important four years (hopefully, unless you’re like me and are a super senior) of your life. No one ever tells you how fast these years go by and before you know it you’re about to graduate not having a clue as to what you want to do with your life. or knowing exactly what you want to do.

I know throughout my college experience I have always dreaded graduation day. So many questions run through my mind like ‘am I going to have a job?’ or ‘what do I even want to do?’ and ‘when do I even graduate?’. Despite all of those other questions, the  number one question that always comes to my mind is, what is life like after college? I was lucky enough to find someone who was just as uneasy about graduating college as I am. Meet Taylor Bechtel, a graduate from Spring 2016. We sat down and she was able to give us the 411 about life after college.

Q: Give us a brief background on yourself
Taylor: My name is Taylor and I am 22 years old. I was a communications major during my time at West Chester University and graduated last May.

Q: What was your ‘dream job’ throughout college?
Taylor: My ultimate dream job was (and still is) to be a wedding planner. If I ever stumbled upon an opportunity to plan a wedding, or even just assist, I would drop everything.

That question got me thinking; what is my dream job? I sat down and thought about this question for days. There are so many different jobs that interest me and I am so indecisive so I knew this was going to take awhile but one night it finally came to me. Okay, I lied. I narrowed it down to two. I would love, love, love to be social media marketing specialist for the Philadelphia Flyers or work at a concert event venue, specifically, Red Rocks which is located in Colorado. While this is what I want to do at this moment in time, there’s no guarantee it won’t change within a day.

Q: What job do you have now and how does it compare?
Taylor: Right now I am a social media manager but I’m not sure how it compares to a wedding planner in any way!

Q: What’s the next step you want to make in your career?
Taylor: Right now I work for a small marketing agency. Next, I really want to work for a bigger and more established company. Working for a place like Comcast or even a Philadelphia sports team would be awesome. Hopefully doing their social media but if something else comes up, well, then I’m open to that too!

Q: What’s the one skill you’ve learned in college that has been most useful to you?
Taylor: Time management skills. I learned to balance a lot in college between school, work, having a job, and an internship. It has helped me a ton in the real world because I have important deadlines and need to prioritize my time.

I want everyone to pay close attention to Taylor’s last response. Time management skills are key. As of right now, I am working everyday during the week, I go to classes MWF, and I have an internship. I need to have time management skills in order to get through the week. However, no matter what job you get in the future, being able to manage your time is a skill you want to master.

Q: What do you miss most about college?
Taylor: Honestly, the naps…..and not having to be responsible.

Q: What class in college prepared you the most for the ‘real world’?
Taylor: Advertising with Dr. Lorden. He had us work on legit projects that he just kind of threw at us and that helped set you up for the real world. They remind me of projects my boss would ask me to complete.

Q: What social media site has helped you prepare most for your future?

Taylor: LinkedIn. When I was looking for jobs it allowed me to search for the interviewers and companies I interviewed with so I knew what I was getting myself into. It’s also great for networking!

Q: If you could steal anyone’s job in the world; family, friend, celebrity, whose would it be and why?
Taylor: Sophia Amoruso, the founder of NastyGal She’s a badass that went from being homeless to a rockstar business owner at the age of 22. OR, Kayla Itsines (sorry couldn’t choose one). She’s the creator of the fitness cult Bikini Body Guide (BBG). Her job involves her working out and traveling the world. Need I say more?

Whose job would you steal? I would have to say I would steal anyone’s job I would have to say it would be Lauren Conrad’s. I genuinely couldn’t even tell you what she does because she has done so many different things. She’s superwoman. Right now she has two fashion lines, runs her own blog, and publishes New York Times Best Sellers. A lot of you might know her from her first gig on Laguna Beach. Seriously, talk about a full package.
Q: What’s a tip you would give to current COM majors?
Taylor: DO AN INTERNSHIP! You won’t regret it. You need experience to talk about in an interview therefore getting noticed by potential employers. I wish I did more of them!

As you can see, Taylor still hasn’t reached her dream job, still daydreams about having someone else’s job, and is still adjusting to life after college. Entering the real world and landing your first big girl or big boy job is a milestone. Realistically, everything in your past has led up to this moment. So, all of the PSSAs, SATs, late nights studying, missing class because you spent those late nights studying, and everything in between, has paved the way to reach the holy-grail of education, aka your first job. The after-life (a term to define life after college) is a scary thought to think about but if Taylor can do it, so can we!