Today marks the return of the college football season and another day at my awesome new job. The past few weeks could only be appropriately described as a whirlwind. I finished my internship August 5th, flew home to Atlanta on the 6th, was surprised with an incredible feature on my university's website on the 7th, and I graduated on the 8th. The 9th I began moving into my new apartment, I spent the next week furnishing (but mostly decorating) my new place, and caught up with my family. Monday the 17th marked my official start date with IBM, and I was flown up to Armonk, NY to get oriented with the company for a couple of days. The following week was spent in Boston at IBM Security Bootcamp, learning the ins and outs of our organization and respective business unit. Lately, I've been hearing words like "Lucky" and "Fortunate" being used to describe my current situation. Yes, I am lucky and fortunate to be employed after graduation, but there's a lot more to it. There are a few things I held on to during college that I will always keep with me. They're important at any stage of your career and of course they're scalable.

  • I never settled: I still won't. Don't settle with one job or internship interview, don't settle for Cs when you could make Bs (or As), don't settle for relationships that don't benefit you, don't settle because you think you can't do better. 10 times out of 10 you probably can.
  • I worked hard: it's a cliche, but it's true. I didn't slave every night over stats homework (maybe 1 or 2 nights) and I never really worked true overtime at my internships. I just made the most of the time I was given and took advantage of the opportunities presented to me. I always think ahead (sometimes to a fault) and I am a tad hard on myself. Remember you've earned your spot.
  • Good people: This is where I am lucky and fortunate. I have a great circle of friends and family who hold me accountable - as I do them. They congratulate me when it's time and are quick to remind me there's more work to be done. They tell me things I don't want to hear and they lend me an ear when I need it.

I can't give advice on everything, I can only share insights from my experiences and hope they guide you in your journey. I could go on all day about what I did to get where I am and what I'm doing to get to where I'd like to be..but I'll stick with those 3 pillars for now. Work hard, don't settle, and surround yourself with good people and you should be well on your way to something great.