I’ve spent a good chunk of my 19 years giving advice to others. As an older sister, a junior consultant, and now as a Peer Advisor. But as much as I love sharing my own insights (especially to my roommate’s dilemmas: Black pants or grey? Boots or sneakers? Is my eyeliner even?), it’s definitely refreshing to have someone else guide me instead.
Now, to the theme of this post: I want to share with you guys the best piece of advice I’ve received–it’s actually a quote from a Bruin Consulting alum. I joined BC this past Fall, and I never could have anticipated how quickly it has changed my life. I was exposed to the world of business and Biz Econ majors, “163” and “103,” upperclassmen with completely different career interests than me. During a “BC NorCal dinner” over Christmas break, I met one alum named Venkat. He asked me about school, as usual, and I asked him what he did at his current job in San Francisco. He worked in healthcare, which is the field I hope to pursue. Not only did he explain his directorship at The Advisory Board Company, he also touched upon current issues and inefficiencies in healthcare. Plus, he also had a hilarious, goofy personality, which made listening to him speak about health insurance a lot easier to understand.
Now, this is the advice I took from him: I asked Venkat what I should be doing my 2nd year, so that I could be on the “right track” for a career in health administration. Over Americanos and omelettes South of Market Street, he shared his ultimate life hack with me. Venkat suggested that I start networking and gaining experience as soon as possible. He pointed out, “Good things come to those who wait….but only the things left by those who hustle.” No matter what you are interested in pursuing, just pursue it. Don’t wait for opportunities to fall in your lap, or for someone to just hand you a job. They won’t. Work hard, work relentlessly, work smartly. Don’t rely on finding internships the easy way, because that’s how 99% of other people are doing it too. In all, it’s never too early (or too late!) to gain relevant experience in your desired field.
How am I applying this advice in my own life back at UCLA? Well, to be honest, it has been a work in progress. Some days I just want to relax with my friends, and other days I spend on Linkedin or working on cover letters. But, I do keep his quote in my mind every day. Every day, I try to be productive in some way. In my academics, in my social relationships, in my work, or in my career. Being at UCLA is such a precious experience. We are in an environment with such innovative people, distinguished professors and faculty, and numerous opportunities. Take advantage of that, Bruins. Don’t wait for life to happen to you, make your life happen now.
Jesselyn Wang | UCLA Career Center Peer Advisor