This is not “the story of seven strangers, picked to live in a house, work together and have their lives taped to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start being real”. This is the story of one recent college grad, chosen to work as an intern, learning daily what it means to make the transition from the “college bubble” to the real, working world.

My name is Rachel Baughman and I am a recent graduate of Texas Tech University. I have since made the transition from the small, laid back, West Texas town of Lubbock back to my roots in the DFW Metroplex and I must say; the adjustment was more difficult than expected. I am lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to spend my summer working at Atomic Design and Consulting as one of two social media interns. It is my hope that throughout my experience this summer I will provide insight to future graduates. Not only about the ins and outs of navigating the real world but the rapidly growing world of social media as well.I have now been a graduate and an intern with Atomic for three weeks and it is safe to say I have learned more about life than my entire senior year of college. Upon reflecting on my experience so far, I have provided five helpful tips to all the recent grads or job seekers out there to help you with your journey:

Try new things: In college you are surrounded in your own bubble. Everyone around you is near the same age as you. In classes everybody is studying the same major as you and when you go out on the town, you are bound to run into at least five people you know from school. In the “real world” you are surrounded by people of all ages and all occupations. The best way to make connections is to try new things. If you don’t put yourself out there, you will miss out on connecting with key people that may prove to be a valuable part of your future.

Soak up as much as you can: You are no longer a student faced with the fear of passing this week’s midterm; however, you are a student of the working world. Think of your mind as a sponge. We are merely fresh minds upon the veterans of the working world. Ask as many questions as possible to learn from their experience. Trust me, they are happy to help.

Learn from your mistakes: In a new career, mistakes are bound to happen. You cannot erase the past so rather than dwelling on your mistake, learn from it and try your hardest to never let it happen again.

Be passionate: Have a genuine interest in where your career is going. Don’t take the easy way out and settle for a career that doesn’t interest you. If that means starting in an internship and building your way up, go for it. When you are passionate about what you are doing it will show in your work.

Be polite: The phrase “kill ’em with kindness” never actually killed anybody. This is just a simple reminder that along the way you will be faced with some hardships. Remember that a smile goes a long way and so does a positive attitude.

I hope these five tips will prove helpful in the future. Be sure to stay tuned this summer for more “real life” adventures.

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