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Tyler Donlan Shares What Her First Year Out of College Taught Her

Hello everyone!

My name is Tyler Donlan, Alpha Chi Omega, Omega chapter alumnae. I recently graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor of Arts, Strategic Communications in May 2023! My time at WSU was nothing short of amazing, as were all the amazing people I met and connections I made.

After graduating, I moved back to Seattle, WA - back into my parents’ house. This can be very discouraging for someone who has been on their own for the previous 4 years. It can feel like a demotion of sorts.

I was a good example of someone who felt like she was demoted. I was feeling discouraged and annoyed that I had to take what felt like a step back in my life after a huge accomplishment like graduating college. I am here to tell you all while it might feel that way, it is very normal to need some help while you get on your feet after being a full-time student for most of your life.

The Grind

As soon as I was able, I started applying for full time corporate positions in the greater Seattle area. Over the course of the Summer, I ended up applying to almost 300 jobs total. That seems like a very high number, but in reality, I know people who applied for double or even triple that amount before finding a full-time role. It can feel very repetitive, applying to jobs of the same nature or maybe even applying for jobs you feel you are overqualified for.

It's Not Forever

After feeling defeated applying to so many jobs, I decided to work a service job until I could find something more permanent. I worked as a full-time bartender and server at an upper scale restaurant in my hometown. While it was good for the time, I knew it was not something I could do forever.

It took me the entirety of Summer to even hear back from some of these positions, and to finally find a job that was as interested in hiring me as I was wanting to work for them.

The best advice I can give to someone as a fresh postgraduate, is to try and not stress. I completely understand the pressure of wanting to move out, find a good paying job, all while still trying to have a fun summer with your friends, as it will likely be one of the last before you enter the corporate field. 

The Win

It took many months, many interviews, rejections, and tears to get the position I now have. I am currently working as the West Regions Operations Assistant for Standish Management and could not be happier. Not everyone is fortunate enough to love their first full time role, but I lucked out.

If I could pass along any advice to recent graduates, it would be to not give up. The job market is very difficult for entry level positions but stay positive and find a productive way to fill your time during job searches. If I had not worked all summer, I would not have been able to move into my own apartment that I financed myself or have a role that I am passionate about. Things will work out, give yourself grace and allow yourself time to figure out the kind of role you really want.

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