Top 10 Recommendations for The Class of 2020

Bailey Heidelbach

College is about all-nighters in the library, Ramen noodles, and concerning coffee addictions. However, it is also about discovering who you are, and what you want to do with your life.

I graduated from the University of Alabama in May 2019, where I majored in Advertising and minored in Communication Studies. In my senior year, I completed the AA program at Warschawski, where I had an incredible experience and was able to experience first-hand what it’s like to work in an agency environment.  I learned so much in my 3-month internship that I was even more excited to finish college and get started on my career.  I studied hard in college and overall felt pretty prepared for the real world upon graduation.

Two days after graduation, I was hired to work at Warschawski!  I was so excited and thankful for this amazing opportunity – especially when many of my friends still didn’t know what they wanted to do or have found jobs yet…

As a recent graduate, joining the working world can be extremely intimidating and downright scary. You will have a lot of great experiences and will mess up a few times, but FEAR NOT this is a time for you to learn and grow. Here are my top 10 recommendations for this year’s graduating class transitioning into the working world of integrated marketing.

1.) Find out what you love to do, then find opportunities that allow you to do that!

Work is about providing for yourself, but it should also be an enjoyable experience. Find out what you love to do and look for opportunities with companies that do those things.  Once you land a job, speak with co-workers to create measurable goals for yourself. In time, you will get to where you want to go and do what you love!


There may be many questions you have but are too afraid to ask. Remember what your teacher always said, “no question is a bad question.” Asking thoughtful questions helps you learn and grow. Utilize your co-workers and seek advice or set up a meeting to discuss your goals with them. Know that everyone wants you to succeed!

3.) Take the opportunity to learn more about digital marketing. Get certified!

The marketing world has changed drastically from traditional to digital over the past few years. A lot of college courses focus more heavily on traditional marketing vs. digital. My advice is to get comfortable/ certified with tools such as Google Analytics and Sprout. (Being comfortable with excel is also a huge plus!)

4.) If you don’t like caffeine… start

Having 3 classes a day would feel like a lot for me in college. Jumping into a 9-hour workday is a BIG adjustment for any recent grad. Drink coffee or tea to keep you feeling energized or find another strategy that works for you!

5.) Be religious about checking your email

Email is the main form of communication in most workplaces. Set your work email up on your phone and start checking it regularly throughout the day so you don’t miss any important information. Being responsive is one of the best ways to show you are engaged and taking ownership.

6.) Be prepared to handle deadlines and time-sensitive situations

In an agency or any office, there will be time-sensitive projects that need to be handled. Make sure that you are organized with your schedule so that your deadlines are met. Time management is key!

7.) You WILL make mistakes

Entering the work world will be a new experience for you. You WILL make mistakes, but do not get discouraged. You must make mistakes to learn from them. Keep track of every time you learn something new and make a note of it.

8.) Learn to Walk Before You Run

When you enter the workforce, it is easy to compare yourself to others around you. You ask questions like “why am I not progressing as fast as her?” “will I ever get to the point where I feel like I know everything?” YES, YOU WILL! Take comfort in knowing that everyone’s journey is different, and it’s okay to be where you are right now. Your professional journey will play out in its own time! Stay focused and curious

9.) Experience is EVERYTHING

Some things can’t be taught… they have to be experienced. You may go into work not knowing as much as others, but you will surely learn on the job and over time. The more you experience, the more you learn and the more comfortable you will feel.

10.) Be True to Yourself

A smile can go a long way. Bring your positive attributes and confidence to work each day and create an experience that you want to be known for – “that girl is always smiling, or “she is such a great team player and happy to help.” Most of all- Be true to yourself and have fun!