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The Transition Period: I was a researcher

Happy Friday to everyone! Oh wait...it's Saturday. I missed the Friday deadline for this post. I feel like I'm back at Cornell and I just turned in my paper late, despite having worked on till 5 AM, sleeping through my alarm clock and running up the Slope with my shoes untied. Well, I have a good excuse. The dog ate my...never mind. I'll stop there and introduce this week's "transitioner". You're not going to dock me 10 points, right?

This week's transitioner,Alex Kresovich '08, shows us that sometimes, one goes through a couple of transition "periods" before taking the next step.

1. Give us a little background. How did your experiences as a college student impact what you wanted to do after graduation?

First and foremost, my goal even going into college was to become a full-time music producer. Given that I wanted to keep my educational achievements and my music dream separate, I chose to study communication at Cornell rather than music. I majored in Communication and minored in AEM because they were the most interesting to me but also the most flexible; since I was unsure of what I wanted to do outside of music after graduating I felt the most comfortable with how flexible my options would be after graduating from this program.

So in a way, college didn't shape at all what I wanted to do after college. It had a lot more to do with shaping me as a person and learning about myself than it did about learning what I'd be doing 5 years, 10 years, etc. and beyond. College showed me how important it is, especially coming from a fantastic school like Cornell, to use your talents and gifts to help others, especially those less fortunate than us.

2.Tell us about your transition experience. Was it part of your post-graduation plans?

My experience was kind of rough since I had no idea what I wanted to do outside of music. A week after graduating (Spring '08) I applied and was hired as the Department Chair Assistant in Communication. I worked in this position for a year until I was essentially laid off. After a few months of unemployment I caught back on as a post-Baccalaureate researcher in the Communication Department on a health communication grant. All this being said, none of this was part of my post-graduation plans.

Working as a researcher definitely wasn't part of my plans, after being laid off from my last job and being unemployed I was just really happy to be working at all. It's really weird to become totally responsible for not only being at certain places at certain times but to also get used to cooking for yourself, really just handling all the aspects of your life without anyone walking you through it. It takes a little getting used to because you're officially a "grown up" in a lot of ways but at the same time if you're easy on yourself through the transition and take things one step at a time it's really manageable.

3.What were your other options?

At the time since I had been laid off and unemployed for 3 months so I was willing to jump on any opportunity and didn't really have any other at the time.

4. Why did you choose this opportunity? What influenced your decision in doing so?

I chose it because it seemed interesting to work on a health communication grant, but also being unemployed for 3 months had a huge hand in the decision.

5. What did people around you think about this decision?

They were happy that I was happy... and most importantly employed.

6. What do you see as benefits and drawbacks of this experience?

The benefits are that you aren't going to know what dealing with the real world is like after college until you're actually in it. The drawbacks are if you graduate into a recession like me it's going to be hard after living alone at college to live with your parents for a little while you get your feet under you. The best benefit is just that you can't replace experience; going through these transitions makes each subsequent one a lot easier.

7. How did your research experience impact your subsequent endeavors?

I don't think it did, in terms of a "what I'm doing right now" standpoint. I think it did just show me how easy it is to go through these transitions as long as you're patient with yourself.

8. What advice would you give to college students and recent graduates about how to use their transition period?

Same as my last answer:Be open-minded and don't close yourself off to anything. Two years ago I thought there was no chance in hell I'd go to grad school and here I am. Life has a funny way of working itself out so just keep a good attitude, work hard, be open-minded about things and everything's going to work out just fine. Just don't forget to take time for yourself, transitions are tough but eventually they'll be over and you'll be a lot happier.

[Psst...If you're into hip hop, check out some of Alex's work here ]

Makafui Fiavi | Posted on October 30, 2010 (#)

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