Last Thursday, I traveled to Atlanta, GA. Since I stated thinking about life post-grad, this is the one place that keeps coming up. When I saw the Atlanta Falcons were hosting a sports career fair, I booked a ticket on a whim. When the day came, I was in shock — here I was going to Atlanta on my own. Who knew what would happen. I spent several hours exploring downtown (well from the Georgia Dome to the CNN Center…which is about two blocks) and then spent the evening with a friend and UNC grad in Buckhead. Here are some of the things I learned from my quick networking trip:
1. The MARTA is probably one of the best public transportations systems I have riden.
My initial plan was to take the taxi from the Atlanta airport to downtown. I had heard of the transportation system, but wasn’t exactly sure how it worked. Considering I was already pretty far out of my comfort zone, I decided to look into it some more. Good thing I did because I spent more time on the MARTA than in a car that day, and for significantly less money. However, I did unfortunately learn it does in fact take more than 30 minutes to get from Buckhead to the airport, but a flight does fly into Raleigh every couple of hours.
2. I need to practice traveling wearing something other than sweatpants.
I boarded my 7:15am flight from Raleigh in a perfectly ironed shirt. However, when I landed, it was all wrinkled and I looked slightly less professional. Always have a back up plan.
3. Networking is not as hard as I have made it out to be.
I am so lucky to go to UNC where there are so many resources for career searching and networking. Its about time I “man up” and take advantage of them. Networking has always been one of my weak spots, but it is something I have to learn to do. Especially at events like these, where the people are there to help me out, talk to me and share opportunities. Definitely need to send some more emails and meet with more professionals in the coming months.
4. As hard as I’ve worked, I’m only going to have to work harder.
Probably the most valuable takeaway from this trip was a good perspective on what the next few years are going to look like for me — anything but glamorous. After college, I am going to have to work even harder to make it in the competitive industry of working with sports media.
5. I want to live in Atlanta.
It didn’t take me long to love that city. I would love to be there for the next chapter of my life.
Keep an eye out for more posts coming in December! There are a few things from this semester that I want to write about, but haven’t had time!