Making Lifetime Connections

Today’s Tuesday with Tulsa blog post comes to us from Orianna A., a marketing and advertising major from Tulsa, Okla.

Vail Ski TripIn my second semester of senior year at The University of Tulsa. This is the point where all my education and professional skills I have obtained over the years come together as I begin preparing for the “Real World” and search for a job. I am not scared however, I am excited. Over the years,  I have made many friends and connections through TU. And these friends and connections are now helping me in the transition from full- time student to working adult.

I am studying marketing and advertising at TU and wish to work as a copywriter for an advertising agency when I graduate. If you are familiar at all with the popular show “Mad Men”, I basically want to be John Hamm’s character… only in the professional sense though! All year I have been putting my marketing and networking skills to use by reaching far and wide to anyone in any city that I know could potentially help me in my quest for a job. On a whim, I sent a letter to the TU Alumni Association in Denver stating that I was pursuing a job in advertising and asked if anyone knew of any opportunities I could pursue. One of the alumni, Mark, took me under his wing and not only offered me extensive advice on how to improve my portfolio, but invited me on the TU Alumni Ski Trip happening in Vail as a further networking opportunity. I am a ski fanatic so I booked a flight, grabbed my portfolio and traveled up to the beautiful state of Colorado.

I arrived in Denver and met with Mark over lunch where he sat with me for hours, introducing me to everyone in his office and explaining his agency, Weise Communications, and its mission. I was, and still am, a little bit in shock of how much time Mark – someone I had never met – took out of his schedule to help ensure my success in finding a job in Denver. I couldn’t believe I had been given this opportunity all because I sent a letter to a distant alumni chapter that knew nothing about me.

After meeting with Mark, I traveled with the other Denver alumni to Vail for the ski weekend. We had a blast watching the opening ceremonies of the winter Olympics at a restaurant where TU had rented a private room for us. In addition to meeting Mark, I was able to reconnect with an old study abroad friend who had graduated a year ahead of me,  as well as an old sorority sister. Through this ski trip, I met so many people that I can now call if I need anything when I move to Denver after graduation. The opportunity to go into a new city with a firm base of friends I can rely on makes me feel excited to graduate and pursue a career.

I feel extremely gracious and know that my time at TU has prepared me to succeed in the real world. In my four years here, the small classes, the face to face interactions with my professors, the myriad of organizations I was invited to be a part of have all given me the skills and the confidence to sign up for a trip where I haven’t met more than half the other people attending. I find it amazing that I was able to make such meaningful connections when the only thing I knew about these people was that they attended the same school I was about to graduate from.  I think TU is one of the few schools that can evoke that much of an immediate connection and sense of camaraderie.