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Career Unexpected

Kimberly Tam (Kim), a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, joined CFANS today for a wonderful presentation that highlighted her journey from college internships, to “real world” jobs, to her current position with Bluespire.

Throughout her time in AFBM, she struggled to understand why she was there. She had the social networks, she was able to participate and make connections in school activities, but she had yet to learn what the basis of her story would be. Kim knew from the time she started college that every choice she made would be another step on her path and that the path would lead to her future, but why did it all matter? It takes a lot of work to find the story that you want to be associated with you. The saying, “hindsight is 20/20” could not be more accurate for Kim’s journey.

Kim was able to land an internship, while in college, with GE Capital as a Marketing Communications Intern and was even invited back once she graduated if she wanted to enter sales. At that time in her life, she knew she enjoyed digital marketing and wanted to find a way to pursue that passion. So, she decided to turn down the job offer for the prospect of a better opportunity with another company. Following graduation her senior year, she was picked up by H.J. Heinz Company (before it merged into The Kraft Heinz Company) to go through an intensive training course. At the end of her training, she was placed in sales in Iowa. After six months in a job she had intended to avoid she made a critical decision, she quit her job in search of her dream.

“It’s okay if you make mistakes or need to change along the way”, Kim knew how she wanted her story to sound and selling ketchup in Iowa during a huge merger in the company was not in the hand she had hoped to be dealt. Even though she had to spend several months unemployed looking for the right opportunity, she made the best of it. Going to networking events, and turning the job search into its own full-time job was exhausting, but it paid off when she finally found Bluespire.

She landed her dream digital marketing career. Now as she looks back on her journey she is able to read a story that encompasses the effort she put in to get where she wanted to be because life is all about following passions and spending every day taking at least one step in the direction you want to go. Kim’s advice to all undergraduate students is simple, “It doesn’t really matter what you do right out of college. Just build up your resume, so that you can get your dream job someday.”

Work hard, be focused, and do not stress; life happens and all you can do is find your passion as chase it like the wind. Most companies are no longer set up in a linear career path, so do not be afraid to step out and write your own story.

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences,
Department of Applied Economics
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