The transition from school to the workforce is something that can be a challenge and very intimidating. However, it is also a great opportunity to focus and craft your skills toward becoming a part of the next wave of young professionals.
My name is Cameron Gallad. I began my academic journey at Los Rios Community College District, and I graduated from UC Davis in 2021. As a first-generation immigrant, first generation college student, and a transfer student, making it to a university was something that seemed like an impossible dream – not to mention the idea of finding a job and building a meaningful career.
Today, I am a Jr. Account Executive for 3fold Communications where I have the opportunity to work with innovative and community-focused clients on campaigns and initiatives that have a positive impact on society. I am also a Board Member for the UC Davis Young Alumni Advisory and former winner of the UC Davis Big Bang! Business Competition.
Recently, I have had the opportunity to speak about career development on panels for both the UC Davis Institute for Innovation and the UC Davis Letters & Sciences LTS 098: Career Exploration course. I also enjoyed the opportunity to speak with a UC Davis Management class that focuses on technology management and career development.
Throughout my academic and career development journey I have gained three key takeaways that I have had the opportunity to share with students over the past few months:
Your Network Matters.
Your network is crucial to success. An excellent network can help you find the right resources and the best opportunities for you, and it can also help you become a thought leader in your community. Focus on developing your network immediately. It is never too early to start fostering relationships with professionals in your community. Whether that be connecting with other young professionals like you, older leaders who have walked the path you want to go down, or mentors and professors who can teach you how to navigate your career path. It is all about who you know. However, a strong network is mutually beneficial. It is important that you do what you can to help others succeed in the same way they help you.
Fail Fast: FAIL, FAIL, and FAIL AGAIN.
Failure is important and should be considered a win just as much as wins are. Failure helps you test what works and what doesn’t, what you’re good at and where you need to improve. Failure is not your enemy, time is. It is better to fail a lot and fail fast than to be too afraid to fail and sideline your growth out of fear of failure. The more you fail, the closer you are to a solution, the right career, and success. Don’t be afraid to fail.
Grit is something that I wholeheartedly believe makes the difference. Grit is courage and determination despite difficulty. It is having the conviction and the resolve to keep going and keep moving forward no matter what you are faced with. It is fighting in the trenches through hard work and having an indomitable will. Building a career and finding success is not a linear path, nor is it all sunshine and rainbows. You will be faced with many trials, and some will push you toward the edge of giving up. You won’t always find yourself happy or motivated. However, the willingness to withstand the hardships you are faced with and continue until the end will make all the difference. Building grit will give you the edge and will help you achieve. Some of the most talented people I have ever met reached their greatest success simply because they kept going.
There is no perfect formula or path to building your career, but with these takeaways I can confidently write that I have become the young professional that I thought was an impossible dream.