We are so very proud of member Jennifer Starr who has, and is, pursuing her dreams and living the SheNOW message. Read her personal story below and be inspired by her relentless perseverance!!
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others Because YOU Are Totally Awesome!
By: Jennifer Starr
I recently attended a Mix & Mingle hosted by the Hospitality and Tourism Department at UNC Greensboro, my alma mater. I was on their alumni panel discussing how to build a successful career in the hospitality industry. To be honest I felt like I was a fraud going up there and talking about how to become successful when I have been struggling to find a career for myself since I graduated in December 2008.
A week before this a former professor of mine sent an e-mail to all of the participants and panelists, letting us know that they were grateful that we were taking time to speak with the current UNCG students. There was also a list of the other panelists with their names and job titles. I saw the job titles of other previous students, such Sales Managers, General Managers, etc. Then I saw my name and it said Front Desk. This just made me feel like crap. I began to hear a voice inside of me, telling me that I was a failure. Because I haven’t moved up to any type of management job in my career so far.
When you have thoughts like this, it is great to have a support system that is there for you and that keeps you moving forward. My support system kept me in check and said that there isn’t anything wrong with me. My dad said, “Jennifer, everyone has a different path and no one takes the same one.” Thinking about my “mini breakdown” I began to think this was just like the SheNOW.Org mission statement regarding everyone having different path, following your dreams, finding out who you are, establishing yourself and living YOUR life regardless of your relationship status.
Take me for example, my career goal is to get back with The Walt Disney World Company and become the first Female CEO of Disney. After I graduated from UNC Greensboro , I participated in the Disney College Program and worked the front desk at the Disney All-Star Resort. This was a great experience. As we all know, life doesn’t go the way we plan and I was unable to get a full-time position with the company. Ever since I left the Disney College Program I have applied to Disney for a regular full-time jobs and internships. Every time I applied I got the automatic rejection e-mail saying “Thank you but we have decided to go with someone else.” For a little while, I would get sad and upset but then I would pick myself up and say “Well I guess I need to get ready for next time.”
What I have learned from graduating in a bad economy is that persistence is the key to everything in life. I can proudly say that, after about six times of applying to the Disney College Program, I got accepted to be an attractions intern, and I will start May 16th and work until January 2013. I am learning everything happens at the right time. If I had been accepted into the Disney College Program a second time any earlier than now, as an attractions intern, I would not be as mentally prepared as I am now. Also, if I had a family or significant other, I might not be able to just pick up my things and drive down to Walt Disney World and participate in the program.
I know it is hard not to compare yourself to others but, when you catch yourself doing this, think about what it is you really want and you will think “I really don’t want their life.” Just remember everyone is destined to do something amazing! If you do find yourself in a “mini breakdown” take my grandmother’s advice and “Put your big girl panties on”. So Go out there and kick some major BOOTY!
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” ~ Walt Disney~