UChic Founder Christie Garton
Last Thursday, October 30, our founder Christie Garton joined us for an #LYD Facebook chat. You guys and other young dreamers signed on to Facebook to ask questions. And Christie dished advice on how to find and fund your dreams.
In case you have missed any information here are the highlights:
Once you realized your dreams, how did you take action?
Well, my dreams have evolved over time. When I was in college, I thought I wanted to practice law. Today, I’m an entrepreneur! But I’ve found that, in the real world, it’s completely normal to have dreams change or evolve. The trick is to have a process for “going for your dreams” that works for you, no matter what your dream is.
What advice do you have for soon-to-be graduates who are not sure what career path they want to follow after college?
Get started with SOMETHING. Keep your eyes and options open for job or internship openings that can give you an opportunity to get started in the real world. It’s important to start building that resume. Don’t be afraid to take a job that may not be exactly what you were looking to do. If it is in the industry you want to be in or with a company that you admire, take it. Work hard. Get that track record. And then be on the lookout for that best and perfect next opportunity.
What advice do you have for someone who has lots of dreams and passions, but is not sure how to transform any of them into a career?
The quicker you can identify what you are really good at and enjoy doing helps you narrow in on what to focus your time on. One of the most eye-opening things I did in school was to take Gallup’s StrengthsQuest exam, which identifies the test taker’s unique strengths, skills and talents and then identifies areas of study and careers to focus on. (http://www.strengthsquest.com/home.aspx.) Not only did it give me an interesting perspective of my unique set of skills, it helped me identify steps I could take towards a career that I’d really love. Internships and work-study experiences are also another great way to test and try a lot of things out to figure out what you enjoy doing most. Also, talk to advisors and mentors on what they did to help them decide on their career path.
Once you had your dream realized, how did you go about convincing others to fund & support that dream?
My advisors in college were instrumental in the success I had with several of the scholarships and funding I received. My best advice from experience: Don’t be afraid to get to know the professors you liked and whose classes you did well in. Go to their office hours, make that connection and then ask them to be a mentor or ongoing advisor. As they get to know you over time, they can provide recommendations that make you sound like a star and really show that they know you and your talents because they really do!
I’ve served on judging committees, and can tell you from experience, letters of recommendation that come from folks that sound like they REALLY know you, make a big impact on the person reviewing your application.
Also scholarship opportunities can build on one another. Try applying for smaller opportunities first. Over time, as you get each new opportunity funded, you will find you have access to and an even greater chance of securing an opportunity with, as mentioned before, that track record of experience and success.
We believe every young woman should have the opportunity to pursue her dreams. For the past few weeks, we have been raising funds through our Indiegogo Campaign. We have 18 days left! And we can’t do this without you.
Remember, it only takes $5 to be considered a backer or supporter. Your $5 can help us IN A BIG WAY. Skip your latte today and help support scholarships for young women. $5 can make #1000Dreams come true!