Walking across the stage to receive your college degree is one of the crowning goals for most students.
However, most students only plan up until that point, not really having an idea of what life after college will be like.
Shan’T-Erica Pugh graduated with honors from Florida A&M University last spring with a degree in public relations. The Miami native has not wasted any time establishing a promising start to her career.
Graduating with distinction wasn’t much of a surprise to her as she was very active in FAMU’s School of Journalism & Graphic Communication. She was a proud member of J-School Journals, the FAMU chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America, National Council of Negro Women, Women Student Union, a graduate feeder scholar, and study abroad ambassador.
“It was hard at first trying to manage all these extracurricular things on top of school,” Pugh said. “I constantly kept my long-term goal in mind and I think that is what motivated me to keep pushing through no matter how hard it got.”
Going into her senior year, Pugh became more serious about her career aspirations. She understood that in order to have a great start to your career you must have some experience on your resume, so she began building her professional profile.
She began creating a network of people which eventually led to her securing a job while in her last month of college.
Pugh was nervous about how her life would change once she graduated. She quickly found out that the transition was actually rigorous, but she relied on what she learned at her alma mater.
“FAMU really sets you up for success and puts you on the path to succeed,” Pugh said.
Pugh handled post-graduation life with determination, moving back to Miami and starting a job at FINN Partners, a global public relations agency headquartered in Broward County.
She mainly works from home, but she also goes to her office in Fort Lauderdale at least once a week.
“I was so proud of how she handled her post-graduate life,” said T-Erica Pugh, Shan’T-Erica Pugh’s mother. “I was ready to help her with whatever she needed, but she seemed to have it all figured out.”
The workforce may seem intimidating at first and you may think that you’ll be overwhelmed with work once you secure a job, but you’ll see the real focus is time management.
“Crazy enough we had way less free time on our hands than what we did in college,” said Kai Shanklin, a college friend of Pugh. “Completely different schedule than what we were used to.”
Nonetheless, not having to constantly meet paper deadlines everyday, attend class, and stay up late in study sessions really was a breath of fresh air, Pugh said.