As a college student with little professional experience, it can be incredibly difficult to know what you want to do as a career. You pick a major and hope that it's something that will interest you. According to the US Department of Education, nearly one-third of all college students change their major within the first three years.
When we partnered with YouTube last year to host a series of 30+ new YouTube Originals screenings on college campuses, we wanted to create an opportunity to help those students by giving them an inside peek at what it’s like to work at YouTube, one of the world’s most renowned technology and entertainment platforms.
We were thrilled to host three students who received an all-expenses paid trip to explore Los Angeles, meet YouTube executives, and tour the Google office and YouTubeSpace L.A. Student Lainie Esralew had the opportunity to attend, and said “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to visit the YouTube office and speak to executives about their current projects and career paths. I will carry their meaningful advice with me as I strive for a career in the entertainment industry.” Here are a few things she learned from her experience.
Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
There will always be things you don’t know the answer to, and that is ok and expected. It isn’t necessarily about what you know, but how you learn and try new things, which allows you to constantly improve.
Never be afraid to ask a question because there are only two outcomes: either you get an answer and learn something new, or you find someone else to ask.
Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
When YouTube contributor Nyree Emory described her unconventional path to a Creative Lead career, she taught me that taking a risk in order to follow your passions can be very worthwhile. Even if the result is not what you hoped for, it serves as a meaningful lesson and allows you to grow as you progress toward your next venture.
Learn As Much as Possible Outside of The Classroom
Every YouTube executive we spoke to told the same story of learning the majority of their day-to-day skills outside of school, whether it be through extracurricular activities or jobs. Learning to work with others and find your own solutions only comes from experience, not just lectures.
When I spoke to Amanda Olszewski, who works in Development at YouTube Originals, a memorable piece of advice was "to be proactive in searching for ways to make your boss’s life easier or your department more efficient." However small, these solutions can demonstrate to your employer how you add value to the company.