The following post is by Joslyn Stone, an Elasticity intern and recent graduate from Southern New Hampshire University with a degree in communication. The mother of a spirited 13-year-old, Joslyn has particular aspirations and a passion for working in the non-profit sector. She’s also an avid baker, an adequate painter and an indoor gardener — likely bearing a slight obsession with house plants (with more than 50 between her house and office right now).
Going back to school in your mid-thirties to change careers is a giant leap. Getting a degree in communications was far different than the fine arts degree I pursued in the past. Going from being a career call-center-girl to entering the world of public relations has been quite the adventure for me.
The whole experience was nothing like I had expected (although I don’t really know what I was expecting). I thought that my classes would provide me with all the knowledge and experience I would need to break into the field and hit the ground running. But as I neared graduation, I quickly realized this was not the case. To top it off, I was trying to do all this in the middle of a global pandemic. I never thought at 36 years old, this endeavor would lead to me doing an unpaid internship, but here I am.
Now, don’t get me wrong. My current job isn’t bad and it comes with some great perks (like free shoes). I don’t necessarily want to quit, but it’s not what I am passionate about. I want to feel like the work I’m doing is making a difference. To do that, I need to follow the advice of the illustrious David Bowie and turn to face the strange (ch-ch) changes.
Breaking into an entirely different career has proven to be a challenge at this stage in my life. I needed to get more experience under my belt to be taken seriously, but even most entry-level positions wanted more than what I had. So, to get the experience I needed, I started reaching out to different PR firms in the St. Louis area to see if any would be willing to give a fresh graduate a chance.
Most of the PR firms I found wanted someone full time, for a few months over the summer when most college kids are between classes. When you have a mortgage to pay and a family to support, that is not really an option. When I came across Elasticity, it was like finding a unicorn. They were looking for part-time, remote interns and they have Tank Top Tuesdays! This would give me the flexibility to keep my current 9-5, learn some new skills and still have time with my family.
I’ve been extremely lucky. With everything being done virtually, I get to make my own schedule for the most part. My job gives me all the time I need to meet with the team at Elasticity and to work on my assignments. I feel challenged, but not overwhelmed, and I actually look forward to seeing what I will get to do next.
I’ve only been at it for about six months, but in that time, I have learned so much. My writing and communication skills have improved and I feel like I am really finding my voice. While I haven’t landed my dream job yet, I know this internship will be instrumental to finding it.