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Name: Emily Rotella
Job: Manager of Data and Operations, Alumni Affairs, Teach For America
Current City: New York City, NY
School: American University - Class of 2006
After graduating from college, I immediately get a job at Random House book publishers, which I thought was my passion - I had interned there as a college student and I thought I wanted to be surrounded by books at work every day. But after being at work for about a year, I knew that I was not passionate about book publishing. Over the next 2-3 years I volunteered at many different organizations in New York, trying to find out where my passion really was. I even enrolled in a graduate degree program (for my MBA) part-time while I continued to work. I eventually found that I wanted to be in a support role at an education non-profit. After 1-2 years of looking for job openings and applying all over New York, I was lucky enough to come to Teach For America.
What I Wish I Had Known
You are never locked into ANYTHING. No matter what your major, or your first job, you can always be learning new things and changing your path. At first I felt depressed about being locked into publishing, but that was not the case at all.
Talk to everyone possible. Always have something to give - volunteer your time and expertise. Work for free on your off hours to find your passion. Check Idealist.com.
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