My Career Path

Since this blog is titled “Memos and Motherhood,” perhaps I should share exactly how I got to where I am today.  From my first job as sandwich artist, to my internship at a local television station my journey to the law office life hasn’t been a straightforward path to say the least.

I was a bit of a perfectionist in high school. Valedictorian, member of every club under the sun (and officer in many of those), active youth group member and leader – I was busy in high school. I wanted to be a part of it all, mostly to ensure I went to college on scholarship and could get into the university of my choosing. At the time, I wanted to be a television meteorologist – McNeese State University (where I would be attending college) didn’t offer meteorology, so I opted to pursue television reporting.  I’ve always enjoyed public speaking and the rush of presenting something to large group of people.  I’ll never forget writing Mass Communications in the blank beside “college major” before submitting my application, it seemed so final and absolute.  While in high school I worked as a sandwich artist at Subway near my house.  It was a great first job, I learned how to deal with the public and make killer sandwiches at the same time.

My first semester of college I left my job at Subway to focus on school, which, looking back was completely unnecessary.  College was just as easy for me as high school had been, sure I would have to spend time studying but my 4.0 was never in any danger until the last few semesters (more on that later).  I remember enjoying my journalism and mass communication classes, I was content with my career field and hopeful that I could find a job doing exactly what I planned to do in high school.  It was between my second and third years of college I started to question what I wanted to spend my life doing.  I began to toy with the idea of law school.  That fall I signed up for two online paralegal classes, dipping my toes into the proverbial pool, if you will.  They were a disaster.  All of our assignments were busy work, our teacher was impossible to communicate with and to make matters worse, she lost all of my work in one class and gave me a B, destroying my 4.0.  I was not a happy camper, and since she was the only paralegal studies instructor I refused to sign up for anymore my last semester.  I didn’t push the idea of law school out of my head, though.  I always kept that door open, I borrowed LSAT books from the library and took a few practice tests to see how viable law school was as an option.

My employment in college was varied, to say the least: first, I went back to Subway for a year; then, I spent a semester working at after school care at a local parochial school and finally, I spent nearly a year as a sales associate at Express. Each job was so completely different from the others.  I learned with certainty that I was not destined to be a middle school teacher and that if I spent the rest of my life as a sales associate I would be perfectly fine with it.  I interned as a paralegal for one semester at our local non-profit civil law firm, and truly loved my experience there.  It was because of that internship that I am in the legal field today, after the nightmare that was paralegal studies. I also interned for a semester at our local Fox affiliate as a junior reporter and production intern.  It was here I made my first appearance on television.  Here’s the video for good measure (it’s cringeworthy to watch now…):

And another, for good measure.

I really enjoyed my Fox internship.  It was fun, I learned a ton about what happens behind the scenes before, during and after news casts.

I graduated college in three years as Summa Cum Laude.  I didn’t really know what I was planning on doing with life I just knew that I needed a job, because after graduation, my husband and I married and we moved to Northwest Arkansas.  After six weeks of job hunting, I was hired as a page designer at the Northwest Arkansas News (now the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette).  It was my first full-time job and quite an experience. It was difficult in the beginning: the page design rules, the AP style, the crippling fear of making an error (especially on the front page), condemning someone in a headline and most of all, being so far from home.  I muddled through the first month before I really started to

enjoy what I was doing.  My coworkers were great and I really liked designing pages.  What I didn’t like: the hours.  Three in the afternoon to midnight five days a week is tough to get used to working. I discovered that once we started a family that working in the media was not something I was going to be able to do, as much as I may have wanted to.  I stayed at that job for the duration of our time in Northwest Arkansas and was genuinely sad to leave.

Once we moved back home I started looking for another job, this time, preferably, one with regular hours that I knew would be in demand for years.  I back to my college days and that internship I enjoyed so much at the Law Center and started to search for law jobs.  Surprisingly, I found a position within a few weeks and it’s where I am to this day, nearly two years later. I work for the largest law firm in the area, under an attorney who does a mishmash of everything that doesn’t require litigation.  It’s been a journey to get here, but I am thankful for all the stops, twists and turns along the way because now I do what I really enjoy.

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