Live Your Passion!

College is a time of excitement, new beginnings, and possibility. I remember walking onto campus at Hamilton College my freshman year feeling like anything was possible. Yet, as senior year crept up on me, I began to feel the weight of reality settle in. Many of my peers (including me) began scrambling to get internships, jobs, and coveted spots at top graduate programs.

Something interesting began to happen. As graduation day got closer and closer, many of us began to settle- for the internships that we didn’t really want, the jobs that were our second or third choices, and the graduate programs that we knew weren’t a great fit.

When the pressure to boldly enter the “real world” post-college presents itself, too many of us settle for less than what we really want and are completely capable of getting. Even in the midst of the current less-than-ideal job market, I still believe that it is imperative to do exactly what you love- and nothing short of that. After all, your will spend a majority of your waking hours doing whatever it is you choose as your career. So, unless you want to feel drained, uninspired and underutilized most of the time, NEVER SETTLE!

As you read this, I can practically hear you saying, “That sounds great in theory, but it’s not realistic.” Let me guess- is one of the following thoughts running through your mind?:

“I won’t make enough money doing what I love”

“I don’t have enough experience”

“I don’t have any contacts at the company/ industry I want to work in”

“I need more time”

“No one is hiring right now”

“I’m not good enough to do what I really want to do”

“I have no idea what I really want to do”

Well, before you dismiss your dream career, here’s something to think about:

The most successful people in the world are successful not because they didn’t see all of the above obstacles standing in their way. Rather, they are successful because they decided to go after what they wanted in spite of those perceived obstacles.

When I was in college, I wish I had someone to tell me- and show me- that truly anything was possible. That figuring out what I wanted to do was actually the easiest question of all to answer- because it’s impossible to ignore what I really love. That it was OK to fall and fail along the way. And, that the best job for me may not have been in any job description I would ever find on but that didn’t mean I couldn’t find a way to create that job anyway.

Live Your Passion

I think many of you feel the same way- and that’s why is launching a brand new column called Live Your Passion.

Each week, we will be interviewing Gen Yers who have gone on to do amazing things very early on in their respective careers. While each one has taken a different journey, they all share one collective thread: they are successful because they work beyond every obstacle they face, and defied what many people told them was impossible along the way. They are living examples of what it means to truly Live Your Passion.

Stay tuned for the very first Live Your Passion interview with the Intern Queen, Lauren Berger.


Melissa is the Editor-in-Chief of She is also an Associate Brand Manager at Time Inc., where she manages brand extension projects for numerous publications including: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, People, MLB, NFL and National Geographic. Melissa majored in Psychology at Hamilton College and currently resides in New York City. To find out more, read her blog, follow her on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.

Related posts:

  1. Live Your Passion Interview: Lauren Berger
  2. Live Your Passion: AJ Vaynerchuck, Co-Founder of VaynerMedia
  3. Live Your Passion: Mike Radparvar, Co-Founder of Holstee

2 Responses to “Live Your Passion!”

  1. Melissa, I love the premise of this new column, which is also the premise of my career blog. It always saddens me when I see young people like ourselves choosing career paths that they are in only for money or stability. There’s this notion that those benefits and a enjoyable, fulfilling, passion-driven career are mutually exclusive and only “for other people.” Yet those “others” are simply normal people who looked beyond the obstacles and came to the realization that life should be more than just surviving.

    I look forward to more of this column and your interview with Lauren Berger. I spoke to her briefly for a blog post I wrote I about choosing internships and her comments were very insightful. I wish I’d had access to someone like her when I was in college.

  2. [...] in 2010, I came up with the concept for a new column called Live Your Passion. For this column, I began interviewing people who graduated from college in the last decade and [...]

Leave a Reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • Dan Schawbel

    Dan Schawbel, the founder of the Student Branding Blog, is a world renowned personal branding expert, the international bestselling author of Me 2.0, as well as the publisher of the Personal Branding Blog.

  • Connect With Dan

  • Chelsea Rice

    Chelsea Rice is the editor-in-chief of the Student Branding Blog. She began her work for just before graduating from Boston University, where she studied journalism and minored in international relations.

  • Connect With Chelsea

  • Recognition

    • Recommended resource - The Washington Post
    • "A terrific way for students to learn about branding" - Lindsey Pollak
    • "Worth checking out" - Psychology Today
    • HR World's top 100 management blogs