For the millions of Americans who graduate from college each year, the transition from student to young professional presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities. It’s a phase of life when the world is seemingly open to endless adventures but is also fraught with the stress of finding an appealing job with an employer who will hire someone of little real-world experience. And for the class of 2020, the experience will be all the more challenging due to the economic slow down created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jordan Fowler (@jordanvfowler) made that leap from college student to young professional not too long ago. Jordan works out of H/L’s St. Louis office as an Assistant Account Executive on the McDonald’s account, which means she helps plan and execute advertising, promotional, and marketing strategies for the local McDonald’s franchise owners. She is from Lebanon, Missouri, a small town of about 14,000 residents 160 miles southwest of St. Louis, and attended Lindenwood University, where she graduated with a degree in marketing.

The H/L content team caught up with Jordan shortly after her one-year work anniversary to find out how her life has changed since graduating and starting her professional career.

What was your biggest fear entering the professional world after college?

My biggest fear entering the professional world was getting stuck in a career that left me unsatisfied and unable to pay off my student loans. In my case, I made the decision to stay in St. Louis versus moving back home. This made me very nervous during the job-hunting process because if I didn’t find a job that was related to my degree, I would have had to settle into something else or move back to my hometown.

As you look back over your first year as a working professional, what has changed the most about your life?

I have definitely gained more of a sense of accountability, self-awareness, and responsibility. Not to mention I have grown in my position as well. There are several things that college doesn’t teach you and the only way to learn is to apply yourself and keep pushing forward through the difficulties and stress.

What excited you about H/L when you applied, interviewed, and eventually accepted your job?

When I first heard of the available position at H/L I was extremely excited because this was the exact type of job I was hoping to find outside of graduation. Many of the jobs I had been interested in previously were looking to hire someone with more experience so when H/L was willing to work with me and my lack of knowledge in the agency world, I quickly did as much research as possible so that I would go into the interview prepared.

How has H/L helped you transition from being a college student to a young professional?

H/L has helped me during my transitional period by being understanding and accommodating. This has been a great team environment to work with, especially for my first job out of college.

What has been your favorite thing about H/L?

I have to say the people and the job itself! I love having people that I work with become my friends and mentors. I have never felt discontent coming into the office everyday which shows me that I am in a healthy environment.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in the past year?

The most important thing that I have learned in the past year is that everything will eventually become easier. In the beginning, I was learning a lot of information and it was intimidating. Over the course of a year, I have become more comfortable with my tasks and duties and enjoy improving in my job.

What is one stereotype you had about professional life post-college that you have found is absolutely not true? What about one that is 100% true?

One stereotype that I had was that I would not be able to find a job that was related to my major right out of college. Although this is the case for many people, if you work hard enough and make connections, it is possible. One stereotype that I believe is 100% true is the idea that college courses can never fully prepare you for the real deal. It took awhile for me to adjust and grow comfortable in the professional world.

What’s a recent big accomplishment or a noteworthy goal you’re currently pursuing, at H/L, or elsewhere?

A recent goal that I have been pursuing is to become proficient in my everyday tasks. I want to be a reliable source for not only my boss, but newcomers in the business as well.

If you could go talk to the senior in college version of you, what would you tell yourself? What advice would you give?

I would tell her to not stress and much and remain confident and faithful in the process. Job hunting will always be a little scary, but everything worked out the way it was meant to be in the end.

Besides working at H/L, Jordan works part-time as an NHL St. Louis Blues Girl. She enjoys crafting, traveling, and hanging out with her pup, a two-year-old dachshund named Lemon who you can also follow, @lemonthedachshund.