It Pays to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

It Pays to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

by Katie Seraikas

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Sabrina Brown, 2014 business graduate, at the annual commencement ceremony.

Business alumna Sabrina Brown, right, at the 2015 Commencement Ceremony.

Graduation is a time of celebration. An acknowledgement of achievements, growth and entering “the world.” In this day and age, it can also be met with a fear of the question, “So, what’s next?”

For Sabrina Brown, a 2014 UNH Manchester graduate, that question was welcomed with pride. Within weeks of graduating, she scored a job as an Event Marketing Associate with MIS Training Institute (MISTI) out of Southborough, Mass.

There is no denying a bachelor’s degree greatly improves chances of job placement, with one of the leading questions on an application being the highest level of education achieved, and instantly weeding out the field of applicants. Beyond pursuing a bachelor’s degree, Brown sought openings to separate herself from the pack.

Brown earned her B.A. in Business with a concentration in marketing, and attributes landing a job so quickly after graduation (and feeling ready to hit the ground running once offered the job) to her experience at UNH Manchester. Having held two internships (at Ektron out of Nashua and SilverTech in Manchester) during her college career, Brown learned essential skills in the field of marketing. 

“Having a working knowledge of Google Analytics and social media marketing, which I hadn’t learned in classes or textbooks, proved that I was a good candidate,” Brown said. “Textbooks provide great information, but the added experience is great in showing you are a well-rounded candidate.”

In addition to the developing skills and responsibilities through her internships, Brown also benefited from the networking opportunities presented.

“I made connections at my first internship that helped me land my second one. It also provided me with a great network of people to go to for advice, guidance, etc.," Brown said. "It prepared me to step out of my comfort zone to forge those connections, because I knew that I would need those connections to be successful.”

Brown's journey to UNH Manchester was indirect, but she is grateful to have ended up there, albeit “working backwards,” as she put it. After starting at a different university, Brown chose to transfer to UNH Manchester, with encouragement from an alumni family member, to focus on her education. The transition didn’t thrill her at first, as she had been set on living on campus at a school. She was attending classes, going through the motions, but not really finding the sense of community that everyone looks for when attending college. Then something clicked.

“I planted my feet at one point and said, ‘This is it – let’s make the best of it.’ I started staying after class and making friends while building my relationships with professors and getting extra help," Brown said. "UNH Manchester has so many things to offer, you just have to take advantage of those opportunities.”

Once Brown chose to open up to opportunities, the college community she had been seeking came to fruition. She found a mentor in Bill Troy, senior lecturer of business, who she felt comfortable approaching with questions and seeking guidance, and who she happily emailed to thank after being hired at MISTI. She found worthwhile friends, and learned to balance her time between school, internships, and part-time work.

To find employment so quickly after graduation is a testament to Brown's openness to opportunities, learning and growth.

It pays to step out of your comfort zone. 


Read Brown's 2014 story on why being an intern at SilverTech is awesome.

UNH Manchester offers the career-driven programs, faculty talent and student-centered community to shape your future.
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