From Zoom University to The Office

Table of Contents

Like many recent graduates, I envisioned my senior year going very differently. I imagined more days filled with walks around a lively campus, soaking in all the remaining moments of undergrad. However, sometimes what we imagine doesn't go as planned, and we must adjust.

What About Those Graduates? 

The last time I was a student in a physical classroom was Fall of 2019. I was preparing to leave for a study abroad in Montpellier, France, and was excited to live in a new place. My focus at the time was getting my visa, classes, and learning a crash course in French. I did not think about what I would be returning to or how things would've changed.  

Fast forward to March of 2020; my program got canceled. Returning home uncertain of the future, I felt stressed thinking of postgraduate life. I was thankful to have time to figure out what life would look like in our new virtual reality.

No sugar coating here; it was a challenging year. I could not naturally speak to peers over a discussion prompt or even what they did over the weekend. There were an endless sea of black screens, and I was one of them.

There were benefits to virtual learning such as no walking to a class in the snow or forgetting a notebook at home. Additionally, it was difficult managing coursework and not connecting with peers. The pandemic's most notable change to my learning was the feeling of isolation in the classroom. 

From Zoom University to The Office 

When I graduated, finding opportunities took a lot of work. The entry-level roles I was interested in required years of experience and I felt stuck. I met with my college advisor and cried while explaining how tough it was to enter the industry. 

I went on to find the Boundaryless program. An advertising agency experience where I regained my confidence and excitement in Marketing. I was lucky to work alongside a team of incredibly smart peers and mentors. From that experience, I was fortunate to land my first job and begin my journey in the Marketing industry.

Even though I found a job, there were many challenges to navigating the transition to the workforce. While in my job search, LinkedIn was a constant reminder of how behind I felt. I would see my peers and people in their network excited about accepting a new internship or job. Yet, no one talked about the process. I wondered, “How will I know what the right job for me is?”

With time I have learned that everyone is figuring it out as they go. What might work now could change in a matter of months or even weeks. With that reality, I remembered the advice I received from my mentor Vanessa. She taught me that wherever I applied, I would be interviewing them just as much as they were interviewing me. That was the first time that I felt I had power. I was encouraged to seek a job that would help me learn and grow. And a year post-graduation, I try to share this perspective with every soon-to-be graduate. 

Recently I have noticed, people are far more open about rejection they experience in their career than before. I am happy that there are increasing numbers of people who see the value of sharing their journey. I hope that sharing my experience helps even just one student transitioning out of college. 

Wherever you are in your journey, you should be proud. It is easy to look at what is yet to attain or accomplish. However, this year, post-graduation, there is so much that I have learned and wish to share with soon-to-be graduates. The most important thing is to give yourself grace. It is not easy to graduate during a pandemic, and it doesn't matter if it takes you 3 years or 5.  

To the Class of 2022


Your classmates are a great way to start building your network. They can offer you information and perspectives that are invaluable. As you build confidence, search if your school has an alumni network. Connecting with alum from the Maroon and Gold network improved my ability to communicate my experience and goals. 

Find a mentor 

Find a mentor that will cheer you on, challenge you, and teach you that you are never done learning. Having a mentor was what solidified my love of brand strategy. My mentor showed a genuine interest in building me up, which created a hunger to learn everything I could. 

You got this! 

Wherever you are on your journey, give yourself grace as you navigate through entering the workforce. It’s not easy to graduate during a pandemic; I encourage you to try new opportunities even if they might not have been part of your original plan. And remember, even if you don’t hear back from that job or internship, that you will find your place.

John Smith

John Smith

John is a Paid Media Manager at Uproer, where he works to build paid search strategies for clients in the e-commerce and SaaS spaces. He's drawn to the ideas, channels, tactics, and emerging trends that tackle big issues in marketing. And he approaches SEM with a focus on data privacy, incrementality, and social impact. When he's not knee-deep in a spreadsheet, John volunteers with local climate organizations and helps spread their message through search.

See More Insights

In a Rut? Try Our Pivot Method to Lift Traffic By 30%

Repotting helps remove dead roots and gives your plants more nutrients and space to grow. If you don't repot your growing plant, it will struggle to survive. I'm not a horticulturist, but I do know that a content strategy pivot is like repotting a plant. A content strategy pivot consists

Read More

Sr. Manager, SEO & Operations

Dave Sewich

dave sewich

Dave made an accidental foray into digital marketing after graduating from the University of Minnesota Duluth and hasn’t looked back. Having spent the first part of his marketing journey brand-side, he now works with the Uproer team to help clients realize their goals through the lens of search.

When not at work, you’ll find Dave staying active and living a healthy lifestyle, listening to podcasts, and enjoying live music. A Minnesotan born and raised, his favorite sport is hockey and he still finds time to skate once in a while.

Dave’s DiSC style is C. He enjoys getting things done deliberately and systematically without sacrificing speed and efficiency. When it comes to evaluating new ideas and plans, he prefers to take a logical approach, always sprinkling on a bit of healthy skepticism for good measure. At work, Dave’s happiest when he has a chance to dive deep into a single project for hours at a time. He loves contributing to Uproer and being a part of a supportive team but is most productive when working solo.

Founder & CEO

Griffin Roer

Griffin discovered SEO in 2012 during a self-taught web development course and hasn’t looked back. After years of working as an SEO consultant to some of the country’s largest retail and tech brands, Griffin pursued his entrepreneurial calling of starting an agency in May of 2017.

Outside of work, Griffin enjoys going to concerts and spending time with his wife, two kids, and four pets.

Griffin’s DiSC style is D. He’s driven to set and achieve goals quickly, which helps explain why he’s built his career in the fast-paced agency business. Griffin’s most valuable contributions to the workplace include his motivation to make progress, his tendency towards bold action, and his willingness to challenge assumptions.