Three Lessons Learned

Editor’s Note: Jamie’s “last” week is upon us, and I (Samantha) asked her to identify some things she’s learned since she walked across the ole graduation stage. Jamie has a full and bright future in front of her; and in true Southern Miss tradition, she is leaving The Focus Group better than she found it. Enjoy her bon-voyage post (although, we are sure you’ll see her writing again soon)!

jamieIn less than three weeks, I will be on a transatlantic flight to an island off the coast of Spain. To live there. For a year. What?

Life after graduation has proven to be one exciting adventure after the next. First, I moved to Washington, D.C. for a congressional internship that lasted for five months. Then I moved back to the Gulf Coast and joined Team Focus to gain some insight on agency life while maintaining a role in the congressional district office in Biloxi. The past eight months have been jam-packed with new experiences. Because they have been AWESOME, I want to share with you the top three lessons I’ve learned and how they’ll apply to future careers and life in Spain.

Say yes!

Want to see the President of Afghanistan speak in a joint session today? SURE.

Will you take photos of the Congressman at today’s hearing? OF COURSE.

New intern, want to join us for lunch today? WHY NOT?!

Unless there’s a possibility of putting others or myself in danger, I’ve learned to open myself up to new opportunities by saying yes more often. And that goes beyond the office. Put yourself out there, take initiative, and try new things!

Respect others’ opinions.

You will have different opinions and viewpoints than others. It’s a fact of life. The only thing you really have control over is how you handle others’ differing views. Agencies work very much as a team. In the time that I’ve been with Team Focus, I’ve seen how well they/we work together. Even when there are differing opinions on how to approach a project, there’s a high level of respect present, and that’s key to success!

When I move to Spain, I will work with people from different cultures. Being able to respect their views regardless if I agree with them will help tremendously.

Continue to learn.

You know those days when nothing seems to be going your way? They’re the worst, right? Moving to a new city and starting a new job is a recipe for feeling lost in and outside of the workplace. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned this year is that there’s potential to learn from every experience, good or bad.

The bad experiences or mistakes made along the way gave me a chance to learn and develop. I can still remember my first day in the congressional office. Part of my job as an intern was answering constituent phone calls, yet I had no idea how to talk to extremely passionate callers about legislation and funding bills and just about anything else political. By the end of the internship, I was spouting off bill numbers like it was my job (because it was). No matter how tough a certain task seems at first, going into it knowing that you’re learning and improving makes it way more rewarding.


Life brings many highs and lows, but isn’t that the beauty of this crazy thing called life? I’ve tried to enjoy the highs, learn from the lows and take every experience as a life lesson. So, do you have any advice for me as I wander off to my next adventure?

To follow Jamie’s next adventure, check out her blog The True Bravado.

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