My Honest Elevator Pitch
Elevator Pitch: a short, brief, yet impressive speech about you and why you are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Useful for interviews or that one time you met Selena Gomez in an elevator and had 30 seconds to convince her to be your best friend.
Post-Graduate: The most unpredictable human with so little self-awareness or actualization that they can hardly prepare a coherent answer to the question: What’s your name?
My sister’s room (the only private, clean, and unoccupied space in the house at the moment), Tuesday, January 31st, 2017
4:00pm, on the dot
Sound effect: Cell Phone Ringtone, too loud, very jolting
Cassie: (overly enthusiastic) Hello, this is Cassie!
Recipient: Hi, Cassie, this is Linda from one of the dozens of jobs you recently applied to [etc. etc.] Why don’t we start with you telling me a little bit about yourself?
CUE “ELEVATOR SPEECH”
Cassie grabs a piece of paper among the dozens of printouts splayed around her.
Cassie: (more or less reading verbatim from paper) Sure! Let’s see, well, I am a very recent graduate from Marist College and am eager to take the next step in my teaching career.
Cassie: I grew up in Fairfield, CT and when I was in seventh grade I was able to say that I wanted to be an English teacher. For the longest time my answer to the "what do you want to be when you grow up?" was extremely specific: a seventh grade English teacher.
Cassie: Yes! I pursued English as my primary subject and graduated from high school with a 4.0 average.
Cassie: I entered college with a declared major in English Literature, Secondary education and a minor in theatre. Theatre is what I would call my "passion on the side" but I have learned over the past 4 years how integral my theatre background is for teaching. Theatre has provided me with confidence, the ability to think on the spot, and to engage my students.
Linda: That’s wonderful!
Cassie: Thank you! I am now a building substitute at my former middle school, looking for a permanent teaching position for the upcoming year.
Although I studied English, I don’t always have a way with words. The scariest question I get is the very first one I am asked on all interviews: Can you tell me about yourself? Although I have my elevator pitch down, I never feel fully satisfied with my answer. In the post-graduate world there is so much more to a person than high school grades and college majors. There is confusion, crying, laughing, drinking, and a lot of second-guessing. I’d like to take this scene over.
Let’s try again:
My bedroom, cuddled up with my electric blanket, wearing baggy sweatpants and a t-shirt from 2004.
5:30pm, post daily nap.
Disembodied voice, likely from my frazzled subconscious: Tell me about yourself!
Cassie: You want to know something about me? Alright… just remember: you asked for it!
I am a recent graduate who has extensive experience in quarter life crises and stress induced naps. I have entry level experience in handling mimosas and getting out of the house on the weekends. I reign from the beautiful Fairfield County where my family has deep roots (aka a street named after us) in a town of even deeper wallets (aka the reason Vineyard Vines is a multi-million dollar company).
I was the girl who started homework on Friday night and preferred drama club to a night club any day. I vividly recall a former boyfriend laughing at me working on my math homework on a Friday evening after he showed up an hour late, as usual (Strike one, sir).
I went on to college and graduated with more debt than I can ever imagine getting rid of. Me and my BFF, Sallie Mae, talk on the phone every day. We’re going through a rough patch, but I know we can mend things up eventually (40 years, give or take).
My boyfriend is a superhero and possesses all the qualities I wish I had. Even in the middle of my weekly breakdown, he can make me smile. He is my saving grace.
I have all kinds of crazy ideas for my ideal job, but none of them seem to be invented yet. Top three include: French Fry Connoisseur, Professional Napper, and Author of the next great book: Yeah, I’m Fine!
I am currently a building substitute for my former middle school. I now work with students who know as much about paying student loans as I do. It’s a great combination.
When I am lucky enough to be in a show, I find refuge in a script. I have lines to deliver, blocking to fulfill, choreography to perfect, and everything that is going to happen is laid out for me. Could things get any better? With my security blanket fastened and my inner 5 year old soaking up the attention of the audience, I am in THE ZONE! I am currently in talks with Neil LaBute to script the rest of my life. (This would likely exceed the cost of my loans).
My Netflix background is impressive. My “suggested for you” counter includes science fiction, crime shows, comedies, musicals, and dramas. I have experience in all categories. I have completed full series, abandoned shows half way through one episode, left raving reviews, and written influential tweets and statuses about works that have deeply impacted my life. Netflix and Chill? I have it down to a science. I have chilled so hard, I found myself sleeping for 3 episodes straight. Netflix had to ask if I was still watching!
What am I looking for? Well, have you ever seen Avenue Q the musical? Me neither, but three songs sum up my current state and subsequent ventures I need to embark on:
1. “What Do You Do With a B.A in English?” —> Venture: Find out
2. “Purpose” —> Venture: Find mine
3. “There is Life Outside Your Apartment” —> Venture: Get out
4. Fellow post grads: please listen to these songs immediately. We are not alone.
So what do you say? Am I hired?
[Photo by Julie Bloom.]
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