Shantae’s Perspective: Where in the world am I going?

January 14, 2010 at 8:12 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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Over the weekend, I chatted with my mom about all the states I’ve had the opportunity to visit.  I’ve vacationed in Florida, Georgia, Texas, New Jersey, Alabama, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California.  I danced in Oklahoma, took a random road trip to Massachusetts, shopped in New York and completed my freshman year of college in West Virginia after making the mistake of following a boy there.  Each visit was a unique experience – a getaway from the usual.   Now that the countdown to graduation has begun, and the lease on the trailer expires in mid-August, I need to figure out where I plan to reside. 

 If you haven’t read the about me section (this would be an awesome time to check it out), you may not know that I’m the sassy half of this blog.  Anyone who has had the opportunity to meet Rebecca knows she is a sweet, intelligent girl.  She is also a rational thinker and a realist.  A trait I admire.  I prefer to dream the impossible, so it’s no surprise that I buy into the hype of living in a big city after graduation day. 

 According to a May 2009 CNN article, the following cities are ideal locations for college grads:

 1. Indianapolis
Average rent:* $625
Popular entry-level categories:** sales, customer service, health care

2. Philadelphia
Average rent: $1,034
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, management

3. Baltimore
Average rent: $1,130
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, health care

4. Cincinnati
Average rent: $691
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, health care

5. Cleveland
Average rent: $686
Popular entry-level categories: sales, marketing, customer service

6. New York
Average rent: $1,548
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, admin-clerical

7. Phoenix
Average rent: $747
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, marketing

8. Denver
Average rent: $877
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, health care

9. Chicago
Average rent: $1,133
Popular entry-level categories: sales, marketing, customer service

10. San Antonio
Average rent: $696
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, management

Let’s dissect this recommended list, shall we?  Some places like Philly, The Big Apple and Chi Town are expected because they offer a unique, fast-paced environment; however, a couple cities on the list took me by surprise.  Please note that Cincinnati and Cleveland made it in the top five.  Perhaps because monthly rent less than $700 is a bit more appealing than paying $1, 548 in New York.  I may be a dreamer, but I’m no fool.  I’m certain my entry-level salary won’t pay the rent in the city that never sleeps. 

I’m going to go out on a limb here and go the unrealistic route. 

Ideally, being somewhere within a reasonable distance from home, affordable cost of living and fun, exciting things to do would be the best scenario, but if I have the opportunity to relocate somewhere that doesn’t fit into that criteria, I’ll still go.  The way I see it, there’s no better time than your early 20s to take a chance and risk failing.  If Kent’s PR program has taught me nothing else, it’s taught me to adapt.

PR pros and soon-to-be-grads, what do you think?  Where is the balance between your dreams and reality?  What is life without some calculated risks?

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4 Comments »

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  1. So you live in a trailer, huh? I’m not sure why, but that reminds me of the song Eminem sang in “8 Mile”. “Cuz you live at home in a trailer, what the hell you gonna do?”

    Moving on…

    Nice post Shantae. Where are you thinking about moving – you never mention a specific place. I’m sure you want to keep all doors open, but what’s your dream city?

    • Hey, Brandi!

      It was so nice seeing you today at the Akron PRSA event. I’m always happy to see a successful PR Kent grad (it gives me hope)! I haven’t seen “8 Mile” in forever…maybe I’ll watch it this weekend.

      To answer your question: My ideal place is Washington D.C. for some of the reasons mentioned in my post. It’s within a reasonable driving distance from home, has a young, diverse population and generally more opportunities than other cities. However, it’s pretty expensive to live in the city, or within an hour of the city for that matter. Still, it’s at the top of my list.

      Shantae

  2. I was catching up on your posts in reverse, Shantae. So you can check my comment to Rebecca’s essay on this same topic. I’m struck by how the “sassy” half of this blog seems almost more practical and rational about location than the “classy” half. Interesting.

    As I told Rebecca, there’s no time like post-college to pack up and go to a place that really excites you. You can always come back closer to the mothership if you get homesick. But as life unfolds, it becomes harder and harder to make the move as job and family responsibilities grow.

    I’m the wrong person to ask about location, as I really love the cold and snow, and I really hate big population centers. Unfortunately, you don’t find many PR jobs in Stanley, Idaho, or Ely, Minnesota.

    If I were graduating today in PR, I’d be looking at Denver.

    • Hi Bill,

      I’m glad you finally found us! I typically don’t think of myself as “rationale,” but it’s nice to hear you don’t think my head is too far in the clouds. I know money is a huge factor when deciding to uproot my life and leave, but part of me doesn’t care. I don’t want to have regrets 10 years from now. If I don’t leave after graduation, I may never leave.

      That being said, I want to reach high while still having a strategy. So I’m taking advice from commenter, Rich, who suggests choosing my top five organizations in my top cities and apply. I’m optimistic about the outcome. Thanks for stopping by and joining the discussion! Don’t be a stranger.

      Shantae


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