Leilani Tizon (E&H Class of 2018) is in a plum job: but she’s quick to point out that she worked hard to get there. “People who say they’re jealous of what I’m doing don’t really understand just how hard it was to get here.”
When Leilani was a senior at E&H she was led to believe her internship would turn into a fulltime job so she thought she was graduating ahead of the curve. But the company she was interning with decided not to fill her position fulltime, and she was suddenly in a world of career uncertainty.
But Leilani doesn’t take anything lying down: and she started a personal networking campaign that was street-savvy and textbook-worthy. “I had a part-time job that only required 25 hours a week, so I spent the rest of my week networking like it was hobby! I went to networking events and lunches and one day the right door opened.”
Everyone she met was impressed with her energy, and even if they didn’t have a job open they remembered her when having conversations with friends and colleagues. Eventually, she got a call saying a friend of a friend had a job that sounded just right for her skill set.
She is the Marketing Communications Coordinator for the currency management solutions division of Giesecke+Devrient Currency Technology – and she is the youngest employee among 12,000 employees worldwide (500 in the U.S.). The company specializes in currency counting machines around the world – and they do a lot of business in casinos. “I spend a lot of time traveling to trade shows – and I’m heading to Las Vegas next month for another show.”
Leilani has a great perspective on the pressures and expectations put on young professionals her age. “Some people think people in my generation are demanding an unrealistic salary, but if we are going to live in metropolitan centers like Washington D.C. we can’t afford to live on meager earnings. We have to be our own best promoters in order to survive in this economy.”
She is grateful to the professors in the E&H Mass Communications division because they, as she said, “prepared me for things I never anticipated!” And she is grateful for an internship that gave her real-world experience. “I work with people who went to bigger universities who weren’t required to do an internship – but I’m so glad they made us do one!”
Leilani ended up at Emory & Henry because she wanted to be far enough away from home that she could fail on her own without her parents being close enough to swoop in and save the day. “I had real meltdowns as a student – but I learned how to take care of myself. And now I’m in a high-stress job where I’m still figuring things out; but every day is a blessing!”
Her best advice to current students? “Believe in yourself and promote yourself: you cheer for you!”
Delta Rho Delta
“I’m so glad my Mass Comm faculty members required us to do an internship.”
– Leilani Tizon, E&H Class of 2018