Post Grad Profile: Erica

Erica Decker took a leap that many post grads fantasize about by moving across country from New York to San Francisco. Learn more about her career journey below!

What did you want to do going into college?
I was always one of those people who knew exactly what she wanted and how she'd do it. Even when I was dead wrong, I was sure of myself. I was so sure that I knew what I was doing, that I, without much of a second thought, went to Clarkson University for business and left very little wiggle room. My university was small and best known for its Business and Engineering schools.

What did you end up doing?
It turned out that I loathed business school. During that time, I was miserable, but happened to be roped into designing a website for the entrepreneurs organization I was in. That project ended up being way more fun than I could imagine, and I quickly decided to transfer to a school that would offer a digital media program. The problem was that the new school couldn't house me on campus, so I deferred my acceptance for one semester and started to take courses in the Communications department at Clarkson, which was really small. I fell in love with my professors and new classmates, and decided that Clarkson was too awesome to leave, even if it meant that I had to shape my own academics to an extent. I created some of my own classes, became involved in a web-related work-study job, and made some freelance websites on the side.

What is your most ideal post grad life?
I love what I do right now, and can't picture changing it at this point in my life. I'm a User Experience Designer at an agency called Marker Seven in San Francisco, California. My job is intellectual, challenging, artistic, and scientific, and I think it suits me perfectly. The sad part is that in this economic depression, I felt that I had to move clear across the country in order to launch my career. San Francisco is still booming for tech, much more than the rest of the country. Ideally, I'd love to be closer to family and friends.

Where did you go?
As mentioned, I moved to San Francisco, California. I'm originally from upstate New York. Man, I miss Fall and apple picking!

How did your plan change along the way?
In the course of my 3.5 years of college, I changed my major 4 times. I struggled with what I found interesting, what felt worthwhile, and where I wanted to be. I went through a few months in college debating on whether or not to transfer. I changed my mind a million and a half times on whether or not I wanted to graduate early. I fluctuated in my decisions on where to move after school. Back home? Back to Boulder, Colorado where I interned? Boston? NYC? Connecticut? California? Eventually, I just had to stop thinking and go with my gut. My plan is constantly changing and probably always will.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
Do what makes you happy, and do it with confidence. That attitude can get you pretty far in life, I think. If your plan changes, that attitude will carry you through it and make the change of plans a good thing. Don't waste time being miserable. When I'm 70 years old, I want to look back on my life and have awesome stories to tell my grand-kids. If that's going to be the case, I need to make every change of plans into something awesome.


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