Jada Washington graduation photo

At one point this spring, Jada Washington’s search for her first job since graduating from Fisher spanned 40 positions and led to 15 interviews — not including the company that brought her back for three follow-up interviews. 

The job market she had anticipated when she began her final year as a marketing student last fall now was vastly different. 

“At the beginning of the school year, I had tunnel vision,” she said. “I remember thinking that I had to end up in certain position at XYZ company. With everything that happened, it definitely didn’t end up that way. COVID-19 took a lot of jobs off the table that I was previously pursuing. A lot of companies went on hiring freezes, and I had to pivot my original job search strategy.” 

Jada Washington headshot
Jada Washington (BSBA '20)

Shortly after graduating, and during her streak of unsuccessful interviews, Washington (BSBA ’20) reached out to Audrey Bledsoe, assistant director of undergraduate career services and education in the Office of Career Management. Washington had previously taken a class on finding internships taught by Bledsoe and thought her insights would translate to her current search. 

“I wanted to identify gaps in my job search and my interviews and learn how I could improve to get to a next-level interview or even secure a job,” Washington said. “Audrey offered me so much assistance. She connected me to resources I didn’t realize that I, as a Fisher graduate, could tap into. I was really surprised and thankful that I still had resources available to me even though I had graduated.” 

Washington’s outreach paid off just weeks later: she landed a job as a consumer services coordinator at ScottsMiracle-Gro. In June, she began working with consumers and company staff, educating them on Scott’s products and application processes. 

“I took a lot of what Audrey told me and applied it in my second-round interview with Scott’s,” she said. “She told me that I had to be confident in my skills and abilities, and that even though there are people in the job market that have more experience, everything I’ve done in my college career has value.” 

Check out more stories and successes from the Office of Career Management's 2019-20 Annual Report

Mirroring the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the end of her senior year, graduation and her career search, nothing about Washington’s on-boarding at Scott’s has been typical — as of July, she hadn’t even stepped foot on its Marysville, Ohio, campus yet. 

Despite the stress and self-doubt from the past six months, Washington said there’s value in having gone through it. 

“If it was a typical year, I probably would have been stuck in different mindset that wouldn’t have helped in the long run,” she said. “Going through these difficulties will definitely help me in the future. And I’m sure this isn’t going to be the only difficult situation I encounter.” 

“What I’ve learned more than anything is that yes, everyone should pursue their dream job. But it’s OK to take a different route to get to that final destination. Take the time to build skills and meaningful relationships with those you’re working with at each step along the way.”