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  • Writer's pictureFelicia Urban, University of Texas at Arlington

Test Your Limits to Reach Your Goals

Since I was young, I have had big aspirations for my future and career. It is easy to dream about what you want your life to look like in your ideal future, but almost impossible to figure out how to get there. I spend my time scrolling through LinkedIn and admiring the lives of many C-suite executives of Fortune 500 companies, wondering how I could be in their position one day. Can anyone else relate?

Like many students, I grew up in a suburban town where not much happens; only some people aspire to climb the corporate ladder or reach top-level success. Suburban towns thrive on comfort. Don’t get me wrong, being comfortable is great because security, predictability and simplicity come with it. Still, as I was dreaming up my aspirations and business goals, I knew that being comfortable would not get me there. So how can a small-town college student break through the barrier of comfortability and meet their goals?

As a marketing student at the University of Texas at Arlington, I have immersed myself in my courses and extracurriculars to determine my long-term career goals. After changing my major and working through uncertainties, I knew that business and marketing were subjects I wanted to study; I discovered my passion for social media marketing, digital marketing, and advertising. I dreamed of working in an agency and then working my way up to become CMO of a top company, but the barrier to comfort hit me quickly. I knew I needed to change my approach to becoming successful, which meant starting to take action in college rather than waiting until after graduation. Once I shifted my mindset, everything changed; I became extremely involved at my university by working on campus; I worked my way up the American Marketing Association executive board at my school to become Vice President, and I started saying yes to uncomfortable opportunities that came my way.

I vividly remember the first time I tested my limits in such a significant way. Through AMA, I attended the International Collegiate Conference in Chicago, competed in marketing competitions, and networked for the first time. I had little to no marketing experience or knowledge, but I wanted to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity. So, I said yes, and through the conference, I met so many amazing like-minded people and gained unique experiences that I can now share on my resume and LinkedIn profile. Because of this experience, I made connections that have expanded my view of the world and business, giving me more opportunities that have changed my life.

I was used to striving to be comfortable in every situation, which inhibited me from understanding that I must test my limits to reach my goals. So, if you feel like you have not been pushing your limits, here are some tips I wish I had known when I started my business school journey:

  1. Evaluate your current situation. Are you too comfortable?

  2. Explore the opportunities available to you and the options you can create for yourself.

  3. Dedicate time to marketing yourself. Why are you an asset to employers and mentors?

  4. Stay connected on LinkedIn. Make your name known and memorable through interaction with peers, colleagues, and LinkedIn community members.

  5. Be involved and say YES! Join groups and organizations that have a direct correlation to your career goals. When an opportunity arises, say YES!

Whether in a small town or surrounded by people who view their goals differently, believing you can attain your career goals can be challenging. Remember that if you work hard, you can find success. It may not be your dream job or life goal, but it will be your version of accomplishment. Your idea of success is bound to change over time, but hard work is the constant that will never change. As you carve your path, remember to test your limits and break through comfortability to reach your goals.


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