Considering Chasing Your Dreams in The Golden State?

Alums have this advice for graduates looking to make the move West.

Summer 2019


‘‘My advice to undergraduates is to be willing to make mistakes, because there’s no such thing as a mistake if it leads you to next and better. My path, what brought me here, I recognize that every little piece of it added up to where I am. The job in technology. The psychology major. It might not look like it all fits, but you are creating all the puzzle pieces that are you, and eventually you get to put those together but not right away. And that journey is what it is all about.’’

— Serena Dugan

‘‘The most important thing is to always believe in yourself and stay true to your values. …Your career path changes, your family situation changes, but if your values don’t change and you stay true to that, you’re always going to have the success and happiness that you want for your own life.’’

— Rene Gilbertson

Just do it. Jump in. Move out here. The cost of living is high, but there are just so many benefits that come with it, and over time … it will work out. I would say use your connections. I have learned in life (that) relationships are everything to be successful in your career. You can’t do it alone. You need other people, so reach out to other Wake grads.’’

— Wendy Young

‘‘I got to meet Jack Nicholson one time. … I asked him for advice, and he said, ‘‘I never give advice because people never take it.’’ I would say if there’s anything else you feel like you could be happy doing (besides acting), do that. … It’s too hard. If not, go full steam, don’t stop. No plan B. …You just can’t expect any of it to come to you.’’

— Travis Johns

‘‘Caring about humanity. I’ve come around to this. … It’s trying to live a life of a humanitarian without (necessarily) being out there in the thick of it.’’

— Mary Leigh Cherry

‘‘If you haven’t gotten your advanced degree yet and want an advanced degree, come to California and you’ll find somebody here (to be your potential adviser). Or find somebody first, and then apply is the way it works as a scientist. … Life is really very pleasant here.’’

— John Crowe

‘‘I think knowing who you are and staying true to yourself really comes in handy in believing that you can bounce back from really bad ego-busting situations.’’

— Joe Lawson

‘‘While I would never tell someone at 22 not to start a company, I think there are trade-offs for doing it at different points in life. So, I think my advice would be really think it through — look for a high-growth company where if you work really hard there’s a path ahead.’’

— Afton Vechery

‘‘Think broadly about your network. Then leverage it so you can surround yourself with successful people that want to ensure you succeed.’’

— Jennifer Litwak

‘‘I’d say be curious. You have to be curious.’’

— Brad Stauffer

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