Human Of The Week: Nicola P.

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Interview by GradSimple with Nicola P., graduate of George Brown College, who majored in Marketing & Liberal Arts.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by our interviewees are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of GradSimple. We only edit these responses for clarity. All opinions remain those of the interviewee.

  • Name: Nicola P. 
  • Year Of Graduation: 2023 
  • Major: Marketing & Liberal Arts
  • College/University: George Brown College (Toronto, Canada)

What do you do for a living? 

I currently do a few things because I’m extremely multi-passionate. I am a marketing and social media freelancer, singer-songwriter, and hostess of my podcast, The Far Out Podcast.

Can you tell me about your job search experience after graduation? Does your job have anything to do with your degree?

I must have applied to a thousand jobs –  it was really depressing and grueling, but the constant rejection allowed me to take radical accountability for my situation and life.

I was doing unpaid intern work for a small yoga and life coaching business, and then ended up landing a part-time social media and front desk position in the summer of 2023. It wasn’t perfect but the environment was great. Holistic/natural health is one of my passions. Simultaneously, a friend of mine hired me as a virtual assistant for her life coaching/women’s health online business.

In the fall, a parenting account I followed on Instagram posted that they were looking for a virtual assistant, so I applied and set up an interview. It ended up going well and they really liked me, but I didn’t hear from them for a month, so I forgot about it. Then, out of nowhere, they reached back out and essentially liked me so much that they decided to make a different role for me because they saw my creative capabilities! I started doing a mix of social media management, community management/engagement, and creative branding consulting for them in October of 2023.

My job definitely has aspects of my degree, but a lot of it has been self-taught. I would say it took roughly about 6-10 months to find and secure, in total.

I said at the beginning that rejection allowed me to take radical responsibility. I want to expand on that. I’ve never dreamt of working in an office, or slaving away at a corporate job. So because I actually knew and felt that in my core, I do believe my reality mirrored that. I didn’t get an office job in marketing because it wasn’t what I truly wanted, nor was it what God sent me here to do and be. 

Why did you choose your major? Would you still pick this major now, if you could go back in time? 

Choosing marketing was actually my 3rd choice! I auditioned for music school to study vocal music but I didn’t get in. I was devastated at the time. I was also really interested in fashion, so I decided to go to a fashion business program. I completed a year, and then decided to switch to business marketing.

I chose marketing because I didn’t want to drop out and I didn’t know what else I should or could take. I ended up doing quite well in it. I also (essentially) minored in liberal arts – philosophy, literature, etc. I loved that stuff but it also helped me do well in my major because business is about people, and how else to know people better than studying them through liberal arts courses? 

I can’t say I would choose the major again because I don’t use a ton of the information I learned, but it did help with building character, discipline, and time management. I also believe that everything happens for a reason, so from that perspective, I would choose it again because it’s part of my journey and story. 

I do wish I got to experience music school though!

If I asked you 3 years ago, what would you think you’d be doing right now (in life/career)?

This is tough because I’ve never been a long-term planner or thinker haha. I would like to say that I would be doing more artist-focused work (making music, working with other creatives, and podcasting) and also traveling and living in different places for a few months out of the year!

What’s your biggest struggle right now? 

I’m actually at a really interesting point in my life right now where I need to make a leap of faith, but I’m trying to figure out what that leap is while I’m taking it. I was so much more fearless when I was younger, so I’m struggling to find my courage again to trust that I’ll be caught when I jump. 

I’ve outlived and outgrown my current living scenario and the people I live with. I don’t know if I want to use my savings to move, go live in Costa Rica for a few months and work remotely, or invest in mentorship to really take my music and artist passions more seriously. I’m having a hard time choosing because I know I can’t do them all at once!

If money was not a factor, what would you be working on or spending more time on?

I would be spending more time investing in things that I feel are more important to me and my values now. I’d love to spend more of my days in nature, making music, playing shows, and getting chances to speak about my music and art. Spending more time making nourishing food, seeing friends, and having more expansive conversations.

If we traveled 3 years into the future of your life, what would you hope we’d see? 

I’m hoping we’d see someone who felt more trusting of herself and God/The Universe to take leaps of faith that may not make sense to others. 

I hope we’d see me living in alignment with my truth, my purpose, and my passions – ideally something creative and artistic! 

I also really desire to have a great man in my life, so in three years I hope to be in a divine union with someone, living a slow-paced, beautiful, expansive, creative, and soul-nourishing life. 

What advice and/or learnings would you give to current students or recent grads?

I love this question, because I have a lot. Take what resonates, leave what doesn’t.

Have self-discipline, take responsibility, and get out of the victim mentality. You are the only person responsible for your life and the only person who you can control. Do the things you say you’re going to do, and be the person you say you’re going to be. No one is going to save you and you are not a victim to your circumstances.

The reason I chose to “be my own boss” is because I didn’t want to live my life in accordance with other people’s rules. This requires a lot of self-discipline. You have to make your own work hours and show up when you say you will. You are the creator of your life, and you always have choices. Most of the time, the best choice is the hardest to make. Make it. 

Have faith in something greater than yourself. I didn’t believe in anything for so much of my life but I am truthful when I say life is so much better when you feel like there is someone or something protecting you and wanting you to win and succeed.

Your health is your wealth. Most people neglect getting good quality sleep, regulating their nervous system, and supporting their gut. People are getting sicker and sicker in our society because we think that staying up late, not eating high-quality food, and not taking time to destress is the way to live. It’s not. Create a grounding morning routine before you do anything.

Be mindful and intentional of the information you take in. Stop being obsessed with what’s going on in the world and start being obsessed with what’s going on in your world. If you want to create an impact, you need to start with yourself and your immediate community. 

You become the 5 people you spend the most time with. Take inventory of who that is. Do they want to hold you back? Are they challenging you to live and be better, and more abundant? Do they respect your boundaries? This applies to both family and friends. You can love them, and recognize they may not be the ones to go to for advice for getting to a certain place in life. 

Have an abundance/gratitude mindset. Something didn’t go your way? It sucks, but what did you learn from that? What can you take from it? 

Feel your feelings. Unprocessed feelings lead to clouded judgment, clouded thinking, and clouded emotions.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no perfect job. Job security is an illusion (so you may as well take the risk and do exactly what you want to do). Your dreams and goals can and likely will shift, and this doesn’t make you weird or crazy, it means you’re growing and evolving.

Life is too short to not live your purpose, and fulfill your dreams. Staying in a job you hate is hard, and going after your dream life is hard. Choose which “hard” you want to prioritize. 

Any other thoughts you’d like to share?

In order to live an extraordinary life, you have to do things out of the ordinary. AKA: don’t be a sheep/follower. 

Listen/look into the following people: 

  • Rick Rubin 
  • HindzSight 
  • Eckhart Tolle 
  • Areege / @GoldenAgeStreams on Instagram 
  • Alex Hormozi 
  • Leah @Leahlivefree on Instagram 

If you don’t feel like you “fit” into the “norm” (whatever the hell that is lol), you’re not crazy and nothing is wrong with you. It means that you recognize that you’re not meant to live like everyone else, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

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