Looking Back on Five Years

By Jenni Izzo

Today marks my five-year anniversary with Costa Communications Group (CCG). I graduated from Drexel University in Philadelphia on June 13, and started working at the agency three days later. I’ll be the first to admit I never thought I’d reach this milestone. I was convinced I’d move back to Philly, maybe try my luck in NYC or simply go to the “next best thing.” My generation is of the mindset that you “just need to put in your two years,” then move on to something new. What isn’t considered nearly as often is the perks of growing up and evolving in one place. I look around CCG and see colleagues who have worked here for 8-12 years – and as I join those long-term ranks, I see why.

Looking back on the past five years, I have some advice to share with the recently graduated.

  • Identify holes and fill them. Part of becoming indispensable is doing things others don’t. When I started, it was Keynote. Presentations are time-intensive and often last minute. What better way to carve out your spot on a team than by doing something others don’t or can’t.  Now, working with younger colleagues, I look most forward to having them teach me. Whether it’s a new trend they’re seeing or a software they know, I look to them for fresh thinking.
  • Be a sponge. Absorb everything you see and hear. Your college degree is a good foundation, but real learning starts on the first day of your career. Consider every meeting, conference call, brainstorm, etc. as an opportunity to learn and grow.
  • Always ask for more. This is not only a smart way to learn, but a prime opportunity to show you’re a team player. Senior team members can always use a hand – and you’ll appreciate the good karma when you’re in their place. Plus, you’ll get varied experience, and find your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Bloom where you are planted. Cheesy, I know. (In fact, this is actually a plaque in my mom’s kitchen.) I never tire of reminiscing with my colleagues. Whether it’s about old clients, projects or jokes, it’s nice to have common history with a great group of people. Don’t be in a rush to find your next big thing. You may be surprised to learn it’s actually right where you are.


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