There’s almost no greater joy than talking to young people who are building a career they’re really excited about. The energy is crackling and the passion is real! I sat down with a former student of mine, Rebecca Camire, for (a super healthy and yummy!) lunch the other day at Restoration Cafe in Manchester, NH to find out about her company Refreshed Nutrition and her new career as an entrepreneur and nutrition coach (so excited for her!).
6 years after graduating, Becca has built a great life for herself, but it hasn’t been an easy, straight path. When I asked her what her advice for college seniors, it was: “know yourself.” Now, “knowing yourself” is, of course, a process, and we are always evolving and changing. But Becca’s story illustrates how many of the things we learn about ourselves in college can give us critical information about how we can build a successful career that fits OUR particular needs and ideal lifestyle.
As a college student, Becca explored a range of interests. She loved her healthy lifestyle, exercising and working out, and had a great social life. She knew she needed a creative outlet, so explored majoring in art, but ultimately fell for the practical siren song of a major in Management (I am grateful for this, because I got to have her as a student), and enjoyed those courses. She balanced her management major with a minor in art.
“It Blew Me Away”
In her junior year, Becca took a nutrition class that, as she says, “completely blew her away.” By then it felt too late to change majors (I tend to discourage changes of majors late in the game, extra years of college are incredibly expensive, and don’t always put you in a better position on the job market.)
After graduation, Becca tried, for a few years, to avoid “doing what she knew she wanted to do.” After hearing her story, I can tell she was trying out some different hats and seeing where she might fit in, while trying hard to ignore what she knew about herself.
The fall after graduating, Becca, a self-proclaimed introvert and morning person took a night shift job for the customer service department of an investment company! I mean, why not try out the worst possible fit?! At least it was a great learning experience – now she knows FOR TRIPLE SURE that she is not cut out for that working at night in a cubical surrounded by other people, trying to placate unhappy customers for hours. The job was not in vain, however, she met her current boyfriend and learned a lot about retirement planning.
“I finally did want I had wanted to do for years.”
Becca worked in university administration for several years, and was able to get a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership for free while working there. It wasn’t until about five years after graduating from her undergraduate program that she finally embraced what she knew back in her Junior year of college – her passion is nutrition and healthy lifestyles. She went back to school to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, and she’s been able to use her contacts from her previous university administration job to get a teaching job teaching Wellness, which helps to pay the bills while she builds her business.
Refreshed Nutrition helps clients improve their health through nutrition, but Becca also focuses on mildfulness and encouraging exercise. She recently wrote a book of easy, healthy smoothie recipes that her clients love. Becca is able to embrace passion for nutrition and health, use her management degrees, and exercise her creative ambitions in her new venture. AND she can mostly work on the schedule that works for her, i.e., NOT the night shift!
“Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe”
One last piece of advice from Becca:
“Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe” – meaning, surround yourself with people who understand you and your work, and are willing to be champions for you! In her nutrition program, Becca met her “career tribe,” a group of mostly women that support each other as they build their careers and businesses. They text each other and talk often. They have provided lots of advice and encouragement to Becca as she ventures forth.