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Q&A with Judy Brumley ’18 provides career advice for first-year students

When Judy Brumley graduated last May, her goal of securing a full-time position didn’t seem to take long at all. She was already working as a copywriting intern at Cornett marketing and freelancing for Smiley Pete Publishing and InStyle magazine. In no time, she became a marketing assistant for Smiley Pete. But, as her advice to first-year Pioneers reveals, reaching her destination required a four-year road map.

Q: What are some of the essential experiences you had outside the classroom? 

A: I did three different internships while at Transy. I worked at Tops magazine and Smiley Pete Publishing in Lexington, and InStyle magazine in New York. Each of these offered invaluable hands-on experience in the workplace.

Transy and its English department, specifically, worked to make it possible for me to get credit for two of my internships. Additionally, my adviser went above and beyond to make it possible for me to relocate to NYC for a semester and receive credit for my position at InStyle. Having the opportunity to work for these companies gave me real-world experience that has proved helpful as I’ve interviewed for jobs. I have several different experiences to refer to when discussing my qualifications. 

Q: How did Transy’s Center for Academic and Professional Enrichment help you? 

I visited the career development office several times as a student, beginning when I was a freshman. I worked with staff to strengthen my resume and discuss possible internship opportunities.

I had a mentor through the 100 Doors to Success mentoring program. Tim Collins ’81 proved incredibly helpful in securing my InStyle magazine internship. Since he is based in New York I had someone helping me make connections from both inside and outside of Lexington. And, while I was in New York, it was nice to have a familiar face.

I also studied abroad for a month in Segovia, Spain, which was vital to wrapping up my Spanish major. I firmly believe there is only so much you can learn in the classroom, so having the opportunity to go to Spain with several Transy students and live with a host family pushed me out of my comfort zone—but in the best way.

Q: What’s your advice for first-year students? 

I think the best advice I can give is to make every minute of your time at Transy count. As a freshman it feels like graduation is incredibly far away, but in reality these four years will fly by. Take advantage of the career center and the 100 Doors to Success program so that entering the real world won’t seem too daunting.

Push yourself to try new things and meet new people. If you’ve ever wanted to study abroad or intern, now is the time to do it!

Don’t be discouraged by failures. I met with people in the career development office for so many different cover letters and resume revisions. I applied to so many different internships before I finally got my position at InStyle.

At Transy, the faculty and staff will keep working with you whether you need help raising your grade or getting a summer job. Go talk to your teachers or other staff members. Use your resources because people want to help you succeed!