Amanda Nachman (Part 4)

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On today’s episode of “College Admissions Real Talk”, Dr. Legatt interviews Amanda Nachman, author and CEO and publisher of College Magazine, a magazine for and by college students. Together they discuss career development during COVID-19 and how students can find their most impressive qualities.


VO: Welcome to College Admissions Real Talk with Dr. Aviva Legatt, a podcast for students seeking to get admitted to top-tier colleges. Each episode will feature an important tip for your college admission success, delivered with candor and love. If you’ve ever wanted to take a peek inside the mind of a college admissions officer, this is your chance. Have a question? Text Dr. Legatt at 610-222-5762. So, what’s your dream school? 

AL: That’s great. I’d love for you to talk a little bit about, and I don’t know if this is part of what you help people do in your coaching, but how do we know we’re qualified enough, or how do we know if we’re overqualified for something?

AN: Yeah. I explore what it means to be qualified in my book, and I think that’s the point. Everyone has a different interpretation. Don’t unqualified people get the job all the time? Hewlett Packard did a report that said that women feel that they need to meet 100% of job criteria before even applying. And then LinkedIn’s data shows that women are applying to 20% fewer jobs. From that, I would deduce that women and men see being qualified differently. We interpret what it means to be qualified differently. I don’t think we’ll ever feel like it’s enough for whatever is next. And that happens in your 30s and your 40s as you look ahead to whatever is next, it never feels like you’re qualified because you have to go after what is next and figure it out and while you’re in that new role, you’re gonna get better at it, and you’re gonna feel more qualified in your role. And it’s kind of crazy that we say you have to be qualified for this new position. I mean, if you’re super qualified for that new position, you’re probably overqualified.

 AL: That’s very true. That’s very true. I love that. It’s a self-perception. And so to me, it seems to really stem back to what you were saying earlier. Which is, to get to your “why,” get your goal, and then that will help you to figure out how you can match those qualifications with your goal, whatever those qualifications may look like. Right?

AN: Right. Your passion or your proven track record of being someone who’s reliable. That’s what makes you qualified. Your ideas that you have to bring to the table. And, Yes, there are certain degrees. There are certain steps that someone might need you to take, or they may need you to know a certain software or have X number of years of coding. But ask any coder who steps into a new role and do they feel completely qualified? Probably not. And it’s important to know, though, and feel confident that you have some value to offer that new role.

AL: Absolutely. Great advice. So, I’m curious about new opportunities you’re seeing out there in education and or in the workforce either that your college students share with you about, or that you’re pointing them to. Where should people be looking at what’s next?

AN: I think a trend that is interesting. I mean, there’s constant iterations of technology happening today where it’s impossible for any company to stay up on what is the latest. And so they’re looking to young, new employees who are on the pulse of what is the latest to come in and bring those ideas. So I think just knowing that companies are more open to your ideas and don’t be afraid to pitch something, and even if it gets rejected, putting your ideas out there, creating a deck with your idea, walking people through it, and not being afraid to come to the table with your passion first and to show that you have done some research and put some thought into how you can be of service. And I think that that goes a long way. Even if they don’t implement that project, but maybe they do. And then you get to run with your idea and create something that you envisioned.

AL: I love that you’re really speaking to this idea and this value that is so true. I think in college as well as the workforce today, which is a sense of entrepreneurialism and how you can add value regardless of what the job description is, because the job description you want may not be written yet, or you might be able to write your own way in through nontraditional ways of getting a job, whether it’s being a contractor or a freelancer or something along those lines: So I think that there’s a great value in that “why” piece that you were mentioning in what you just shared about what’s happening in the workforce today and why we need to think about how we can add value beyond what the job description says.

AN: Yeah. I mean, I think job descriptions are so funny, right? Think about the people that are writing them. They are dreaming up this dream role, and they can’t possibly know once you add that person to that role, what that person is going to bring to it. So you can really dream bigger than the role that was written for you.

AL: Absolutely. This has been such a hopeful discussion, and I hope gives people inspiration behind how they can become more qualified and how they can see their own impressiveness. I’m curious if you have anything else that you think would be helpful to share on the topic or anything else that you want to talk about that we haven’t discussed yet.

AN: I think a good takeaway in order to make those ‘DM a Days’ if you’re like, “Oh, I might want to try that.” If you haven’t already, create a LinkedIn account. Simply add your name, add your photo, add your school and then start searching for people that are doing what you think is currently your dream career. And once you’re there, I want to challenge you to scroll to the bottom of that person’s profile and see how they started out in their career because that’s gonna open your world to opportunities that you probably haven’t thought about.

AL: That’s wonderful advice. I love that. And it just helps us remember that we’re all coming from somewhere, right? And we all have a humble beginning and a story of origin. We don’t just go from zero to the career pinnacle, whatever we’re defining in that way or however we’re defining that. We have to create these building blocks along the way that help us figure out what we want to do next. So it’s kind of an Iterative process, too. So thanks so much, Amanda, for joining us. I’d love to invite my listeners to get their copy of Amanda’s book, Qualified, and to join her free 30 day Qualified Challenge, where you’re going to get different kinds of career motivations every day to help you on your journey. So, once again, Amanda, thank you so much for being with us today.

AN: Yeah. Thanks for having me, Aviva. This is fun

VO: College Admissions Real Talk is hosted by Aviva Legatt, edited by Stephanie Carlin, and produced by Incontrera Consulting. I’m Caroline Stokes and this has been your daily boost of college admissions insight. Have a question? Text Dr. Legatt at 610-222-5762. For more information on Dr. Legatt and Ivy Insight visit www.ivyinsight.com. And you can pick up Dr. Legatt’s book, “Get Real and Get In”, at major retail outlets across the world. Insight out.