When I was a senior and about to graduate from my university, I applied and got interviewed for a Corporate Management Trainee position for Global Hyatt. It's kind of like being an extern except you get paid anywhere between $30,000 and $35,000 a year (this was in 2006). You learn all the operations of every single department of a Hyatt hotel but your direct boss is the Human Resources Director. After being accepted, I was so thrilled. I actually had a plan after I graduated college. Only 1% of all applicants got accepted at that time so it's a true honor. Another bonus was they gave me four locations to choose from: San Diego (home), Dallas, St. Louis or Washington DC. 

I chose Dallas, Texas since I knew it wasn't going to be as cold as St. Louis or Washington DC and is far away from home but close enough where a flight isn't that long. I wanted to get away. I actually lived with my parents while going to college because my mom had a death grip on me and would not let me live on my own. So, this was my real first time out of the house.  After making this decision, I've signed the papers to 6 months of training and rotated around each department. Every head of the department really knew me and I've shadowed them all. Then after many months of training, I got really depressed. 

I moved out to Dallas at 22, about 5 days after I graduated with my bachelor's degree. When I turned 23, I had no real friends to celebrated with. I was a fresh college grad in an unfamiliar city with unfamiliar people. My parents decided to fly out there to celebrate with me. I'm glad they love me so much that they were afraid I'd be alone but I really wanted to fly home to see my friends. Anyway, long story short. They thought they were doing me a favor by surprising me and coming to visit me uninvited. It was the saddest birthday I ever had. Here I am, having dinner in a suit (I worked earlier that day) with my parents on my 23rd birthday. It was lame. I actually shed a tear while looking out the window while my parents weren't looking. They were so proud of me because I had a career plan right out of college and became a manager at a hotel, strutting a suit every day. They didn't know that I wasn't happy. 

The young crowd at my work were not in management positions so I wasn't allowed to socialize with them outside of work. I actually got in trouble for it when my mentor at the hotel found out that I went to a party with them. Every Corporate Management Trainees (CMT) is considered a manager. And unfortunately, most of the people my age are not managers. I had a few who were but they hated me because I was a goody tissue. That is another story in itself. I was a goody tissue at work and that's not a good quality to have if you want to make friends at work with the younger people. I've changed a lot after that, of course. 

After almost 6 months of training, I gave my HR director my 2 week notice. He was shocked. I was really well liked by upper management and I've always expressed a positive and happy attitude at work. I've excelled and impressed the General Manager and was the favorite CMT by many. The problem is, outside of work, I didn't have much of a social life. I missed my friends and I missed my beach. 

As I'm reflecting all of this 7 years later, I can honestly say that I regret not sticking it out a lot longer. I should have shoved my social life aside and toughen up. I could've gone really far in the hotel business. Life works in weird ways though. You give up something and then you discover something else. For instance, if I had not moved back to San Diego, I would not have met my loving husband and gave birth to an adorable son. 

For all you CMTs or potential CMTs out there, my biggest advice to you is stick it out. I know the tough part is adjusting to your environment, especially if you took the option of moving out of the state. Give yourself at least a year. You're going to hate it sometimes but you really don't want to make a rash decision like I did. Then, if after a year and things don't get better, then figure out plan b. 

Happy graduation everyone and congratulations on your next chapter!