What “Better with Friends” Really Means to Me

About Me

As a little introduction, my name is Casey Houtz. I graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a focus in the Digital Arts. In the past year, I have graduated college, been married, bought a house, adopted a dog, and started my dream job. I am a Creative Designer at FriendsOffice and I am enjoying every second of it. I'll admit, finding a job wasn't an easy road, though.

What They DO Tell You in School

As an Art major, the only consistent piece of advice my teachers and department alumni gave to me and my graduating class was that we probably wouldn't get a job in our field after graduating. They encouraged us to send out as many applications as we could and to simply keep creating art.

What They DON'T Tell You in School

What no one told me was that I should have prepared myself for the lack of response from potential employers. In my first 6 months after graduation, I received zero responses to my applications. Being fresh out of college with no experience, businesses wouldn't even look at my resume, let alone consider me for a position.

The very first job I was truly excited about was at a children's art museum. The work was completely office based, but it appeared to be a good stepping stone to more exciting things. My parents reached out to their contacts, I filled out the application and sent it back before the due date. I set up a meeting and tour with the director of the museum; I tried everything! I used my contacts to get in touch with the right people and from the moment they answered the phone, I knew I would never be hired. They wanted me to have experience outside of my time on campus doing the same position. They refused to interview me.

I've gone into an interview with the hopes of getting a job for the sake of job, only to find that I wasn't there for an interview. They offered to meet with me as a favor to a friend. The interviewer thought it necessary to use 45 minutes of my morning to tell me how pointless my degree was and to ask over and over again what I thought I was going to do with it. As someone who graduated on-time, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from a well known State school, this felt like rock bottom.

How FriendsOffice Sets Themselves Apart

I am of the understanding that I am lucky to have found a job as quickly as I did, but the amount of gratitude I feel towards FriendsOffice is hard to put into words. My degree is in Digital Arts, not Graphic Design, and I was very upfront about this. Most companies won't look at anyone outside of their job description's education specifications. Not only did FriendsOffice validate the hard work I had put into my portfolio and through my educational experience, but they made me feel like it was worth helping me grow into the role. They explained to me that they loved the skill set I had and would teach me anything else I needed to know for the job.

What FriendsOffice Means to Me

FriendsOffice has done a lot for me since I started in January. They gave me a chance, supported me, encouraged me, and when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and I had to be furloughed, they brought me back as soon as they could. FriendsOffice has come to feel like a second home for me. Everyone is kind, I can do the work that I love, and I know that even on my worst days, someone is looking out for me. FriendsOffice is so much more than a job for me, at this point. The people I work with make coming to work easy and enjoyable, and I will never stop being thankful for that.

Go For It

If there was a lesson to be learned from my post-graduation experience it's don't be afraid to try new things. Sometimes the skills that set you apart from the job you want, are the skills that will actually land you the job. To see our open positions and apply at FriendsOffice, click the link, FriendsOffice Careers. They are always interested in hard-workers and great talent! And, I can attest that things are truly #betteratFriends