Decades of Advice, In Five Minutes

May 17, 2023

Brendan Ringlever

by Brendan E. Ringlever

Brendan brings a blend of experience that strengthens the firm’s ability to move legislation and develop relationships with all necessary policymakers.

Graduating from college is a big deal.  Congratulations on your achievement!

Since leaving high school, you’ve experienced significant changes and likely had several jobs that you can reflect on.  Most importantly, you’ve probably greatly increased the number of relationships – for which many could help you on the next journey in your life.

Just 40% of the US has a bachelor’s degree and you’re now one of them.  What are some things you should consider now that you hold the diploma?  Much like when a sprinter is handed a baton in a relay race, you need to carry this new achievement and run hard.

The following are a few pieces of advice, broken down by general life advice (thanks to Ted Lasso), interviewing advice (thanks to the MLC team) and a few thoughts I often share with those that I mentor.

Advice courtesy of Ted Lasso:

    • Believe in yourself.
    • Doing the right thing is never the wrong thing.
    • All people are different people.
    • See the good in others.
    • Courage is about being willing to try.
    • Vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness.
    • Tell the truth.
    • Winning is an attitude.
    • Optimists do more.
    • Stay teachable.
    • Be a Goldfish – If you do something wrong do not let it define you. Forget it – like a goldfish – within 10 seconds.
    • Happiness is a choice.

Interview advice:

    • Arrive early.
    • Just be yourself.
    • Smile and act like the person you’d want to hire and spend time with.
    • Exude confidence.
    • Do your homework and really research the people and the company.
    • Take notes and ask questions. Remember, you’re being interviewed, but you are also interviewing them and need your questions answered.  This will also make the interview conversant.
    • Care about the business that you might help lead and the people that work there.
    • Let them know how you’re going to contribute to the organization.

My personal advice:

    • Start fast. Get serious early about working to find a job that is worthy of the college degree you just earned and don’t spend too much time in a role where you’re killing time.  Every career is like a ladder, you often start on the bottom rung. Begin thinking early about how to start swiftly climbing but do it without seeming overly eager.
    • Taking time off to travel is NEVER a waste and I encourage it. Use the time to explore jobs and places that you might have never been aware of or have considered working and living.
    • Be appreciative of those that interview you and consider all offers.   Every job offers different opportunities, and you need to consider which jobs offer the most opportunity for growth – whether that’s within the company or whether it will potentially help open other doors.
    • Be honest with yourself and ask, “What job(s) do I find exciting?”
    • Ask people you trust if they know someone in a field you’re interested in pursuing and try to connect with the people. Dig in to see if they still have passion for what they do.
    • Find a job that puts you with people you enjoy spending time with.
    • Once you make the decision, you’ll know you made the right one if you spend time gloating about it to others.

One last thought.  I have many friends that work for themselves. They had an idea to start or take over a company.  If you have that drive, follow that passion.  This can be a side hustle to start, but it could become your life’s work and it can be very rewarding.

This is a new beginning.  One that takes you on a very incredible path that does have potholes and speed bumps, but it’s the path that will define you.  Follow your heart and enjoy the ride!

Michigan Legislative Consultants is a bipartisan lobbying firm based in Lansing, Michigan. Our team of lobbyists and procurement specialists provide a wide range of services for some of the most respected companies in America. For more on MLC, visit or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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