Chrisisms: 20-something Tailyr Negri navigates from college to career

By Chris Wachowiak

Twenty-two years old and recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Tailyr Negri majored in English and recently interned at ESPN as an assistant promotions director. From college to the real world, she holds familiar company with many other young graduates on the hunt for a more-than-minimum-wage job while navigating that transition from college to career.

Tailyr’s first choice for a place to live and work was Madison, Wis., but the number of jobs in her choice fields in public relations and sports media are few and far between.

Minimum-wage jobs were not feasible when factoring the cost of living in Madison, so she decided to move home, where she at least had family whom she could live with and lower her cost of living while seeking out a new job or career.

A lesson she took from college: “Make as many connections as you can, even if it’s in the fields you have no interest in because they all know people whom you might want to know some day.”

The obstacles she sees in finding a job today are that everyone requires e-mails for connection to jobs. And just recently she has hopped on LinkedIn to help get her résumé out there to the world.

Tailyr has recently started to get more aggressive in her job hunt by reaching out to places like PR Etc. for work, even though they had no job postings. As a result of her aggressive effort, Tailyr was able to at least get an interview with PR Etc.’s Rebecca Kopf.

Tailyr is inspired by people who make careers out of something where money is not the main objective. Her advice to her peers is to not settle for something they’ll be miserable at just to gain experience and add to their résumé, but to hold out for something more meaningful and do something that will offer them more happiness.

Twenty-somethings seem to now protest and get involved through social media. As opposed to sit-ins and peace protests in previous generations, today’s 20-somethings change an avatar on their social media to show their politics and beliefs. Many of Tailyr’s friends have recently changed their profile pictures to support same-sex marriage.

Tailyr mainly uses social media today to stay connected with friends. She doesn’t use Facebook, but uses Twitter mainly to learn about opportunities in her preferred field. While working with ESPN, she used Twitter to let people know what promotions and events they were doing as well with creating interactions with their listeners. She now uses LinkedIn to look for job opportunities as well.

For now, Tailyr calls Rockford home as she seeks out a job. She wishes to stay close to home, where family and friends are, but her job will dictate where she lives, she believes. Since she’s been home, she’s found a new love for downtown Rockford through events like Rockford City Market. Tailyr, along with her 20-something friends, have been exposed to downtown by The District Bar and Grill. The District, RBI’s downtown version of their east-side bar, has helped bring young 20-somethings to downtown’s culture and venues.

Chris Wachowiak is owner of Kryptonite Bar, 308 W. State St., No. 110, Rockford. Read his blog at Do you know a 20-something who is doing something unique and should be recognized? E-mail Chris at and tell him who, why and how to contact them.

From the April 10-16, 2013, issue

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