Weekend Wisdom

Danielle Mills ’12

“Every rejection is just a bump in a long road that leads you to the place you’re meant to be.”
“One of the most valuable lessons I learned at Kent Place was the importance of resilience and confidence. I’ll never forget applying to college and the arrival of the first decision: a deferral from a school I was sure I’d get into. This was my first real defeat and I felt crushed. The Admission staff went out of their way to make sure I didn’t let one, somewhat arbitrary, decision defeat me and reminded me to keep my head high and continue working hard, and good things would come my way.

“Fast-forward to my senior year at Princeton: I was writing my thesis, I had no idea what I wanted to do postgrad, and every friend had already locked in a prestigious job. I found myself returning to the lessons I learned at Kent Place. The confidence and never-give-up spirit I developed there motivated me, and I made it through four years of grueling academic work at Princeton because of that. I learned to focus on my journey and not compare myself to anyone else.

“After college, I moved back home to figure out what I wanted to do. The result was my dream job: a marketing coordinator at ESPN. My time at ESPN was filled with challenges — working in a male-dominant field was naturally unfamiliar. In the comfortable environment of Kent Place, I learned to voice my opinions and be confident in any situation. This helped me assert myself in the workplace and make an impact from day one.

“Eventually, it was time for me to take the next step in my career. I spent nine months applying for jobs, doing countless interviews. With every rejection, I flashed back to that first college decision and reminded myself to keep working hard.

“Every rejection is just a bump in a long road that leads you to the place you’re meant to be. Have confidence in yourself and your abilities. Have patience and believe that hard work will pay off. I know good things will happen. They did for me.”

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Kent Place School is an all-girls K through 12 independent college preparatory day school with a coeducational Preschool, located in Summit, NJ.