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How to Handle a Career like a Gladiator

Shonda Rhimes’s television series, Scandal, has taken the world by storm. One of the show’s most influential characters, Olivia Pope, empowers women and sets the bar on the proper way to handle whatever life throws at you. Alongside Olivia is her team of “Gladiators” that help her take down each new case with their brilliance and expertise. Olivia Pope is the perfect mixture of power, vulnerability, elegance, and grit. Aside from Scandal’s dose of drama on Thursday evenings, it demonstrates vital lessons applicable to any career path.

  1. Dress to Impressscandal1

Olivia Pope never has a dull moment with wardrobe choices. She is notorious for cape coats and blazers in neutral shades that can complement any individual. As optimistic as one can be, this is not realistic for a typical college undergraduate with insufficient funds.

My advice would be to invest in a couple pairs of dress pants and a few nice blazers. Look polished and professional. Looking the part will give you an edge!

  1. Be confident

Along with the perfect outfit, Olivia never leaves the house without confidence. When she walks into a room, she instantly takes command. Side note: perfect your walk and overall stance- it can be powerful. You have to be exude confidence… especially when the President is depending on you.

Olivia’s confidence derives from her passion for fighting justice. Her colleagues respect her because her passion is undeniable. Before entering the workforce, make sure that you’re going into a field that you’re passionate about because it will reflect on your character.12

  1. Handle your problems

Don’t invest your time and energy into one option. When faced with a new case, Olivia has countless plans to fix them. When one doesn’t work out, her and her team devise a new plan to work around it. Especially when on the job search, weigh out the advantages and disadvantages of each prospective job. When a scenario doesn’t go your way, don’t dwell on it; learn from it and move on. Lastly, if you can’t handle them, do some stress relieving activities like running or swimming!


  1. Be vulnerable

Olivia Pope may be the ultimate 1234gladiator but she is not immune to vulnerability. One of my favorite qualities about her character is seeing her perfecting everyone’s life and then seeing her admit she can’t do it all. It is difficult for anyone to have their lives in check at all times. Remember you don’t have to be perfect; you can realize your weaknesses or admit some things can’t be fixed. Vulnerability creates humility and is a breath of fresh air in such a competitive field.

  1. Wear a white hat

Throughout the seasons, Olivia brings up the term “white hat” referring to doing good and striving to achieve justice. She leaves you with the constant lesson: be admirable. Choose your actions carefully and be proud of them. If you wear a white hat, you are destined to be a leader and a role model.



Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetShannen Keene is a junior from Ellettsville, IN pursuing a degree in Community Health. Bloomington has taught her the value of diversity, culture, and good food. After graduation, she hopes to work for a nonprofit organization in Nashville, TN. Until then, her days will be filled with ice cream and watching Scandal.


Categories: Career Advice

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IUSPH Career Services

Job opportunities for Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington majors are diverse and expanding as the emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle grows around the world. Career Services experts in each of our academic departments will provide one-on-one counseling and career building opportunities throughout your academic career, from choosing the right major to developing a strategy to find a job. They can assist you with:

•career counseling
•job placement
•volunteer opportunities
•resume and cover letter preparation
•interview skills
•graduate school preparation

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