ON CONFIDENCE-CAREER-AND WHO YOU CAN BE
Rewriting cause I received 3 messages feeling hopeless about internship search and more importantly the self-search.
My confidence was once shattered when my SAT score was not even 1900 while friends’ were at least 2200 out of 2400. Stella essays and extracurricular activities under their belt also. My tiny American dream with undergrad scholarship seemed blurred every time I retook the damn test. Three times. Very little improvement.
My self-esteem got slabbed once again when I couldn’t get any internships from big companies I applied to in NY and other states. Countless online applications. Many emails to direct people in the company (HR, Team lead, etc.).
Talented Ivy-league friends landed Big4 internships in Boston, Investment Banking ones in Manhattan. Nights scrolling LinkedIn profiles of peers only gave tremendous pressure instead of guidance on where to restart.
Fuck myself I was not that genius. I didn’t network that crazy. I didn’t pitch myself that well for 2 minutes during career fairs.
And you wonder how I landed to where I was: got my 4-year-scholarship and got to work for three different bosses in Manhattan. One of them gave a long detailed recommendation for me on my LinkedIn which I deeply deeply appreciate.
The tip is no big secret:
I got to do what I had to do anyway.
I applied anyway to 11 schools in the US despite my clumsy SAT score along with other stuffs (art portfolio, essays, and recommendation letters).
I kept researching companies’ press releases to find direct emails of staffs to shoot my resume. I kept scrolling up to page 9-10th of online internship websites. The first consulting boutique I interned was somewhat beyond page 4-5th. Deadline was overdue. I found little information on their current-constructing-website. Google found only a short press release about them and their partnership with Havas Worldwide. At the bottom put email of Creative Director. There I was, shooting for the moon again. Until it got forwarded to the HR folks.
I didn’t remember how many emails I sent. I remember I had templates customized for different fields: from insurance to marketing, from banking to administration.
I did ask for a lot of help. Some shook their heads. Some got confused about my background in both Business and Fine Arts. A few edited my resume. One sat down and practiced mock-interview with me.
Despite thorough preparation, I still failed the interview with Goldman Sachs NY. That was the closest I could get with big corporates.
I just called the entire 10-hour-experience (interviewing and waiting onsite) and its result not-a-good-fit. In retrospect, I learned what I pitched wrong to showcase my capability. But I was right being my honest self.
I’m glad I did move on quickly because I now truly know I could never fit into the corporate culture. If I had pitched otherwise, I would have been compromising myself.
THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH TRYING AND FIGURING OUT THAT YOU’RE NOT A MATCH.
You just keep going forward. People have little time to take a break, rushing by with their to-go Dunkin coffee and $1 pizza. There you are in the middle of the avenue. You’re not allowed to stop.
Work hard on stuff that doesn’t yield financial profits but mental strength.
I worked hard on my family politics. I confronted my parents. I wrote them letters. I talked to them. I calmed them down. I even yelled. I manipulated. I hated then I forgave.
Little did I know that such mentality blessed me a fucking long way to deal with many work-life situations.
I’d rather not look at LinkedIn profiles that I don’t know in person. I only study a few of my colleagues’. The stories behind their titles are more helpful. They simply moved to another freaking new industry just because they had no choice. They started what they started because they got no job offers.
THEY JUST SIMPLY KEPT GOING AND EXHAUSTING WHAT THEY COULD DO.
And do not ask how much friends are making. It’d never help boost self-esteem.
Just look straight in the mirror and focus on what you need to work on: yourself.
Gluck for all. Keep struggling beautifully!
Details of each interview question I went through: Job ơi job đâu rồi