Friday, November 16, 2012

The Search Continues

So while I've got the day off, let me give y'all a brief update on how goes the internship search. Last I left off here, I had interviews on four consecutive days, and I felt good about every one of them. American Express was my top choice, and I felt good about that interview, and one place that I felt like I had a really good shot at, DigitalGlobe, based in Colorado, had some really positive indications for me as well.

After my interviews I told Amy, "I could get all of them or none of them, I really don't know." Interviews don't intimidate me at all, I feel like I represent myself well in person, but it's so hard to know what it is that the other person across from you is feeling.

We were supposed to hear back at the end of that week. Friday came along and no word had come from any company for most of the day, but then at 4:30 I got a phone call from American Express. They said no. That one hurt because I just really didn't know what I could have done differently, and I honestly felt like my interview went well. I happened to be at home, so I told Amy. I was really disappointed, and went for a run right after hearing so I good just get rid of some of that negative energy.

The run was good and Amy and I decided to go out to dinner. We talked ourselves back into the game. We talked about how there are plenty of good companies left, how it's still only October anyway, and there would be plenty of time for something to work out. We were feeling good again, but I still hadn't heard from two of the companies yet, so that naturally led me to checking my phone every few minutes.

As we were eating, we kept up the same rah-rah dialogue. I loved that my wife was still so supportive and optimistic. The only problem was that as she began to launch into another thought about how things would be fine, I checked my phone, got an email from DG and I cut her off mid-thought to say that I had been turned down for that one too.

We didn't talk the rest of the meal. That one really hurt. Doors were closing everywhere. It was just a really rough day. One no is hard to hear, but I could bounce back from that. Hearing several so close together was worse.

And I didn't really understand why. On paper, I stack up at least as well as most of my classmates. In person I'm sure that I come across better than most of them, but things just haven't panned out for me like it has for some others.

I hardly slept that night. I woke up in the middle of the night, started combing through different job listings, company offerings, trying to figure out where my place would be. I took a 45 minute assessment from Gallup. I emailed about a dozen different people.

I emerged the next day and the following week with much more optimism, which is more than I can say for a number of my classmates. I ran into one guy at Wendy's and he had a similar day as I had on that fateful Friday. He said his wife was beginning to freak out. He was contemplating switching tracks in the program to catch the recruiting season for finance. Another guy I talked to later that week was feeling similarly. Every time I tried to speak positively, he kept shooting me down. I finally got to a point where I told him, "well, I guess if Kellogg's doesn't work out, then that will be the end of it, so good luck."

The thing is, I really do believe things will still work out. Not long after I heard all of my no's, I talked to a friend who is a second year in the program. He is a stellar guy, and he didn't get his internship until late in the school year, but still managed to land a great one. He gave me his formula, and I'm sure it will work out. I called some of the recruiters I had interviewed with previously about their thoughts on anything I could improve. I talked to my second year mentor and he told me that he was as surprised as I was that nothing had really panned out yet. The program lead told me the same, and I've since heard that from a few different second years.

Something that really helped me put things in perspective was reading from some conference talks. From Elder Nash's talk, By Faith All Things Are Fulfilled: "The Apostle Peter looked to the Lord one stormy night and walked on water—until he averted his gaze and “saw the wind boisterous [and] was afraid” and then sank into the stormy sea. He could have continued walking if he had not feared! Rather than our focusing upon and fearing the boisterous wind and waves in our lives, the Lord invites us to “look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.”

What kind of faith would I have if after being rejected a few times I simply gave up? I know that I have the same opportunities and talents that anyone else has in my program, so how could I lost my trust so quickly that things wouldn't work out? I've dealt with setbacks many times in my life, so how is this any different than those times? Like Peter, I want to walk, and maybe I can learn from his lesson and stay afloat instead of sinking.

And I also read this from Elder Johnson, which helped also:

Making the covenant to be a disciple of Christ is the beginning of a lifelong process, and the path is not always easy. As we repent of our sins and strive to do what He would have us do and serve our fellowmen as He would serve them, we will inevitably become more like Him. Becoming like Him and being one with Him is the ultimate goal and objective—and essentially the very definition of true discipleship.

If I ever do want to become a true disciple, then what I really need to worry about is how I measure up as a follower. Am I living up to my privileges? Do I think on others before myself? Am I abiding by the commandments? Do I maintain an eye of faith even when things sometimes get discouraging? Those are the things that really matter. Getting an internship is only a detail, but not the essential one.

So that's where things are at. I'm still looking, but I feel like I've made some great in-roads since then. I've made some contacts at Ford, with whom I interview on Monday. I'm going to Adobe today for the main purpose of connecting with some people there. I still have Citi on the horizon, Price-Waterhouse Cooper, and one more ace in the hole that I'm really hoping will work out soon. I applied to Goodyear, and got a good recommendation from one of the second year students.

Things will work out, and I'm still really excited about my prospects. I just thought I'd share some of the process because not everything has been just easy for me, ever, and I think I've gained some valuable insights that maybe could apply somewhere else out there for another person.

A total of 7 no's so far. Looking for some yes's to put in the win column. I'll keep you posted.


Laura said...

So sorry, that is frustrating. Things will work out, I'm sure of it. What area are you looking to get an internship in? I'm not sure I know what your emphasis in MBA is

emily said...

good thoughts, thanks for sharing. sending positive vibes your way!