Nothing is more frustrating than working hard for extended periods of time and not seeing the results you want. You can work tirelessly for months toward a goal, only to have all your hard work be worth nothing. I think everyone has experienced this in some point in their life, whether it is a personal, physical, academic or relationship goal.
For the past three years, I’ve worked hard in school. As a complete under-achiever in high school, I actually took pride in my work at Kent State. I took on leadership responsibilities, sought out experiences, strengthened skills in areas outside the classroom, and always looked forward to the next step in becoming a professional. In August of 2013, I decided I really wanted to intern at a specific place (I won’t say where), and that I was going to work for the interview. I started creating content that related to the position, networking with professionals in the field, learned as much as I possibly could in the classroom, and asked for help when I needed. In March 2014, with all the work I had put into even having a chance for an interview, I went for it. I advanced to the second rounds, which were on-site. I missed class for the two-day interview, bought a new suit, studied for hours, woke up at 3 a.m. for a flight out, and had the time of my life on the interview day. To keep this as short as possible, I thought everything went great. I patiently waited all weekend for a call, only to receive a generic e-mail to “undisclosed recipients” on Monday morning with a buffer opening sentence to try and make me feel better about the fact I didn’t get the position. Ouch.
It completely broke my heart. I worked for months for a chance at my dream internship to have it all boil down to a computer-generated e-mail that didn’t even have my name on it. It sucked, to be as real as possible. I didn’t have time to be upset though, and started applying more. I applied for internships every single day for weeks. I went on countless interviews, only have to have another candidate be more qualified. I started to lose faith in my skills, abilities and major. I felt defeated and tired. I just wanted to give up.
Then, the most unexpected thing happened. An interview that I thought went terrible actually ended up being what lead to the most amazing opportunity. I interviewed in a department, but didn’t quite fit their requirements. But things always have a way of working out.. they referred me to a different department, which asked me to interview again. I did, and now I am officially interning at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland this summer. On the last day of my junior year, I was offered the full-time internship. It was truly one of those moments.
Every time I was knocked down, I kept reminding myself that there was a reason for it. That something else would come along, or something would happen that would make me think, “that’s why it didn’t work out every other time.” I wasn’t expecting it to be now. I am so humbled and grateful for all the experiences — the work I put in, the interviews I went on, the (multiple) e-mails of rejection, and the people that believe in me and my skills. All of these things have led me to the opportunity I have now, and I couldn’t be more excited for the future.