Friday, January 16, 2009

Chin up

You know what’s coming from the title. And by the end of this post you’re probably going to ask me if I want some cheese (LT39 will get this one).

When I was hanging out at the Root residence on Christmas Eve all I could wish for was that I get the gift of an interview call at a consulting firm. By the time New Year’s Eve rolled in, all I wished for was any firm to call me for an interview. 12 days into the New Year, all I’d received were reject letters, and the year was threatening to turn into one massive nightmare. On day 13 I got my first invite, but going by the number of offers firms are making here, I don’t even know if I should be hopeful. I will admit that others in my school will tell you it’s too early to press the panic button. I will also admit that when I came to business school I really thought I’d put my foot in the door to a great career. I thought my days of worry and of feeling like I was headed nowhere were finally over. Someone in Wall Street obviously had other plans.

I don’t like this feeling of general all pervading gloom that seems to have set up shop in my head. And I hate playing party-pooper with my friends. But these wonderful people who I have the privilege of calling friends, stand by me, calling me up and telling me it’s going to be ok. They’re the most awesome people and I’m thankful to just know them. You all know who you are and I want you to know I’m grateful for your support, especially the one you’ve given me in the last two weeks. Special thanks for all the hugs, chai meetings and to those who would call me on the phone only to hear my outburst of frustration.

Sometimes you just have to look for treasure in the unlikeliest of places. Sometimes good tidings also come when you least expect them. They tell us the way out is to cast a wide net, as wide as you possibly can. I watch some of my batch mates holed up in learning team rooms doing cases while others walk the halls looking sharper than before in crisp suits and I feel a sense of deep disappointment for not being a part of the race. And then I hear of the offers that are coming in – less than 5% of the total interview invite list, and I wonder which of us would be more depressed – the suit clad banker-wannabe or me.

In other news, I’d gone to Seattle on a job trek last week. Standing in Microsoft’s Redmond campus, the techie in me was full of glee, like a kid in a candy store. I felt strangely comfortable and familiar and awe for the organization, its culture and its products, so much that I could actually see myself working there! And there’s a lot to be said about the Darden alum – they all took time off their schedules to spend an informative couple of hours with us. It was the same case with the other firms we visited – everywhere the Darden alum were there to talk to us about school, work, internship search and even networking! We capped off the evening with a student-alumni mixer which was a great opportunity to talk at length with all the alum we’d met in the course of the day. And while I really liked Seattle, I didn’t like how far away it is and how it took me forever to get back home. Like every trip I’ve been on, I met some interesting people on the flights; including another bschooler from Cornell (we exchanged some gloom).

I’m back in the Ville now and yes I’d like some cheese. And I’d love a belated Christmas gift too. Actually just a gift would be nice…

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