Friday, November 12, 2010

The End of a Long Journey

... And the beginning of a new one.

I am writing this from LAX as I wait for my flight to San Francisco. Chances are I will continue this on my flight (yay for free wi-fi) and then continue some more from San Francisco. There is a lot to say, and I’m hoping to make up for the silence of the past couple of months. I board this flight today with some small degree of trepidation but also with a fair amount adrenaline rush that can only come at the beginning of a new adventure. I’ve lost of how many flights I’ve boarded in the last six months but I can tell you that this is the sixth city I will be heading to in as many months and hopefully I’ll stay here for a while. As I checked in my mammoth suitcase at the curbside check in a while ago I thought to myself that I’d feel very suicidal if I had to lug it through another airport any time soon! Thankfully it is the end of a long journey that began at Charlottesville and took me to multiple places and people… but it is over finally.

From having zero job-offers to finally getting something I was so passionate about (but didn't realize until epiphany struck), life has changed indeed! In my obsessive search for the perfect job over the past two years (and anyone who has been through the process will tell you it’s a two year process), I have discovered much about myself and not all of it has been flattering. But all of it helped me narrow and broaden my search as the situation demanded. That discovery helped shape my final decision and the subsequent move from the east coast to the w(best!

It is normal to be job-search-obsessed in business school. I thought it was just my class reacting to the havoc the economy wrecked on us. But as it turns out, it is an affliction of every bschool student no matter what the economic climate is. And dutifully job-search obsessed though I was, I will openly admit that it was not without a large dose of self-doubt and the road was not always clean and clear. I will also admit that my ultimate success was not so much hard work as it was just sheer luck. And that is what makes the “success” so hard to celebrate. There are others in my class – some close friends too – that still haven’t found their offers and I know that the difference between them and me today is just dumb luck, a fortnight and nothing more.

I was discussing with a classmate today about our respective job searches and while he has found success too, we both had to acknowledge that we owed our success and sanity to our network of personal and professional contacts. Our alumni base had been very generous to us during our search process, even if just with advice and words of encouragement. Our classmates at Darden have been great with all the support, the couch to crash on or even just over the phone with all the positive cheer.

While my life moving forward is very different from the way I had envisioned it during the summer of 2008, I am pleasantly surprised and very thankful for the way it did turn out. Don’t punch me in the face, but sometimes you just have to trust the process!


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