The Same Story, Over and Over Again
Well yesterday came the last rejection I could bear. It came from Teach for America after a 3-month process and the final round interview, after being interviewed and rejected at Citi, KKR, Deloitte Consulting, Capital IQ, Lippincott, various hedge funds, boutiques, etc.
For two years as a non-target, I've been trying to be gainfully employed to start my life. I am a 5th year who foolishly decided to take on another major (but not finishing it anyway) in 2008 to be more employable, and then having the well wishing that 2009 would be "better." Over 800+ applications, hundreds of hours spent writing cover letters, and dozens of interviews gotten from pure dumb luck and persistence, I'm back where I started.
It was always a great feeling walking the extra miles and getting interviews at target schools like MIT, BC, and Harvard--but rejected mid-process or early on, anyway. Spending my savings on 10 hour bus rides to NYC, and being rejected, rejected, and rejected. It was and is the same damn story.
Now, this "underdog" story is getting old. My own mother stopped believing in me, told me to give up, move home, and get a job at CVS. She said no one cared about how hard a person tried, only the result counted. I obviously regard what she says as nonsense, but the last recruiting season ended last November, and there is a growing gap between my last "brand" internship at a large asset manager (think BlackRock) in 2007. Her prediction is becoming true. I know there are thousands like me, so I doubt a plea to listed alumni would have someone go to bat for a stranger.
A mixture of poor decisions, not knowing how to network during my sophomore and junior years (stupid, stupid, stupid), and false optimism has brought me this point: willing to do pretty much anything to pay the bills.
There's one more round of recruiting this February, and I know that there are still boutiques, small businesses, etc. that do off-cycle--but I have a feeling how I handle this job situation, this year, will have irreversible consequences on my own dreams and aspirations: going to business school, doing great work I have interest in, and breaking this state school stigma once and for all.
I wanted to know if any of you WSO frequenters had tips to change my strategy. I've been trying to study for the GRE and GMAT, but this feeling of being worthless and the need to be employed has consumed my life. Without decent work experience, I can't go to business school. With my current degree from a state, employers have the cream of the crop pick. Pretty soon I'll be an "experienced hire" with no experience and a widening gap. Supposedly a May 2009 graduate, my diploma arrives as a Feb. 2010 graduate--and I can't extend this much further.
I have a high school network which I was thinking of asking for help (historical state magnet), and people I've met at conferences and career fairs. But I don't want to seem desperate.
I wanted to know how to tell this story that I just typed in a way that doesn't ask for pity, only for discovery and a chance.
Thanks guys, I appreciate it!