My first big break was back in freshman year, I managed to cold call the head of investment banking at X bank. Managed to impress him enough to say he would help in pushing my resume for an interview for that year's internship. But never got the internship nor interview for the summers internship program and he kept ignoring my follow up emails. So instead of the doing model and bottles that summer at an investment bank, I made burger and fries at McDonald's.
In my sophomore year, I tried to get an internship again in IB and cold called /email anyone with a pulse but no success and at best was referred to the careers webpage. Frustrated and nothing to lose I took a big gamble and bought a ticket to NYC to follow up with the head of investment banking and meet him in person. I called his assistant and said I traveled a long distance and would appreciate 5 min to follow up with me. Thankfully, she said to come at the end of the day. That 5 min turned into 45 min and he said recruiting is over but he will look into it. (Never brought the fact he ignored my follow-ups last summer). The next day I get an email from HR offering me a summer internship and the rest was history.
Still, always wonder why he ignored my follow up emails in freshman year. But nevertheless, he helped change my life in ways I could never imagine.