Being inundated with calls asking for help\tips\insights in a company’s interview process is not what I had envisioned upon myself, at least not exactly 8 months ago. I was hoping for it, but wasn’t expecting it. Well, I don’t fault myself, even an eternal optimist will find himself on the edge of a cliff contemplating a jump after he applies in the UK job market - especially if he doesn’t have an EU passport - and expects a company to reply\interview\hire him sooner than later.
In the August of 2011, I already had applied to 60+ companies, of which some bothered to respond whilst some gave me the feeling of applying in a black hole from which even light could not escape, leave alone an 1MB .pdf file with my name and experience on it. The word disheartening actually is not something that would justify the feeling that time of what I was going through.8 months later, as I sit across the table and see resumes in front of me trying to grab my attention, I cannot help but smile. For all the CV’s and Cover Letters - an entity which puts to shame the phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover‘ – I wrote, I wish I could go back in time and change the way I sold myself.
I understand now that unlike USA or India, the UK market doesn’t understand\respect the value-add of an MBA, let alone that of an MBS MBA. Hence rather than expecting the HR executive – who prefers an undergrad who he can mould – to respect the fact that I gambled my 5 years’ experience for higher education in the UK, I should have better marketed my MBS-MBA experience. The experience, of the MBS-MBA‘ – M&A, the spring project, NFP, IB – is unmatchable when compared to any other 1-1.5 year MBA across Europe. Being in the top 3, which MBS should be, is important but definitely not gospel.
I also wish I had taken the meaning of the word ‘fit’ literally. Now ‘un’fit can also be because you are not the right sex\age\race but more often than not it is because the experience and education I tried to sell in my CV and Cover Letter is not what the company is looking for in that role. I cannot emphasise the point any further that it is not your fault, so don’t punish yourself and walk back from that cliff.
I never doubted my talent, well at least not during the FT job search; my internship job search did give huge jolts to my confidence. But it did teach me that all I need to do is persevere and be uncompromising about my dream job. In retrospect, I am happy that I did not give up and kept on applying to the companies where I wanted to work and to roles which allowed me to change my previous function experience. I got three offers within a span of a month and suddenly my Visa status, my previous IT experience, my gender or my nationality did not matter.
One fine day, yours won’t matter either and then - as Steve Jobs said - you can connect the dots looking backwards. So dream and persevere and never doubt your talent or your MBS-MBA.