The Art of Accepting Your Rejection Call

Prepwork: Drink a lot of coffee so you can stay up late applying for jobs.
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Step 1: Apply to a lot of great jobs in your dream field with your dream degree that you just earned.

Step 2: Keep your diploma in it’s frame in the box… ready for your first office wall.

Step 3: Know that you might be in a cubicle.

Step 4: The Phone interview
1. Be exactly what they’re looking for.
2. Be yourself. But not too much of it.
3. Play up your enthusiasm for the job:
“I know that this is exactly where I want to be right now.”
Oh…. wait… that’s not playing it up. That’s my life. Yep, I do actually want to live in a “dorm” with 18 year olds, guiding them through the metaphorical $hit storm that is life.
4. Show them that you DO have weaknesses, when they’re actually strengths.
“I work too hard” — Employer: GREAT You’ll fit right in!
“I enjoy long days and minimal sleep” — Employer: We have the perfect position for you!
5. End with amazing questions that they’ve never heard before:
….. Oh, wait… I don’t have any of those…
6. Wait for a call-back.

The Call-Back
Me: “Hello, this is Lindsay.”
Potential Employer: “Hi, Lindsay this is such-and-such university. We’re glad we reached you, are you free to chat?”
Me: (Totally have not been waiting by the phone jumping everytime it rings only to see on CallerID that it’s just my parents asking me to get milk or bread from the store) “Yeah, definitely.”
Potential Employer: “Just wanted to let you know that we’ve offered the job to someone else and they have accepted, so our search process has concluded.”
Me: “Yeah, oh that’s great. I’m so excited for you and your department. We’ll keep in touch. I loved getting to know you all.”
Potential Employer: “Oh you’re so great, Lindsay. You’re going to be awesome where ever you go.”

So, something like this played out for me a few days ago…

My mom woke up this morning and told me that she had a nightmare that I didn’t get a job.

I told her quickly that the nightmare wasn’t just a dream. That actually happened yesterday 😉

Being my ever optimistic self, I know that this is just one speed bump on the way to a beautiful road trip. So, here’s to new beginnings. Again. And many more amazing opportunities to come.

Good luck to all my friends in the midst of job searches.
We ARE amazing and we all are going to be great.

We just have to convince the employers of this small detail 😉

The Job Search (or as I’d like to call it “speed dating”)

I’m two weeks out from the three-day job placement conference and I still feel tired. I speed dated my way through five schools with whom I tried to portray myself as naturally and enthusiastically as possible despite my innate dislike of bragging about myself.

The whirlwind of interviews began with nervousness and ended with confidence. “I like you, do you like me?”  Or rather “I love the work you’re doing, do you see me as a natural fit for your department?” It’s a dating game. 30 minutes of getting to know the person on the other side of the table. Maybe an hour the next day with a new face or two from that same department, all in the name of “Can we get along and make a difference in the lives of students together?” And then I move onto my next date, or rather interview. With another great school. And another hour and a half of getting to know each other. And I say to myself, “Yeah, I can see myself with you, too.” I walk away from the interviews feeling exhilarated and excited for my options.

And yet, the hard part begins: the waiting game.

I feel like this is what it all comes down to.

I applied to grad school. And waited to hear back.
I got accepted to grad school. And waited for it to start.
I turned in papers. And waited for a grade.
I applied to jobs. And now I wait.

What I’ve realized is that so much happens in those times of waiting. I look back and see these milestones of accomplishment (and defeat) and can see the time in between those as a blur of growth, discovery, pain, and happiness.

Applying to grad school was not hard. But focusing on the “here and now” of my last semester of college was. I poured my life back into my friends and my studies and told my parents to wipe the dust from my room at home.

And then I got the phone call.

Being accepted to grad school wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine. I was scared. I questioned my preparedness. I spent my summer doing an internship that affirmed why I was pursuing this degree and what I wanted out of it. And then it made sense again.

I hunched over my computer and my notebooks at night for countless hours and submitted myself to the scrutiny of my professors’ red pens and critical eyes. And I learned about focus. And topics that excite me. And how to work on a deadline. And what I need to de-stress. And then I would get my grades back and learn that it wasn’t about that outcome, but rather the process.

I applied to five beautiful jobs in the Northwest. I wrote individualized cover letter after cover letter, asking myself the whole time if this was really what I wanted. And then I interviewed with those schools. The ease at which I was able to talk about my excitement for working with students raised my confidence with each word I spoke.

I may not speak using an academic lexicon. I may never get an A on a paper. But I will bring passion into what I do. And if that’s not what a school is looking for, then they’re definitely not gonna go for this ball of energy that is me.

As I wait to hear back about ANYthing concerning my future, I am reminded constantly (mostly by friends) to breathe.

Just breathe.

And on that note, I’m going to get back to work. Taking the time to breathe in my experience over the last few weeks via furious tapping at my keyboard has been lovely, but I’ve got parent newsletters to send out and room changes to authorize.

Always waiting, always smiling,

girl in like signature

Beaver Nation

Sifting through my thoughts about the past week is a difficult thing. So I’m hoping writing them out helps me.

I was invited to come interview at Oregon State for their College Student Services Administration graduate school program. The tears I cried over winter break when I realized my Oregon State application would not get there by the deadline are far away. I have my mom to thank for that one: she overnighted my application. Things worked out. Obviously. :]

Last Thursday, less than two months from that anxiety ridden day, I again felt a wave of panic rush over me. It was 3:30, I was just let out of class, and I hadn’t packed anything for my (almost full) week in Oregon. I scrambled to put together 3 professional looking outfits (courtesy of my mother, our White House Black Market trip, and last year’s Target dress pants).

And a friend’s tie.

Classy. I know.

I packed my bags and then realized I needed one of those cool looking leather bound padfolios. It was essential. I could not survive without it. But when I got to the book store I did not want to pay $30. So I bought a plastic one for $10. Score.

I drove the four hours to Corvallis from Tacoma that evening and like clockwork, the gray skies, the mist, the hail, and the torrential downpours ensued.

Fortunately, Oregon State is full of forward thinkers because they hooked us up with these sweet waterproof envelope-like things for our folders with all of our schedules and information about the school in it. That is the one thing about schools in the NorthWest. If you know one climate, you know it all. Like Oregon prepared to protect our folders by giving us waterproof covers, I too prepared for the rain. By not bringing a rain coat.

It made me feel more native. More bad ass.

But I got soaked on the walk back to my host students place.

Which ended most poorly for my shoes.

It was their last hurrah.

OREGON STATE WAS AWESOME. The campus was awesome. Corvallis was awesome. The people were awesome. The applicant pool was awesome. The current cohorts were awesome. What I realized most about the program was that it allows you to be creative. Want an internship? Create it. Need an assistantship? Track it down. Wanna take a hot yoga class but can’t find a good yoga studio in town? Hang shower curtains in your kitchen and buy space heaters. Boom. (Meet Julia, my host for the weekend and current first-year student).

My interviews went well. I interviewed with the Student Conduct department and with a panel of a current student, an alum, and a faculty member. I walked out of both interviews (the first time with a post-interview donut in my hand) feeling good. I had no regrets and couldn’t think of anything that I would have done differently.

At first I was thinking… hmm… this Oregon State experience is going to be good practice for my upcoming trip to UVM’s Higher Education and Student Affairs program interview days. But now, I know it was just an incredible experience in and of itself.

I can see myself in Corvallis and I can see myself in a cohort with the people that I met. Now it’s in Oregon State’s hands.

My fate rests in the hands of beavers.

Dear OSU,

Accept me. I look good in this hat.

Love,

Girl in Like with Corvallis

p.s. OSU has a bowling alley on campus. And they sell bedazzled jeans in their student store. I’m sold.