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The Unlikely Place Opportunity Knocks

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

…an overlooked email from your professor.

I opened my gmail one evening and noticed an email from a professor. She had forwarded information about an organization looking to help industrious students and entrepreneurs with finding a learning opportunity through an internship. We all know of companies which say - "Yes! We'll help ambitious students!" But we equally know about the feeling of being left hanging.

But this isn't one of the disappointing cases. My professor gave a more than legitimate lead and I said, "Well, Why not."

Thinking back now, I'm not sure if many of my classmates even opened my professor's email, or even bothered to read the subject line - but today, about 6 months later, opening that email was one of the best things that I did.

As an international student, it's always difficult to balance classwork while desiring to get some actual experience. Us international students know all too well the process that prefaces getting OPT or CPT approval, should we desire to gain experience in New York.

For Summer 2018, I just didn’t have the money in February to get my CPT application going, but I really wanted and needed to have some kind of productivity happening this summer. Not knowing how everything would work out, I followed up my professor's lead with an application to the organization.

So, in the midst of 7 courses during the Spring semester, I found the time to look into the opportunity. Fast forward a few weeks later after following up with my professor in class, lo and behold, I received an email expressing an interest to interview me as a possible candidate. I could be interning at one of three fashion companies! It was surreal. A few days later I had jumped on a telephone interview (after which I was waiting in bated breath for a follow-up).

Some days later I again spoke to a voice, foreign to my ear, who I hoped would be the bearer of great news. I was invited to a video interview to speak with two amazing ladies.

Long story short - I got hired for a fantastic Summer internship opportunity at possibly the best e-commerce luxury fashion company ever (MY OPINION). And it started with opening an email from a professor.

Out of the many applications I sent out, and the couple interviews I did, this opportunity was the one that materialized. I cannot emphasize enough the value of seizing every whiff of an opportunity.

TAKE AWAY - Pay attention to what you might think isn't worthwhile. Take professors up on their professional offers, insights, and guidance.

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