Who Gave Me My First Opportunity

At the Golden Globes, Ke Huy Quan, one of the stars of Everything Everywhere All at Once, expressed gratitude in an acceptance speech thanking those who gave him his first opportunity. He thanked Steven Spielberg for casting him in the role of Short Round, in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. It got me thinking about who gave me my first opportunity.

I remember back in my first year of college. It was time to apply for internships. The first internship is notoriously the most difficult to land. I applied for over 100+ jobs and I didn’t hear anything back.

With less than one month to go before exams, I receive an email titled, You’ve Been Selected for an Interview!” I had only two days to prepare but I didn’t want to squander this opportunity. The next two days I spent all my waking hours preparing: researching the company, practicing classic interview questions, and brushed up on some relevant skills.

Then interview day came. I put on my best suit and tie and headed to the Tatham Center for my interview. I was nervous but excited. I was sitting in the waiting room and then my name got called. It was showtime.

I was warmly welcomed by Michael and Adeel when I entered the interview room. The interview lasted 30 minutes and covered a variety of typical questions. I felt confident in my answers and hopeful that I have done all that I can to secure the job.

The next day, I checked our job platform, and saw that I didn’t get the offer. I blew the only chance I had. It was almost the end of the semester and I wasn’t sure if I’d get another opportunity. I was losing hope.

I thought I had nothing to lose, so I emailed Michael and Adeel. I thanked them for the opportunity to interview with them and I asked them if they had any feedback for me as I continue the job search. For the next few days, I heard nothing back. Then I received another email, the same company wants to interview me for a different position. I was hyped. The email left an impression after all.

The next day, I hopped on the phone with Andrew. It wasn’t an official interview done through our school so I just took the call in my dorm room. Even though it was a phone call, I dressed up in the same suit and tie I wore in my first interview. I thought that dressing well would give me a confidence boost and I needed all the help I can get.

Andrew mentioned that one of the guys put in a good word for me, and when he mentioned they have this position open, my name was mentioned as a good fit.

After talking with Andrew, I received an email the next day that I got the offer. I remember reading it at my school’s Student Life Center and I was jumping for joy. I just landed my first job.

On the last day of that internship, I remember expressing to my manager how thankful I was that he gave me that opportunity. The last person I expressed gratitude to was Michael. I know it was him that advocated for me. His recommendation was the reason I was able to gain this experience.

April 12, 2023

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