How to Say No

Earlier this week, I mentioned that I got rejected from an internship I really wanted.

Yesterday, I received this email from David, one of my interviewers:

Hi James,

Wanted to reach out to let you know that you shouldn’t be discouraged in not getting the internship. There were a lot of qualified candidates at the end of the day and some people came through with just a lot more experience. You were the only undergraduate student we interviewed so should be proud of that accomplishment.

Product is tough to break into and FWIW, it took me about 4 years and a ton of networking/learning until I was able to get my first crack.

In general, it’s tough to break into because so many shops are looking for either hyper specific experience or folks that are extremely familiar with what needs to be done. Please feel free to reach out if you ever need advice/have questions.

I’m happy to share on my side teardowns that I’ve done early in my career as well that have helped sharpen my skill over time. PM is a field where you’re constantly learning and growing.

Best of luck in your future and again, reach out if you have any questions.

Best, David

I’ve never received an email like this before. The fact that he took the time to write up this email means a lot to me.

Rejection can be disheartening but I couldn’t help but smile all of yesterday when I got this email. Even though I didn’t get the internship, I learned a lot from this experience, had lots of fun along the way, and have someone new in my corner cheering me on.

That’s a win in my books.

March 26, 2021

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