New York, I’m on my way!!!
How it all started:
Those of you who have came across my blog in the past must know of my wonderful boyfriend, Chris! Those of you who haven’t are about to get incredibly emotional as I explain how I owe him the greatest opportunity that was given to me in my twenty-one years of life.
See Chris is a person who I deeply admire; he never fails to inspire me into becoming a great person myself, setting goals and doing my best to achieve them. He has a long history of making good decisions in regards to his academic life and future career. Even the bad decisions he has made led to amazing life lessons he used in order to turn them into good results. I on the other hand, not so much…
It’s not that I ever made bad decisions, that I didn’t study in College, that I didn’t have goals. It’s mostly that I wouldn’t dare to do anything out of my comfort zone. I wouldn’t apply for a study-work job in my college because I was afraid they were going to reject me, I didn’t apply for a study abroad program because I was afraid my parents were gonna say no, and when I finally decided I wanted to go I had too many credits and it was too hard to find any courses, in unis that my college has an affiliation with, that they would be able to transfer back to me. In a nutshell, I was afraid of any possible rejection, and even though I’ve always had good grades I didn’t have a resume that would get me where I wanted to go in life.
Now, my college offers the opportunity to spend a summer taking courses in Stanford University, to exceptional students. A few months after me and Chris had been dating he told me that he was going to apply. I got sad thinking that we would have to spend two months separately but that’s when he got me thinking. What am I really doing besides studying? In the course of 4 months Chris helped me get the learning facilitator job which I currently hold, and convinced me to apply for an internship with Libra. I didn’t want to be all lovey-dovey, so I skipped the part of how much he encouraged me and how I couldn’t have done it without him because that’s something me and him already know.
What is the Libra Group:
The Libra group is a company expanding into a variety of different areas through subsidiaries or funding different organisations, which provides paid internships to promising undergraduate students all over the world. There is a lot of diversity regarding the internships they offer; therefore you can apply no matter what you’re majoring in. There are four stages into the process which include 1) the application, 2) a pre-recorded interview, 3) a Skype interview and 4) a face to face interview. It is a long and stressful process which at the same time taught me professionalism and all kinds of different skills, such as how to prepare and do well at interviews, which is probably something that I’m going to go through a lot in the future.
The application was easy for the most part, besides a series of tricky small essay questions about why I should be selected, plus other questions screening for my innovative thinking, leadership skills and originality. It needed a lot of thought, and I had to attend many seminars. I still remember an informative seminar where we would Skype with a current libra intern and a staff member to address all of our questions. There must have been 200 people in that auditorium and I was thinking to myself,
“ Oh my god, there are so many people in here, they select very few, why would they take me? What are my chances?
Finishing and polishing my application required about a month and after that was over, before I knew it, it was time for interview #1, the prerecorded one. It was so weird and stressful looking at a camera and having to reply to a question while recording my answer instead of having a real person to talk to. I actually froze for 10 seconds in one of my answers, and the more I was thinking about it the more difficult it was becoming to start speaking again. But then I remembered all those years of ballet and my teacher yelling “If you make a mistake while you’re performing just keep dancing and pretend it never happened”.
I was pretty sure that would be the end for me, it took about a month to hear back from them but when I saw the email was starting with “Dear Tess, we would like to congratulate you…” that was all I needed to hear. I did all my research, I put on a power suite and nailed my interview #2, although, I must say, it did not come without complications. You see, they were using a site made specifically for interviews to conduct all the online ones and it required a super strong connection. It was fine with the prerecorded one but in the second one there was live streaming involved from both sides, and we really couldn’t hear each other that well, so the interviewer suggested that she calls me on my cell and we mute the screen so that we hear each other on the phone but still be able to look at each other.
That sounded all fine and nicely planned but the problem was that the reception was so bad and she was speaking fast, I mean she was speaking as a native, and my english are really really good, but you can’t look away at the fact that I’m Greek and under pressure my ability to understand perfect American while on the phone with a bad reception and looking at the camera towards my interviewer was not a piece of cake. My cheek was sweating and my arm was hurting from holding the phone for too long…
I have to say, totally worth it, I got a reply after two weeks informing me that I passed onto interview #3; the last one. What could possibly go wrong right? Besides me freezing in my first interview and the connection problems at the second one. WELL IT DID!!! It was supposed to be a face to face interview since the team that manages the internships was going to come to my college all the way from New York. Are you wondering when? It was the week I had scheduled my trip to Rome! I was so scared of losing the internship that I even offered to cancel my trip but they were kind enough to schedule interview #3 online, so I did it from the airbnb apartment that I was renting in Rome. It was insane !!!
Of course I waited for a month to hear back from them but then on the craziest night, that me and Chris decided to visit my dad and I had two screaming children (my lovely brothers) and a barking dog, I received a phone call from New York telling me that I have been selected for an internship, and for the position that I wanted, IN NEW YORK!
I simply cannot described them. I haven’t even been in America, let along New York. That is the city I have been dreaming of studying, working and living in, since I was 15. I have always told my mom “You know mommy that’s where I’m going to end up” and she was always like “yeah yeah one day”, and now that day is only 6 months away. I made it, after all this long and stressful process they chose me and I’m going to live in New York for 4 entire months. It’s literally a dream come true for me and I have learned a very important lesson. That I shouldn’t be scared of rejection. If it wasn’t for Chris convincing me to apply and try my best I would never have achieved that.
I’m literally ecstatic. I know that, as mentioned before, it’s just another success story, but its MY success story and I’m so proud of it. It’s where dreams are made of and I’m gonna go make mine!