How many of you would believe me if I told you my first real interview was with 7 executives at a round table in FIT? (yeah, completely intimidating) What if I also told you I was the main focal point, the head of the table, and one of the first candidates to be interviewed? (biting your lip already? so was I). Turns out this is a true story, and a great one too (be the judge).
It was a rainy day, I was late and I only had two classes for the day so I decided sweatpants would do (not that kind of judgement haha), a very last-minute outfit decision that turned out to be a very practical one. After my first class, I casually decide to pick up some pamphlets from a table which turn out to be scholarship opportunities. I quickly dismissed it because I had heard that it was really hard to get one if you are an international student. As I turned to leave the classroom something kept pulling me back towards the stack of papers, so I did. Reading through the requisites I realized I met all of them and was very pleased with myself (ya know). While folding the paper to take it home and give it further consideration I glanced at the due date, which was that day at 3:00 PM (no joke, wish I was kidding). A minute went by, then two, then three and I still hadn’t moved. I mean, if I had picked it up that same day it had to mean something (anything really, coincidences strike me as odd) and I could not bear to live with regret.
Running down to the computer lab to write my resume, cover letter, motivational letter and extracurricular activities I felt like I was part of the apprentice (so little time, so much to do). My future depended on the words I wrote but thankfully inspiration and passion were flowing out of me (this girl is on fiiiiire) and took over my body. For the next few hours I was there, but I also was buying CD’s at the bookshop to electronically submit my documents, asking a professor if he could write a recommendation letter on the spot, and buying manila envelopes for the hard copies (hooray for sweatpants, right?). At 2:58 PM I ran into the ITM office with my submission, and Nicole the lovely secretary welcomed me with “Good, you made it right on time.” Granted, I missed my second class, but the experience was just exhilarating.
Sometime later I heard back and I had been chosen as a candidate for 2 of the 3 scholarships I applied to. The follow through consisted of an interview with board members, industry leaders and your Chairperson (as if it wasn’t scary enough). Each person had 15 minutes to be grilled in the “board room” (it really wasn’t that bad, I was just so nervous I got all hot). The first one was for Ralph Lauren at FIT and I was pacing through the hallway so fast I thought they would hear me coming. Long story short, I didn’t get it and it was disappointing. Hours later I was still dissecting every second of the interview to find out what went wrong. Until this day I don’t really know but I remember they wanted to know exactly what I wanted to do with my life and what my future plans were. I had no concrete idea, other than finishing school (because this world is full of opportunities), so I was honest and told them that (was it wise? NO. would I do it again? YES).
Luckily when my second interview came around at the Tommy Hilfiger HQ in NYC, I was more prepared (or so I thought). When I walked into their huge conference room, I decided to enjoy my time and do what I loved best (obvs you know by now it’s talking about myself haha). When the same question came around, I gave them the same answer, yet this time they were as thrilled as I was about an immense ocean of infinite possibilities. As we sat there and discussed almost everything you could imagine, I felt it was more a conversation than an interview and it was when I realized I really love my major. ITM gave me all the confidence I needed to discuss global issues with my interviewers (I was more knowledgeable than I even knew).
Long story short I got it! The feeling you get when someone else sees your passion and believes in you, is unique. I know you have heard it before, but when it’s meant to be, it will be. (Example: I found out later that one of the board members was a breast cancer survivor, and kid you not, the same way something was pulling me towards picking up those papers, something pulled me towards wearing my blazer with the pink ribbon I had received months ago and kept on it. She asked me about it and I went into full detail about how I donated my hair without knowing a single thing about her.) If that’s not enough for you to believe that things will happen when they are supposed to, I’m not really sure what would be.