Updated: Jun 13, 2020
Not quite sure how to transition from University to something that is not work. That is what we are taught right? You are born, you go to school, you go to university and then you work or get married depending on the culture you come from.
We can bash cultures in a separate chapter, this chapter will be about what I did after university got over. But I will have to mention of stuff that happened while I was at university. But the timeline of this chapter will be laid out perfectly so that you are following through. My timeline will be better than American Horror Story Season 7.
So rewind to 2015, when I was a Junior at my university and part of my degree was to complete an internship for a month at any company in the UAE. I could have just asked my dad to forge a letter but I thought this is my time to shine and get a great internship and make some good money. I thought, "I have good grades, I know marketing, I will be great".
Awkward reality check, no company cares about your grades or degree or need to graduate.
I remember all my friends and I were contacting every single company we knew that was hiring to get a job. We called in favors from all the family members, friends, neighbors, just everyone! What really helped several students was a website called www.internsme.com. Hey InternsMe, I have like 5 readers, you wanna pay me for this publicity? ha-ha-ha just kidding - no I'm not please support fellow graduate.
Wow, sorry derailed a bit (but you were warned), okay so I went onto that website and applied to every single company. It took about 2-3 hours to send my cover letter and CV to a bajillion companies. I even applied to Saudi, Bahrain, Kuwait. I was desperate.
So one day I get a call from a company while I was at university. I was stoked to have gotten a call back after putting in effort for 2-3 hours couple nights ago. I heard she was calling from a company called Carly? I just said yes, I did apply. Obviously, I was not going to memorize every single company that I had applied to. I kept wondering what way to take my conversation, I couldn't understand whether it was a car company, Car-Lee? Or a fashion brand for kids called Carly. The only thing coming to mind was iCarly and I thought to myself Miranda Cosgrove could not be hiring me. Anyways, I spoke about my experience in projects.
Piece of advice for those looking for a job, but get asked if they have experience when they very well know that you are either a student looking for an internship or a fresh graduate, hit them up with the experience you gained while doing projects. Regardless of what degree you are studying or have graduated with, doing projects and passing with a C- or above is completing the project so rave about it. These companies don't care whether you got a A+ or a C-, they just care that you know how to do something. Whether it is tallying the balance sheets, conducting focus groups for market research, photoshoots for an advertising campaign or building something for your engineering degree. Talk about how important that project was to you, how you completed it, the challenges you faced, the outcome of it, how it made you feel to accomplish it.
So back to my phone call with a British lady from a company that I thought was Carly. I vaguely spoke about my experience with my projects. She said she would call me back. I didn't think much of it. And then, one Friday morning, I woke up to an email in my inbox with the subject "Interview with Khaadi".
Please hold while I explain to you how I lost my shit.
So I am a Pakistani, and Khaadi is a Pakistani brand. I have been wearing Khaadi for as long as I can remember and to see "Interview with Khaadi" in my inbox, did not make any sense to me. It was a Friday morning, both my parents were asleep and I did not know who to express my shock to. So I sat in my bed, and I wondered for a very long time as to how I got this interview.
I recalled applying for Khaadi. Remember the 2-3 hours I spent sending my CV and Cover Letter to a bajillion companies? One of them was Khaadi. But I was 1000% sure I would never get a call back because I had written "because I am a Pakistani, I think you should hire me" and then copy pasted my CV and Cover Letter. I was baffled to say the least.
I then opened the message. Yes, I spent all that time thinking in bed and analyzing the email without even opening it. So the email said something along the lines of "Dear Sara, I recently spoke to you regarding a position with Khaadi".
What the heck was happening?
When did I speak to Khaadi?
What did I even say?
Who cares because they want to interview me?
I have never been prepared for an interview?
What am I going to say?
^ just a few thoughts that went through my brain as I did not understand what on earth happened.
I replied as quickly as I could confirming the interview date. I got there and there was another lady sitting with her CV in her hand and I thought to myself, "shit, idiot, you forgot you print out a CV!". Yet another thing that I was not taught to do.
"Oh, but it's common sense Sara"
No it's not. Did you know how to clean your poop? You had to be taught how to do that because it is not common sense. I did not know if a CV had to be printed because it was never taught to us to print your CV. What happened to save paper? I emailed it, was that not enough?
Anyways, this girl made me feel intimidated immediately.
Her turn came, she went upstairs and gave her interview and got back down in about 15 minutes. And I thought to myself "oh that was quick, is it meant to be that quick?".
Then my turn came, I went upstairs and gave my interview and got back down in 45 minutes. And again, I thought to myself "oh that was long, did I say too much? Is it meant to be that long?".
ANOTHER THING THAT WE ARE NOT TAUGHT.
Anyways, I felt pretty good, even though I talked way too much. I talked about the different projects I've done in different courses and the exposure I have gained from doing those projects. Comparing the theoretical subjects to the practical projects. They loved it. Or I thought they did.
I then got an email off of them saying "Offer for Placement". Felt pretty great getting that email. I had done my one month business internship to graduate from a company that I always loved.
As I was finishing my internship, I had told my manager that I am definitely coming back once I graduate. I will apply again. And so I did.
A day before graduation, I got an email from Khaadi asking to come in for a discussion on what role I could get. I had to ask if I can come back in a few days as it was rehearsal day on Thursday and Saturday was graduation itself. So they asked to see me on Sunday. I hope you are reading this in a proud voice because I am typing this in a proud voice because 26th September 2016 is when I began working for Khaadi.
It is now October 2018, and I still work for Khaadi and at a pretty good position.
I won't say it has been easy, but it has been the kind of challenge that you want to speak about, because the outcome was always great after each challenge.
I don't want to indulge in how amazing or how shitty work life can be, but I will preach you on things that I learned at work, I learned from friends and think the world should know.
Find something you are passionate about, find something that you know you will enjoy. Whether it is easy or difficult. Find something that you won't get bored with, because trust me, this is not like university. You can't just drop out from the course because you might fail. Find something that you can take ownership of and proudly say "I did this". It will never get easy, but the challenges you face, will always be worth it, given that you find something you like.
Also, don't go into work thinking, wow I was an A+ student with a 3.5 GPA, I will be the best at work. No you will not. I mean, you could. But there is a very high chance that you will not. You will have to go through an induction training and learn about a company that has been in existence for a longer time than you had been getting your 3.5 GPA. Be confident, but don't act smug and full of shit.
Try not to take shit from others. People think that we are millennials and so we will do as anyone says. No we won't. Realistically, we will. But no we shouldn't. We are people too. We have brains too and we have our own job too. Just because we are young, inexperienced and fresh graduates, does not mean that we will do your filing or the extra tasks that you have been assigned to do. Either tell them you have a lot to do already and won't be able to complete it. Or if you decide to do it, because they have been in the company longer so they would know 'better'. Make sure you are doing your own tasks first and informing your manager of everything. I always found it lame to copy your manager into every single email you send. But do it. Let them see how hard you are working. Especially when you are doing other peoples extra tasks. Make sure to let your manager know you are doing something extra that is not even meant to be part of your job description.
I thought I'd have more to say but I'm exhausted - work does that to you.
Welcome to Adulthood.