Something amazing happened this past week. I got a job! Summer internship, that is. It’s FINALLY MY TURN! Happy dance! And guess what? It’s exactly in the industry, category and function I’d originally targeted back in… September. September 8th, specifically. I’ve been looking for this job for 27 weeks.

Now, if I was the numerical type, I’d quantify it something along the lines of 190 days, hundreds of hours, 50+ networking calls, 30+ job applications, handfuls of rejections, an ever-diminishing hope-o-meter, and some serious searching. They tell us here at Darden to “trust the process” and I have no doubt year after year, the steadfast Career Development Center staff watches as new faces go through the same process cycles. My roommate’s take on the process is “work your tail off if you want a job” and I tend to agree. Overall getting a job is hard, exhausting, frustrating, trying, disappointing, and a lot of thankless work. Darden being Darden, there’s no lack of help on offer here – often, more help than hours to receive help. But the work, I think, can be split into two buckets. There’s the finite tasks, slogging through resume and cover letter drop weeks, the briefings and networking and research and interview prep and interviews and follow up.

And then there’s the challenge of sustaining hope and faith in the face of uncertainty, rejection and doubt. Faith overall is something I’ve worked hard to personally define and cultivate, and I suspect I’ll continue to do so for as long as I breathe. I admire those with strong faith, those who use it as a foundation, shelter and guide. I’d like to be one of those people.

The job search process here taught me a lot – mostly about self-management, and the way I want to navigate through uncertainty, rejection and doubt in life. I want to do so gracefully, with open eyes and an open mind. I’d like to be tenacious, staying positive and upbeat. I’d really just like to put on a superhero-style suit of faith (I’m thinking like the supersuits in The Incredibles) and face the world standing tall with cape aflutter. In the meantime – cheers to my summer internship! And, i have oodles of thank you notes to write to all the wonderful friends, acquaintances, new contacts and perfect strangers who helped along the way. THANK YOU!

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