One of the beautiful things about being a grad student at SCAD is that you get to do cool stuff like oh I don’t know – interview with NASA! Yes, they came to my school. It was exciting to people across all majors. There were murmurs about it in class as everyone settled in. They were doing interviews too, that was the huge deal. Interviewing for internships and doing a presentation.
See the way it worked was that any student could submit their resume and either the people coming or the school would pick who got to go. It would usually be about 10 top picks and then if they didn't respond soon enough to schedule a time they would move to someone else on their waiting list. So I got it. I don’t understand how (self-deprecation, how unoriginal right) but I was chosen in that first little round. And I obsessed over which time was the perfect time. My hands were shaking as I did a Google search on if going first in the middle or last was best. What would leave me as being the most memorable? I perfected everything I could think of about my writing portfolio. I ran to my schools' library, and LinkedIn stalked the guy I would be meeting with.
Then I went to class, and instead of just quiet murmurs, a girl said to the class, “I meant to apply to that. The interviews are already today.” And I was like wow this girl is great at writing. She is so smart and on top of things that I bet she would have got it if she had applied. There I go again with the self-deprecation, right? There were two things it led me to realize: that day I realized that trying is tremendous a big part of the battle. There were probably hundreds of students who ignored the email or didn’t bother or any number of things that led them not to apply. By not attempting in the first place you’ve already screwed yourself out of the opportunity.
What I learned later was that I too was just as good. Everyone was as good as the next person, just all in different ways. I always thought to be a great writer you had to be a literary one. This was and will probably never be the case for me. However, I do fancy myself to be pretty great with content. The first line of this blog post had personality in it. If it didn’t, you probably wouldn’t still be reading.
All of these things came into play when I finally was called in to do my interview. I wondered why he chose me, especially when he said that he wasn’t there looking for writers. Yeah, all of that worrying and preparation and he didn’t even want someone with my particular set of skills. I thought at the moment the feeling of devastation was creeping up on me, but it didn’t. I just kept trying even harder to sell myself. He gave me his card and said he’d put me in touch with someone in that department, which never happened.
The thing was that I tried and when it wasn’t going in my favor, I kept pushing. I didn’t roll over and fake a dramatic dagger-in-the-chest- death scene. I kept showing why I was still amazing and why he should still be interested in me. I was always ahead of the alternate universe version of myself that didn’t try. Why? Because the next time the opportunity came around I could reference the fact that I’d met with someone there before. I had an advantage in knowing a little more about what they were hoping to see. I learned about things I should study up on for the next go round. I didn’t quit and neither should you.