I met with a fellow staff member today who reminded me of a graduate accounting student I worked with a while back. The student did not have a stellar GPA (sub 2.5 from his undergrad) and had lofty goals – saying his target list of employers were in the “Reach” category was an understatement. When on-campus recruiting came in the fall and all his target firms passed him by – he did receive one interview – things looked bleak.
We sat down at the end of the semester prior to finals and after some honest communication, he decided to focus on what he could control. He committed himself to performing on his finals as well as he could, to network as well as he could, to follow up on every lead as well as he could, to prepare for interviews as well as he could…he looked at what he could control and focused on that. He did not worry about if a firm was hiring or not, if the Dow was down 100 points or up, he took care of what he could control.
In early April, after many months of searching and receiving rejections, he proudly announced that he had an offer with one of his target firms, albeit in a different location. I am not sure who was more proud, him or me, because I saw a student who was told it would be impossible to obtain a job at his target firms, and instead of giving up he focused on what he could control.
Thought I would share this story as with bleak hiring outlooks from news agencies it is important to remember what you can control. Focus on this and not what is out of your sphere of influence.