With graduation nearing, we know many of our seniors are knee-deep in the job search process. In this blog post, iSchool alumnus Daniel Reichert shares his perspective and feelings on looking for meaningful work – and how he found SUccess.

Stress
The interviewing process is stressful. It’s stressful when you put your applications out, and it gets more stressful as you continue on with the process for any company. If you don’t hear back from a company for some time, the stress goes through the roof.

In my late 20s, I’ve been through the interview process several times – once when I just got out of my Army Reserve training, once after getting back from Afghanistan having also just completed my bachelor’s degree, and finally just recently after completing my master’s from the iSchool.  The stress never gets easier.

Chase Your Dreams
In my recent endeavors, I decided I didn’t want just another job. I wanted a career. After following the suggestions from Career Services, I landed a few interviews with major IT companies throughout the country.  It came down to three, all of which would have an estimated “final decision” time during completely different time frames.  Of the three, there was one that was my dream company. Of course, it was estimated to be the last one in line to decide.

The three companies interviewed me through stages, where two of them went through the process rapidly in a month or so.  One of them flew me across the country for the final interview.  It wasn’t my number one, but it was a good sign. Unfortunately I didn’t get that one. I eventually looked at it as a blessing in disguise to make it easier to go full-speed into my number one pick.

Patience and Follow Up
I graduated in December without any offer. I moved back in with my parents being extremely optimistic that I would get an offer from my top choice.  Time went by with no response, and I started applying to other companies. How could it be that I’d made it so far in this nearly six month long interview process and my rejection came in the form of just being ignored?

I didn’t want to be a nuisance, but at the same time I wanted somewhat of a closure.  I attempted to make contact with everyone I interviewed with at the company.  A week later, I got a phone call from the lead hiring manager who was my main contact.  She apologized to me for the delay in responding and informed me I was well in the running still but there was one more interview to go through.

WOOO!

After going more than one month without any response from the company I put everything into, this was a major relief to know I was still interviewing (strangely enough after half a year of interviewing already). A week later I had the biggest interview of my life. I did the interview via webcam. The interviewer told me I would hear back in about week or so, thus getting my nerves going again (more than ever before).

I didn’t sleep at all during that time.

I did whatever I could to keep my mind off of things. Thankfully this was during Miami Tech Week. There was definitely a fair amount of small community things to attend. While I was walking into the building for the Android meetup and about to silence my phone, I received a phone call. It was the hiring manager and she sounded excited.  She called immediately to offer me the position!

It took nearly half a year from submitting my application to hear the phone call I remember so vividly of being offered the position.  I declined other opportunities and I made major gambles. I lost many nights of sleep.  This was my dream job and I ended up getting it after three separate interviews with three groups of people who had varying levels of credentials.  Did I handle the stresses right? Was it a recommended gamble to take? I can’t say, because it worked out right in the end.  Bottom line: don’t overestimate yourself, but most importantly: don’t shortchange yourself.

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