Finding a job after graduating from college is always a race against many. With the job market already saturated with many people who all seem better than the other, more talented, more accomplished, getting a job right out of college is something of a dream.
This is perhaps why so many students strive with all that they have to get into those top universities that among many things also promise quick job placement as soon as the student life ends with pretty sizeable packages.
That is what their whole reputation is built on and why students and parents turn the world upside down in order to collect the extremely expensive fees that these universities demand. So it was quite surprising to learn that a student who was graduating from an Ivy League college in the United States of America (USA) was finding it so difficult to get a job.
Vatsal Nahata, a 23-year-old boy was about two months from graduating from the prestigious Yale University, however, had no job prospects. Given that he had come from Delhi, Nahata required a job that would sponsor a work visa for him but was not finding anyone willing to do so.
The COVID pandemic that shook the world along with the Donald Trump administration at the time in the USA all seemed to be working against him.
Ultimately though, he did find a job at the World Bank itself, how exactly did he get there?
How Did He Get A Job At The World Bank?
In a LinkedIn post, Nahata wrote about his whole experience,
“The story of how I got my World Bank job:
[I shudder everytime I recall this]
It was March of 2020 and I was about to graduate from Yale in 2 months.
COVID-19 had just been declared a pandemic and companies were on a spree to fire employees. Every company was preparing for the worst, and it made no sense to hire. A historic recession seemed looming.
Also, Donald Trump was President. I would reach the final rounds of several companies only to be told that they could not sponsor my visa. Trump’s stance on immigration made it very uncertain for companies to navigate and predict US immigration policy. Everybody wanted to play it safe and hire US citizens.
I did not have a job at hand and I was going to graduate in 2 months. And I was a student at “Yale”.
I thought to myself: what was the point of coming to Yale when I can’t even secure a job here. It became harder to sound strong to my parents when they called and asked me how I was doing.
But I was determined that returning to India was not an option, and that my first paycheck would only be in Dollars.
I went all out on networking, and took the risk of completely avoiding job application forms or job portals:
In those 2 months, I sent over 1500 connection requests, wrote 600 cold-emails, got on 80 odd cold-calls with all types of people (I was clocking close to 2 cold-calls per day) and faced the highest number of rejections I’ve ever gone through. I developed thick-skin by necessity. And I was getting nowhere.
You could wake me up at 4 am in the morning and I could smoothly network and sell my skills to the most seasoned American executive, all while knowing that this call is probably going nowhere. Things became so desperate that I would often cold-call people in my dreams.
The Gentle Hum of Anxiety became my most played song on YouTube.
Ultimately, I had knocked on so many doors that my strategy paid off! I ended up with 4 job offers by the first week of May and chose the World Bank. They were willing to sponsor my Visa after my OPT and my manager offered me co-authorship on a Machine Learning paper with the World Bank’s current Director of Research (something unheard of for a 23 year old).
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He further also added what he learnt from this whole experience:
“This whole journey taught me a few things:
1. It showed me the true power of networking, and it became my second nature.
2. It gave me the confidence that I could survive in any situation and figure out my way as an immigrant in the United States
3. My Ivy League degree could only take me so far
4. Times of crisis (COVID-19 and Trump’s immigration policies) were ideal grounds to metamorphose into a more evolved person.
If you’re going through something similar where the world seems to be collapsing on you: carry on – do not go gentle into that good night!
Better days will come if you’re learning from your mistakes and if you knock on enough doors.”
This was how Vatsal Nahata first got a job at the World Bank as co-lead for the World Bank Youth to Youth Community program. Currently he’s working as a research analyst at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Image Credits: Google Images
Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth
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