On Wednesday night, I faced what I consider to be my biggest personal failure to date. Dramatic- I know. But still, and my roommates can attest, that everything I had ever worked for over the past several years tumbled down before my eyes this past week, and it hit me hard. I was so excited and nervous about the continual interviews that I told almost nobody about them. Just my parents and my best friend.
Long story short, I applied for an internship at a company that makes heads turn. It's a coveted position at a coveted brand that, odds are, almost everyone has in their closet. I told nobody about this internship, my application, or how far I made it through in the process. I ended up making it to the last round of interviews out of thousands (and I mean thousands) of applicants. I was giving this company everything I had. I put so much thought into my interview outfits, my interview answers, my resume, my cover letter, my writing samples, and my overall "package" I was presenting to this company every time we talked.
Of course, as the story goes, I went all the way through interviews and ended up not getting the job. I was devastated and heartbroken to say the least. I've worked so hard for years, even before college, for an opportunity such as this one. I get good grades, I'm involved in several extracurriculars, hold a few on-campus leadership positions, and spearhead several personal projects in addition multitasking two jobs. I am qualified. I know that. I know my worth and it was heartbreaking to see that this company didn't.
That being said, I knew I had two options. I could freak out. Completely swear off the brand for the rest of my life. Hold a grudge. Be angry. Or I could take this as a compliment. Out of thousands I know they at least saw something in me to want to keep the conversation going. I was qualified enough to shine brighter than thousands of other applicants. Although I wasn't offered a position in the end, I know that at least I was good enough to where I was given a chance. Maybe in the end I just didn't say the one thing they wanted to hear. Maybe someone else had a longer list of attributes than I did. Who knows.
So, I didn't get the job. This time.
But now they know my name. Now might not have been my time to spend in the city. Maybe I'm meant to be at this company for the next seventeen years. Maybe it will happen when I have the opportunity to take a full-time position instead of an internship. Who knows. I can promise though that next spring, I will be back. Ready to try again. Ready to show what a year of growth did and why I am the best option for employment.
Like I said, I consider this my biggest personal failure. But nobody is immune to failure. Everybody at some point will face something in their lives where they believe their world is crashing down. They will doubt everything. Their hard work, the long hours, the stress, the tears, the will to do better than the last time. Everything they put in when looked through a lens of failure seems like it wasn't enough. But it was. It just wasn't their time.
No matter what you see on social media or in photos, nobody is perfect or above the feeling of failure. It's how you choose to react to your downfalls that determines how high you rise the next time. Do not let one feeling hold you back from incredible greatness the next time around. Take this opportunity. Learn from this experience. Come back stronger so that the next time around you cannot fail.