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my career exploration story 4

In early November, I tried to summarize all the career stories collected. After sorting all the information, I found that most of the staffs had consulting or HR working experience before landing to their current positions on-campus. This conclusion brought me new ideas about career choice. For example, does it mean that consulting or HR experience is of great importance to do a good job in higher education? If I am not able to get a job in the university directly after graduation, could consulting or HR be a feasible plan B for me? If so, how can I get into this area?

This time, I thought of the informational interview database mentioned by Liz. I checked it out and read a few profiles of professionals who are currently working in HR or consulting field. These profiles contains a great deal of information, including their education background, working experience, and advice for students who would like to enter the same field. After reading the profiles, I was allowed to apply to get contact information of these professionals from the university, if I want to get more detailed information from the person. After deliberate consideration, I chose Dar who used to be a student majoring in Sociology in UT and is now working as an HR Generalist. However, I did not get any response from her through the email address provided by the university. I then sent a couple of more mails to her, but still the same result.

It was not until I happened to read her LinkedIn page did I find out the reason. She changed her job to another company earlier this year, but the university did not know this. Thus, the e-mail address provided by the university was out-of-date. I then tried to invite her as my LinkedIn friend several times, but she did not accept it. I managed to get contact information of other professionals in the same area from the university, but the results were just the same: the e-mail addresses were all out-of-date!

It seemed that my exploration deadlocked in this new field. However, I am a stubborn girl who cannot just stop at that point easily. I decided to return back to Dar and tried to google the address of her new company. However, there are more than five companies with the same name scattered in the GTA, and I did not know which one she is working for. After browsing the company website for three days, I found an interesting pattern of email address. The format for email address used by companies is usually created as "". I checked all the addresses given by the university, and I found that all of them are created in this way. Therefore, I decided to try a seemingly ridiculous way. I changed the company name part of the Dar’s original email address, and sent an introductory letter to her through this “new” mail address. To my surprise, I got the response from Dar two days later! In this way, I finally managed to get in touch with her, and made an appointment to meet her up!

I don’t know if I can call this incident as a happy coincidence or not. I think what I have learned from this experience is that persistence makes good luck. Career exploration is like rowing a boat on an ocean. You are surrounded by nothing but the seawater, and you do not know where you are going and how long it will take to reach an island or continent. It is a confusing and desperate experience. However, if you do not give up and keep rowing, you can gradually know where you are going, and sometimes you may even get surprising rewards along the way. If you do not give up your goal, the whole world will help you to make it!
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