By Anita Hossain (WG’15)
When I started school last fall, a common question I’d hear was “what did you lie about and say you wanted to do in your essays?”
Reflecting on the past year, I realize that my answer hasn’t actually changed much. What has changed is the clarity I now have on what my perfect job can look like. I wanted to find the nexus between media & entertainment and social impact, but I honestly didn’t really know what that could mean until a million conversations, hours of soul searching, and my summer internship…
Here’s what I learned:
Tell your story. The more that people know about you and what you’re passionate about, the more they can help connect you to the right people. Early last fall, I set up a coffee chat with a professor and told him my story. Without hesitation, he connected me to a film production company with a social impact mission that I have had the privilege to work with during the school year.
Use all of your resources. Chances are, the job that you want is a job that somebody else had in the past, or someone at school knows someone who knows someone. Find them, bake them cookies, and be on your merry way. Hell, I’m having coffee chats with 1Ys. They think I’m giving them advice, but then they quickly realize that they’re helping me. Shhh.
Don’t be afraid to ask. What is the worst that can happen? They may look at you funny and judge you hard, but who cares! I met the Global Head of HR at Viacom during the Media & Entertainment Trek to NY, and asked if I could get an internship within the Corporate Social Responsibility Group. He was surprised and said that MBAs don’t normally want that sort of internship, but he happily introduced me to the Head of the CSR group in New York.
Follow up (just try not to be annoying). I had to gently remind the Viacom team in Miami that I exist and that I would love to work with them. Eventually they realized that they couldn’t get rid of me, so instead they hired me!
Stay true to yourself. Yes, it can be scary when it seems like everyone else has secured a job so early and is back in the party scene. But if you start following the same door that everyone else is lining up behind—which they actually WANT—you’re not going to do well. I didn’t finalize my job offer until the end of April, and no one knew what I did this summer because most people were already gone by then.
I spent the summer in Miami working for Viacom International Media Networks in their Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Affairs group. Specifically, I covered MTV and Nickelodeon Latin America and we partnered with various for-profit and non-profit organizations to create original content and launch social impact initiatives. This summer was the first time that I woke up excited to go to work every day. I never knew what that felt like before, but it was well worth the wait.