As a soon-to-be graduate, my most expected, comprehensible, and natural concern is the job hunting. What do I want to do? How do I present myself to others? AmI too persistent or am I too sloppy?
Even though I understand the presence of these incumbent thoughts, the fear of rejection or not being treated as an equal are right in front of me. In addition to these feelings, normal in a senior college student, the pandemic we’re living doesn’t make things easier. Employement seems scarce and extremely difficult to achieve. And what happens if you don’t secure a job while you are filing for an Optional Practical Training (OPT)? Dunno.
One thing that I’ve noticed while applying to jobs or just talking with journalists and professionals in the fashion industry, is that a restricted number of recruiters are open to discuss with international students or are aware of different kind of Visa documentation. If you’re an international student and you’re reading this, I will tell you this right away: no matter what field you are in or plan to be, the paths you’ll take will always differ from the ones you have been taught at regular academic workshops or networking events. This aspect is comprehensible. But many were the times when I felt frustrated because I had to make three, four times the effort to explain my situation in an elevator pitch, highlighting my interests as a creative and professional. Sometimes I still feel that way, I can’t lie. However, I have taken time to understand my rights, my capabilities, practice my pitches (not just one), and networking skills.
In addition to do my own work, I’ve also learned to listen to others and skimming through the myriad of contacts I’ve collected since the very beginning of college. Now it is time to get my voice out, more than ever, as well as to lean my ears to the most valuable voices. In this post, I would like to share with you three of the best online spaces I have been using lately due to the social distancing the pandemic has forced us to take.
Founded by Sophia Amoruso, Girl Boss is a networking platform targeted to women and girls looking for job opportunities, collective support, and potential employees. As a young brown woman entering the real world, I have found many meaningful contacts so far, which I can’t wait to explore more and more. There are women into communications, cinema, medicine, engineering, science, politics, law, activism, beauty, fashion, design, acting, music, literature, and a lot more. The space is filled mostly with North American women, but I have found also some Italian and Central American people.
LinkedIn is not the best app to spend your leisure time on. It is very academic and it lacks of visual appeal. Nevertheless, what counts on LinkedIn isn’t the aesthetics, but the content and its presentation. On LinkedIn is possible to find established professionals who are wiling to share their experiences more than in any other online spaces. Discipline and etiquette is required on LinkedIn and I think that it’s a good aspect of the app itself, because it keeps you motivated to excel in the conversation, like you would do in a public setting.
I’ve spent a lot of time expressing my feelings on Twitter. I think that it is a great tool to use for journalists and writers. Right now a lot of them are sharing their own ideas on how the industry will change and they seem to be more open to interact with each other. I am so grateful for those profiles I have on my personal timeline. Most of them have replied to me, checked up on me, and answered some of my concerns. If I can, I am more than open to offer my opinion and knowledge around a topic. However, I do recognize the background and age I come from: I tend to listen to those who have more experience, as well as continue sharing my own thoughts, if asked to elaborate them.
Again, I do feel discouraged sometimes because I’m still in that position that I have to reach out to thousands of people in order to get only three or four answers, among which two are rejections or unavailability. I try to not take anything personal, but I recognize and live through the confusion and pain. It’s exhausting. I’m so confident in my message and personality, but as human being I fear not being considered or muted. I do have a voice and I will keep offering my time and knowledge to represent the underrepresented among different communities.
Stay connected while hydratated,
the curly flower