“Not to jinx it, but…”
With as frequently as I have heard not to count my “eggs” before they hatch, one would think I would have learned by this age not to get too excited before I know that a prospect is a sure thing. In keeping with my naturally obnoxious optimistic nature though, I just can’t help but to bounce around excitedly way before I have a certifiable, set-in-stone reason. Maybe that isn’t wise, per se, but I think I’d rather let myself experience the sort of elation that truly makes me feel alive rather than carefully curate my feelings out of some fear of disappointment.
A week ago, I set about applying for jobs (“real” jobs anyway, as opposed to the coaching and freelance work I do currently) like a madwoman (and a poor one at that). Two days later, I got an email asking to set up a phone screening. Although I was excited about the prospect of working for this company–which has a mission about which I am very passionate–I was not prepared for how awesome an experience it would be simply to interview with them (seriously).
When my recruiter called me Friday morning, she started the interview off on a wonderful note by sharing with me the fact that when she was younger, she loved Vanderbilt so much that she used to cut out photos of campus in the autumn and hang them on her wall. Even though it’s already been four years since I graduated, Vanderbilt made such a huge impact on my life that I always love hearing stories from others who are of a same mind.
What I really did not expect was that two short minutes later, I would make this lovely woman cry right in the middle of my interview. She asked me why I wanted to work for the company, which gave me the opportunity to explain why education and outreach (both related to the job for which I applied) are so very important to me. I spent a good bit of my childhood below the poverty line (though my parents certainly had it harder than did my siblings and I) and it is education that allowed all of us to hope for and make a better life. If there is one thing I would love to do as part of my job, it would be to help make educational opportunities accessible to others, especially women, members of racial minorities, and others who are traditionally disadvantaged in our society.
So basically, if I get this job, I will absolutely be surprising this woman with Vandy gear.
This morning I had the second phone interview, this time with the hiring manager (a senior marketing manager, who would be over me were I to be added to the team). It seems as though my luck held: we hit it off well enough that my interview went 10 minutes over the allotted time and she recommended a book to me that reminded her of my current academia-to-vastly-different-occupation life change (I plan to order that ASAP).
My in-person interview–with the manager and a VP–is this Friday. I know I “shouldn’t” get ahead of myself and be too excited, but it’s hard not to hope that this could be “the one.” The location is great, I like the people I’ve met at the company so far, the pay and benefits look to be exactly what I have been hoping for, I could expand my skill set, and I would be able to find a sense of purpose in work that I believe to be for the greater good. Crossing my fingers and studying to do my best at this interview Friday, but I just can’t help but to think that this could be the opportunity I’ve been waiting for. =)