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Ep.265 "Lessons every International Student should know w/Sammy Hejazi"

Mastering College To Career
Ep.265 "Lessons every International Student should know w/Sammy Hejazi"
35:09
 

The hardest thing you will ever do?

As an international student, I’d say most likely getting a job after graduating, especially if you’re under pressure with your OPT.

The fear of losing the huge investment of studying abroad and not getting a job after graduating is overwhelming.

To help all of you out there, we’re bringing back an episode where we invited Sammy Hejazi, an Associate Director at Wayfair and an International Student Advocate.

Sammy was an international student himself and today he shares his personal journey and advice that he wish he had known when he was looking for a job. We delved into the answers for all these questions:

  • Which mindset should you have?
  • How important is your GPA?
  • How should you be spending your time?
  • Why are you not hearing back from your applications?
  • How do you build a new support network?

And more! Listen to this episode now, share with a friend that might need it too and leave a review.

Need extra help? Schedule a FREE Career Strategy Session with my team of experts TODAY and get closer to landing your dream job.

Let’s connect! 

I want to hear from you, so please do NOT hesitate to reach out to me on LinkedIn.

Transcript:

00:00:00:02 - 00:00:20:20
Speaker 1
Welcome to the How to Get a Job podcast. In this podcast, we help take away that fear of graduating without a job and instead teach you the strategies and skills required to land your dream job. So if you're ready to master your career, land the job of your dreams. Listen for more. All right. Welcome, welcome. Welcome back to this episode of the podcast today I have a special guest.

00:00:20:25 - 00:00:29:15
Speaker 1
I have Sami\my Hejazi. He's an associate director at Wayfair and an international student advocate, and I'm super excited to have him on the podcast. How is it going today Sammy?

00:00:29:15 - 00:00:42:27
Speaker 2
Really good. Daniel I'm excited to be here. I've been looking forward to this for some time. Like I said, I've been following you for a while. It's a good, good opportunity for us to connect and catch up. So thanks for having me.

00:00:43:06 - 00:01:03:24
Speaker 1
No, thank you. You know, what I love about the podcast situation is that, one, we can catch up and get to know each other, but even more importantly, more people can learn from our stories and from our journeys because that that's the key here, right? There's no such thing. Like no one makes anything great by themselves. Like, you know, you do it based on a foundation that someone else has laid.

00:01:03:24 - 00:01:10:13
Speaker 1
And so Sami, you know, we love to just start and kind of say, you know, tell us a little bit about yourself.

00:01:10:13 - 00:01:36:28
Speaker 2
Yeah. So I'm probably in my 16th year in my career, so I'm a little bit older, obviously. I think I graduated with my bachelor's in 2005 from Penn State, where I was an international student. I, you know, I did get a chance to come back to the US a year after graduating undergrad and find a job. I worked at this company in Pennsylvania for about ten years.

00:01:37:14 - 00:02:00:15
Speaker 2
I then said, you know, I'm not I'm not progressing the way I'd like. I was a manager at that point. I've been in the same industry for a while, so I went to do my MBA as a way to pivot. That landed me at Wayfair in Boston. It wasn't really until Wayfair when I started to get into supporting international students, and I think the trigger for me was when I had some interns.

00:02:00:23 - 00:02:20:14
Speaker 2
Wayfair gets a ton of interns from Northeastern University, which is like a giant, you know, has a giant international student population, and they do something called the co-op program, which is a little bit longer than internships. It's about six months. And I had some great students. They did a great honestly, like as far as I'm concerned, a great job.

00:02:20:14 - 00:02:39:15
Speaker 2
Right. But when it came time to looking at whether we would offer them full time afterwards or not, and we get in our little committee and talk about different students. What I found was I was the only one advocating for that. Right? Yeah. Their American peer from the same university, similar across wherever, in the same type of role.

00:02:39:28 - 00:02:59:23
Speaker 2
There were there were a couple of people in that meeting who are senior to them who knew them. We knew their work, you know, hung out with you, had lunch with them, you know, almost even in some cases acted as mentors towards them. I think what happened was the international students, you know, they just put their head down, focused on the work and crushed the work.

00:03:00:12 - 00:03:22:29
Speaker 2
And it sort of hit me. I'm like, holy shit. I was I was just like that. I remember not wanting to succeed via working with others because I was so accustomed to doing it by myself and getting good grades. And and so, huh that’s super interesting. So like at Wayfair, I sort of get the sense that, no, I can come back and give back to international students.

00:03:22:29 - 00:03:44:03
Speaker 2
So I partnered with Northeastern. I started do sessions on how to succeed in your internship, and it sort of like just ballooned into like a completely different path. But yeah, I would say like it wasn't, you know, it took me, it took me 12 years to really realize like what makes international students to stand out versus versus an American student.

00:03:44:14 - 00:04:10:15
Speaker 1
Yeah. You know, it's really interesting is that I had a kind of similar, some overlapping journey in understanding that, hey, like international students definitely need more advocates and need more support system. And, and how quickly can I explain it here in this episode? Because I've done it before, but I started out and been helping people get jobs about over ten years ago when I was working at PepsiCo.

00:04:10:15 - 00:04:35:14
Speaker 1
And I realized that you have a I worked at PepsiCo. We would go to meetings with like VIPs and directors and they're like, hey, like we're struggling to find 20 qualified candidates for a management training program. And I'm like, how does that how does that possible how how does an organization struggling to find talent? Yet they recruited over eight schools and there's at least 10,000 people that graduated from the schools every year that that matched the requirements.

00:04:35:14 - 00:05:06:15
Speaker 1
Right. Like on paper, what is the disconnect? So I started just being a career coach and helping like kind of bridge that gap, like helping job seekers communicate the values that the companies are looking for because they get lost in the mass application, which so many people apply. But when I started working, I started realizing that the more and more people that needed the most help were actually international students and in particularly international STEM students that had I would even argue and even debate this generally speaking.

00:05:06:15 - 00:05:31:15
Speaker 1
Right, better technical skills than their American peers, but their soft skills or their way to communicate the value or networking. Right. That was where they felt short. And part of that was one, they don't have a network established. Right. Their whole families and support system are back home other than this other international students that they seem to group together when they're within the university.

00:05:31:22 - 00:06:05:21
Speaker 1
They don't have cousins and uncles, mom or dad, neighbor that works at the companies to open the door for an interview. Right. And and then the second thing is they’re so focused on that doing the job and building the skill sets that they don't build the soft skills that are required. Right. And that became the major gap that I am trying to solve now is to say, look, odds are international student like odds are you have the skill set, but what you don't have is the visibility.

00:06:05:21 - 00:06:24:17
Speaker 1
And because the Internet has made it so easy for all of us to apply online and and now when I speak to international students, I literally think that on average it's at least 200 plus applications because the Internet has made it easy to apply, which then, on the other hand, has made it very hard to get notice. Right?

00:06:24:17 - 00:07:02:13
Speaker 1
So there's like the pros and cons of online applications, and that made it really tough, especially as an international student and companies, not every company sponsors or there's filter questions like, you know, will you now or in the future require sponsorship. And so networking has to be part of the strategy as an international student, the quality of your application has to be. I am willing to bet my life on this statement that as an international student, visibility becomes more important than ability when it comes to landing your first job. Once you're inside a company, I truly believe that you can still network and get ahead, but your work at least will help you, you know,

00:07:02:15 - 00:07:05:22
Speaker 1
maintain that. Well, what are your thoughts on everything? I just share.

00:07:06:10 - 00:07:34:20
Speaker 2
Yeah, I mean, I agree. And I think it applies to all students. I think in this day and age, you know, because it's easy to apply like visibility is key, I think for international students. It's you know, it starts it starts way back when they're in high school. I think, you know, when you think of countries like India, China, there's a lot of students now from Southeast Asia like actually and you know what their families value, how they benchmark themselves against other students.

00:07:34:20 - 00:08:18:15
Speaker 2
It's all about grades. Right. And and they don't actually know where they're going to go. They could go to Australia, they can go to UK, Europe, US. So we take a lot of extra what’s it called? External exams like AP, O-level, AS, AP like so on, so forth. And so your your schedule at school like the last few years is in absolutely intense when you go to a country like China, when there's a country like China where there's like more wealth, the wealthier students are getting TOEFL teachers, getting people to write their essays like and it's this there's a lot of competition, but it's all based on something that's measurable.

00:08:18:20 - 00:08:38:24
Speaker 2
I can measure TOEFL I can measure my grades with these external exams, I can, etc.. Right. And so then you come to the US and it's like, Huh, I've been conditioned to this is how I've succeeded in the past. How is it any different here? I'm going to put my head down and get these like checkmarks. Like I'm, I get this great GPA, I'm going to work.

00:08:39:08 - 00:08:56:29
Speaker 2
And I think that you're absolutely right. Like I would say, like our mission, Daniel is like, how do we get these students when they first come to shift their mindset to know that energy spent can't be the way that you've done it in the past? Yeah, you made a great point. I think it's because it's easy to apply online.

00:08:56:29 - 00:09:10:17
Speaker 2
It can't be the way you spent your energy in the past. It has to be shifting towards people, shifting towards soft skills, shifting towards building visibility and like, you know, it's not an easy thing to convince students.

00:09:11:05 - 00:09:20:01
Speaker 1
No, it's difficult because also, like the number of applications is a quantifiable way to see that I'm doing a good job. Right.

00:09:20:19 - 00:09:21:28
Speaker 2
I agree 100%. Yeah.

00:09:22:13 - 00:09:52:26
Speaker 1
And that becomes difficult because then you fall into this like I just need to apply more. And here's the thing, right? Like I'm I also don't think that don't apply just network works like I think that there's there's different extremes right and I just don't think that that one extreme of applying to a thousand companies or hey no applying to any companies and just network and let the network offer you a job like as an international student, you can't go this route, right?

00:09:52:26 - 00:10:12:05
Speaker 1
You can't go this route like you have to have a really balanced approach. And because I also understand like hey, you need to apply. You have a time situation like time is not with you after graduation, you have less than 90 days to get a job in order for your OPT right. And so that those are difficult situations to be in.

00:10:12:05 - 00:10:29:10
Speaker 1
Right. But when you're applying to a thousand companies, you lose the quality of the application because you're focused on quantity. And then what happens is that if you do get called into an interview or a job, what are the odds of that job is actually going to be like? We're going to be fulfilling. What are the odds that it actually going to pay well?

00:10:29:10 - 00:10:50:02
Speaker 1
What are the odds that it actually fits what you're looking for? Right. And I understand that at a point like for international students, hey I just need a job. Like I need a job related to my major. I just need to be here. Once I get my H-1B, then I can figure that out and I'm telling you, I think that there is a more balanced approach of focusing on the quality of application.

00:10:50:07 - 00:11:17:21
Speaker 1
Maybe instead of applying to 100 companies a month, I would suggest, hey, ten quality applications a week, right? Quality over quantity and companies that one are hiring. Two are willing to sponsor. Three Match your career priorities. If they match those three things, let's double down or triple down. Quadruple down on those opportunities apply customized resumé cover letter network with 5 to 10 people that work in the company.

00:11:17:29 - 00:11:31:13
Speaker 1
Focus on the visibility. Once your application is in the system, get visibility so that you get to the interview and then when you get to the interview, show your value. I think that's the winning strategy versus a thousand applications a month or no applications at all.

00:11:32:17 - 00:11:51:23
Speaker 2
I, I agree, Daniel. It's like, you know, and then how do we convince the students to do that? You're you're 100% right. I would say, especially even with the larger companies like to your point, I think there is actually some momentum that you build. Like once you get that first call, you actually find yourself getting another call and another call from the same company.

00:11:51:23 - 00:12:17:02
Speaker 2
Even if even if that initial role didn't work out right. And there's a lot of recruiter strategies like how do you play the game with the recruiter once you're you know, they know who you are. They've done the screen, they feel good about you. So yeah, the quality applications absolutely matter. I would also say, and we talked about this, I think at one point in the past when it comes to H-1B, it's like, you're right, they're out of time.

00:12:17:08 - 00:12:44:03
Speaker 2
They want to get the job, you get the H-1B now, if you get a company to file for your H-1B, you enter the lottery, right? And when you enter the lottery, you either get selected or you don't. Now, if you do get selected, you that's a huge milestone to pass because at that point, you can then transfer to any company that you want because the transfer is a lot easier because you don't have to go through that lottery system again.

00:12:44:21 - 00:13:03:07
Speaker 2
And so you become a lot more marketable. So and I agree, like if we if we had all the time and choice in the world, you know, let's try and find the best job ever. But for a lot of international students, like can I get a company that will apply for my H-1B successfully and enter me into the lottery?

00:13:03:07 - 00:13:22:26
Speaker 2
From there, I can pray and hope the universe listens to me. But okay, if I get accept in that lottery, great. I've actually passed that very important milestone and then you can start to be a lot more selective and put your networking and visibility skills that you gained into finding like a job that really fits your needs.

00:13:23:12 - 00:13:41:14
Speaker 1
Yeah, I would tell you, like, the first job out of college is probably the most difficult one to get. After that, you're going to actually, especially in the technical field and you have a couple of years of experience, maybe six months to a year or two years, like you're going to actually it's like the the the leverage for switches.

00:13:41:14 - 00:13:56:13
Speaker 1
If you have your H-1B and you have one year of experience, actually the recruiters will be reaching out to you a lot more than you're going to be reaching out to them. And it kind of changes all that. So it's just it's just how do we get that beginning, right? How do we get our first foot in the door with a company?

00:13:56:13 - 00:13:58:22
Speaker 2
That's great. That's yeah, totally.

00:13:59:11 - 00:14:11:04
Speaker 1
Yeah. You know, looking back like what what are what are some advice like main things that you wish you knew that if somebody that's maybe graduating soon or by December should know about.

00:14:14:12 - 00:14:43:27
Speaker 2
For those graduating soon, I mean, I, I would, I would much rather give advice for people who are graduating a year or like a year and a half later because it's so much easier to do. There's a ton you could do at that point and we could talk about that more. But for those graduating soon, you know, really consider your time spent and the value of it, whether you're putting it toward school or towards looking for a job.

00:14:44:01 - 00:15:07:00
Speaker 2
I have a lot of students who are graduating in three months that I’m mentoring to help find a job, and they're constantly busy with schoolwork. And it's amazing to me, like you're literally about to graduate right? Like, what is the progress that you're making to your point, applying to ten having ten quality applications a week? Right. Have you had good conversations?

00:15:07:00 - 00:15:27:17
Speaker 2
Are you following up? Are you doing your mock interviews, your case interviews? Like and if you're if you're if you're not spending a decent amount of your time there and again to your point, don't don't have the fallacy of applying to 100 jobs low quality as a checkmark like you're doing a good job that doesn't mean that you're doing a good job.

00:15:27:17 - 00:15:46:02
Speaker 2
We're talking about ten quality applications a week. Like if you're not doing that at a minimum and you're like three months from graduating, it's, it's going to be really hard for you to secure something if you have a lot of time Daniel, Like, like the students who just arrive, one of the best things you could do is get an on campus job.

00:15:47:15 - 00:15:51:14
Speaker 2
Yeah, I think I think it's called the F-1 visa that allows you to do that, right?

00:15:52:21 - 00:15:55:00
Speaker 1
Yeah. You can get through campus and then you're.

00:15:55:00 - 00:15:55:29
Speaker 2
Through campus right.

00:15:56:00 - 00:15:58:11
Speaker 1
After you've done two semesters or eight months.

00:15:58:24 - 00:16:29:23
Speaker 2
That's right. And I am a big advocate of on campus jobs, especially if you're struggling with your English. I think it's amazing how quickly your English improves when you work versus you try and go study it, right? So campus job is an easier solution to do that. The internship is huge. Like you want to spend a lot of time like going after internships and networking to do that because it is your, you know, your, your long interview for a full time job at a company and like so yeah, there's, there's a lot more you could do if you buy yourself time.

00:16:30:17 - 00:16:52:24
Speaker 1
All right. As a major, thank you for listening to my podcast. I've just let our career coaches know to open up their calendar for limited time, only limited spaces, only to our loyal podcast listeners. So if you are currently a STEM student looking for a job in the next 90 days or graduate in the next year, you want our help, schedule a call with our team for free for a free strategy session.

00:16:52:24 - 00:17:18:19
Speaker 1
Limited time. Only link in the show notes. See you there. Yeah. I want to kind of talk about what you were mentioning about if you don't have time and how I've noticed the same thing that it's all there's our international students so engraved on the GPA. Right. And just focus on schoolwork and and during their last semester I have a 3.9 GPA and it's like, hey, I need to finish with all A's.

00:17:18:19 - 00:17:40:15
Speaker 1
And I'm like, Look, I understand school is important, right? I don't need you to fail because then you're here for another semester. But your GPA is like a credit score and there's diminishing returns. At a certain point, if you were to go and said, okay, I need to study 20 hours a week per class, multiply that right by, let's say three classes.

00:17:40:15 - 00:17:56:21
Speaker 1
You have to study 60 hours a week to get all A's, but you have to study 50 hours a week to get B's and then 40 hours a week to get a C. Right. I think you need to look at that because the difference between a 3.62 and 3.8 or 3.9 is virtually none to a hiring manager.

00:17:57:03 - 00:18:19:09
Speaker 1
And so at that point, you need to say, okay, what is the like? There's this law of diminishing demand. At what point do I settle with a B, even though I know it's going to be hard because your whole life, probably 15, 20 years of your education has been get the best grade, get the best grade, got to get the best grade to say, I'm going to sacrifice my grades here to build, to have time to apply for jobs properly.

00:18:19:25 - 00:18:45:09
Speaker 1
Because if you think that you're going to graduate this may and then have 90 days is plenty of time for you to get a job I promise you it is a very stressful situation that I don't wish upon my worst enemy. Right, because it's not even about how long it takes you to find a job. Most of the time that you’re job searching is out of your control, aside from the fact that you put that application in, whether you get interviewed or not is out of your control, right?

00:18:45:09 - 00:19:00:18
Speaker 1
It's the recruiters. How long the interview process is is out of your control. How long it takes for them to make a decision is out of their control, how long it takes for them to run background checks that is out of your control. All of those things add up time to count towards your 90 days, so you need to be looking for a job.

00:19:00:18 - 00:19:02:23
Speaker 2
Ideally good points or good points.

00:19:03:00 - 00:19:11:12
Speaker 1
Two semesters ahead if not earlier. And if this is your last semester, you need to make some decisions now that are probably against what you're used to.

00:19:12:26 - 00:19:36:00
Speaker 2
Yeah, I, I agree, Dan And then the other part is like, do you do it alone or you do you do it with someone, right? And what are the trade offs? And that's something I work with students like, you know, one thing you do well and I hope that I do well as well is curate content. There's a ton of content out there.

00:19:36:03 - 00:19:56:09
Speaker 2
So what is the right way to go about the job search? You can go and get it on account. You can go pay someone to write your resume again. Like another huge fallacy, like because international students are coming in thinking, Oh, I'm applying to all these internships and I'm applying to all these jobs and I'm not getting a job.

00:19:56:09 - 00:20:10:01
Speaker 2
And the first, you know, when they contact me or probably contact you, one of the first things on their mind is, I don't think my resume is right. And then it turns out, well, when we talk about well, yeah, you know, there's nothing there but just everyone can make the wrap. Even my resume making can be better. Right?

00:20:10:20 - 00:20:34:20
Speaker 2
But but there are some like the table stakes, like it's got to be one page. You got to show some results. You have to highlight multiple skills, not just your technical, including leadership communication. Okay, great. But like a big reason you're not hearing back is because your applicant number, 400 or 350 or you got a referral from someone that's in a completely different department.

00:20:35:03 - 00:20:54:23
Speaker 2
And so once you're able to connect these dots, that's when you start hearing back. So I just want to point out specifically, like on the resume topic, that's one step in the process. On job searching by yourself. There's a ton of free content on there, and if you have all the time in the world, you will actually learn it and you will practice and you'll do a good job.

00:20:55:07 - 00:21:15:25
Speaker 2
But then if you do, if you are in a pinch and you have three months left, it's extremely important that you get some sort of support network support system through. And it's not about the content. It's about making sure that there's someone to guide you every step of the way so that you're not wasting time. Right. And like, if you can get that for free from your from your career services, fantastic.

00:21:15:25 - 00:21:37:02
Speaker 2
Like that should be your option. If you can't, you should you should seriously consider getting some support if you plan to stay. If it's not important for you to stay, then yeah, go ahead, give it a shot, try it out on your own. But like people, you know, people should consider their options and like seriously consider investing if they're in a time crunch to just maximize their chance.

00:21:37:02 - 00:21:43:09
Speaker 2
And I have a I'll share later a personal story about me doing that myself. That's interesting.

00:21:43:15 - 00:22:03:18
Speaker 1
Yeah. No, I look, I actually agree with you and not even to pitch my services, I generally don't even pitch them on the podcast. But at least, I mean, this is what I've come to the conclusion and this, that same advice you give can just be for any goal, anything that you really trying to achieve. I've come to this conclusion that life is a trade off of time and money, right?

00:22:03:18 - 00:22:25:14
Speaker 1
If I have all the time in the world to figure something out, I can go learn it myself. I can go read books, I can go watch YouTube videos, I can Google it. I can go through the trials and errors and tribulations and gain that experience to personally applying to hundreds, thousands of jobs. Right on the other side of that, I can go get someone and pay a lot of money for them to do 99% of it.

00:22:25:18 - 00:22:45:06
Speaker 1
Right. There's even companies out there that would even apply for you. They'll do everything for you, but it costs you tens of thousands of dollars. Right now. You got to figure out where in this like this line you want from free YouTube videos that is not personalized to you all the way to somebody doing everything for you. Right.

00:22:45:15 - 00:23:07:07
Speaker 1
And in between, there's a resume writer, an interview coach, right? There is online courses that you can buy. That's a little bit more specific to that. Now for me and I'll explain to you how how my my program works is we are paid by performance company. We don't work with everybody. We focus on only working with international STEM students.

00:23:07:24 - 00:23:24:00
Speaker 1
And we work with about 20 students every month to ensure quality. But once we decide that we want to work with you and we have a call with anybody that's interested to do kind of like a discovery call, and we decide, hey, we think we can help you based on the timeline that you have. Is that your career aspirations is realistic, right?

00:23:24:09 - 00:23:40:28
Speaker 1
And based on that, I'm sure that you have basic, basic skill sets that are required for the job. So you're going for it, then we can help you. And the way we do is that transparency is that we charge 5% of first year income. Right. But you only pay that 5% once you get a job and are receiving.

00:23:40:28 - 00:23:59:22
Speaker 1
Right. So we're pay by performance in return of that 5%. We walk you through every single aspect of the job search, right? Number one, we assign you to a coach that works with you on a one on one basis. One number two, we create a personalized strategy so that we can build a strategy based on your timeline, your career goals and your career aspirations.

00:23:59:22 - 00:24:20:11
Speaker 1
Right? We build this strategy and then we focus on your visibility, helping you with your resumé, your LinkedIn profile, helping you networking with identifying who to network with and how to convert those relationships from a stranger to an interview. And then once you get interviews and our average client is going to get 20% of their applications converting to interviews because we focus on quality, not quantity.

00:24:20:11 - 00:24:58:15
Speaker 1
Once we get to interviews, we help you with all areas of interviewing, from research, from behavioral, from panels, from technical interviews, all the way to salary negotiation. And because we're incentivized by the same goal, getting you the best job as possible, that's willing to sponsor your H-1B. And I'll and so I do agree with you that if you're in a time crunch, I think it's worth the investment because you probably odds are either you got you got thousands, tens of thousands of dollars worth of student loans or your parents sacrificed a lot for you to be here and for you not to pay a couple of hundred a couple of thousand dollars and have to

00:24:58:15 - 00:25:07:06
Speaker 1
either go do another degree to stay here or go back to your country just because, you know, you ran out of time. I just don't think is a smart move.

00:25:08:25 - 00:25:33:22
Speaker 2
I mean. Yeah, and like, you know, it's important. Also, like I want to share an example of like walking that in real life and the trade off. And so I was, was like at this point, like seven years ago, whatever, I was 29, 30 years old. I had a I have a son one years old, and both my wife and I worked with the same company.

00:25:34:00 - 00:25:51:29
Speaker 2
We were doing good and I'm like, all of a sudden I wanted this. I never I never wanted to do an MBA. I don't even know how I got that virus or bug. That said, okay, it's time to do an MBA. But it happened, right? And so I started exploring. And because I'm like everywhere through years, like prep, that's a lot of money, a lot of time commitment for someone that late.

00:25:52:12 - 00:26:12:11
Speaker 2
What's the average age in MBA is 25. And so through my research, I'm like, I found this school called INSEAD. It's a French school top rated in Europe. They also have a full time campus in Singapore. I'm like, Wouldn't it be awesome to go spend some time in Southeast Asia with the family? And it was a one year program.

00:26:12:27 - 00:26:32:26
Speaker 2
So I'm like, okay, this is great. I set my sights. I was completely convinced. So I had two things to do. I had the application and GMAT. When I went through the GMAT, I was really, really crappy at sentence correction, right? And so I actually went and I hired someone online to help me with a specific part of the test.

00:26:32:26 - 00:26:56:22
Speaker 2
I may have maybe in total spent $90. Okay. And then I got I got a decent score. It wasn't great. It was a 710 I think. And like, but like you want to get like 740 - 750 to get in. And so then I had to trade off to make do I spend more time on the GMAT to get to my 740 - 750 or do I pivot all my time to doing the application?

00:26:56:22 - 00:27:13:02
Speaker 2
And I thought that's a huge decision to make. I pivoted to do the application and then when I looked at the application, I'm like, You know what if I don't get into INSEAD this year and I turn 30 or 31, I'm probably not going to go do an MBA my whole life. I'm done at that point, I'm too old.

00:27:13:22 - 00:27:35:07
Speaker 2
And so I said, What's the biggest thing holding me back in applications? I'm actually not a good writer. I became a good writer later in life, but I don't think I can write these stories. I'm going to suck on my resume, and so I went and searched for someone who can help me with my application and I ended up choosing someone who was at INSEAD, has been doing it for a long time.

00:27:35:07 - 00:28:00:19
Speaker 2
I think I paid them $4,000. Daniel At the time, $4,000 was a shit ton of money for me. Like it was, it was a lot of money. But the reasoning that I had in my mind is it's literally now or never. And if I if I don't put all my eggs in the basket and take a big swing at this and I don't get in, I'm going to regret it because I'm always in my mind going to say, I could have done a little bit more.

00:28:00:19 - 00:28:22:29
Speaker 2
I could have done a little better. And so the international students like Looking for job. I'm not advocating for you to pay for services as much as decide how important it is to you and think how how you're going to react if you don't get it after the fact and what you might have done differently to get it if it's really, truly a once in a lifetime.

00:28:22:29 - 00:28:44:26
Speaker 2
Because for many students that you'd be surprised at how many students say not you, but like in general, a lot of students go back and do another master's degree. Can you believe it? Because they couldn't get a job like that's $100,000 right there between living like it's crazy what students do to say, Yeah, why wouldn't you double down and get it right if that if it was important to you, if it's not important to you, you're looking forward to going home.

00:28:44:26 - 00:28:53:18
Speaker 2
Absolutely. Like it's not worth it. But make that decision and then, you know, give it give it give it a full swing because it's really going to be a once in a lifetime chance.

00:28:54:02 - 00:29:13:15
Speaker 1
No, I think that's really important. It's like you have to look at the whole picture. Sometimes we are we are so and I make this decision, too. And I have I also hire business coaches. Right. And the bigger my business get, the more expensive my business coaches get because I'm taking my business to the next level. And it's like, oh, my God.

00:29:13:15 - 00:29:18:02
Speaker 1
Like, that's a blast, business coach. I paid over $10,000, right? And I'm like this.

00:29:18:02 - 00:29:20:12
Speaker 2
Personal business coach, like someone to coach, you.

00:29:20:15 - 00:29:22:21
Speaker 1
Know, for like my company, like my company.

00:29:22:21 - 00:29:24:00
Speaker 2
Like you hire them for yourself, for.

00:29:24:00 - 00:29:44:21
Speaker 1
The students. Yeah, it's to help my company grow, like, you know, how to scale the business. And I'm like, man, $10,000 is a lot like I started working with, like, two years ago. And, and I have to think about like it's not what the cost of work of paying that individual is, but it's like, what, what's the cost of not working with them?

00:29:46:06 - 00:30:11:01
Speaker 1
Right. That's, that's, that's the thing that needs to click because when I started working with them, I was only bringing in less than $5,000 of revenue per month. So I'm like giving him two months worth of revenue, but within three months of working together, I quadruple my business. So like, it's like not only did it pay itself off, but like for the rest of my life, I have that knowledge that is just a compound effect of being able to build our business right.

00:30:11:01 - 00:30:41:05
Speaker 1
And so and this is the same thing with career. Like, I think, like, and it's not like I'm advocating for coaching on that, but you have to make sure that is the right coach for you. Right, and that it solves the problem that you particularly have. And I think that it's important to vet them. And I would encourage you to vet whether your resume writer and not just listen to the testimonials I have on their website, but go to those people and go to people that their client and ask them for their personal experience when they're off doing.

00:30:41:05 - 00:30:41:08
Speaker 2
It.

00:30:41:21 - 00:30:56:08
Speaker 1
Right. But I do think that because at this point, if you're have less than three months before graduation, right, you don't have the time. So you have to invest the money, right? Because again, life is a trade off of time and money. If you have time.

00:30:58:01 - 00:31:10:03
Speaker 2
That I love that analogy. The business coach, I also I want to shift it back to you a little bit, if you don't mind. I know that you are you still doing the the the comedy classes like the stand up classes.

00:31:10:26 - 00:31:33:09
Speaker 1
So I did it because I once in a while I like to do things that I'm new at to challenge me. So I did improv in the past. I did comedy this year. I did a triathlon a year, I did a half marathon. So I would change things up to try to learn something and more than anything, to humble myself, to remind myself what it looks like to be new at doing something because it's.

00:31:33:09 - 00:31:34:08
Speaker 2
So important, right?

00:31:34:14 - 00:31:35:13
Speaker 1
Yeah. No, I think.

00:31:35:13 - 00:31:35:28
Speaker 2
That mindset.

00:31:35:29 - 00:31:52:07
Speaker 1
Is crucial because I forget what it feels like to be lost, what it feels like to be intimidated by the process. Because everything else in my life that I've been doing, I've been doing it for a long time. I've been running a business for a long time. I've been coaching about career for a long time. I've been doing podcasting for a long time.

00:31:52:07 - 00:32:09:24
Speaker 1
So when someone says, Hey, how hard is it to do a podcast? Well, I'm like, I've done 270 like, I mean, it's easy, right? Like, but it's not easy. It's easy because I put in the hours. And so I did comedy for that and obviously I've enjoy watching comedy, but it's a fun project.

00:32:09:28 - 00:32:39:18
Speaker 2
I mean, it was to your point, like it was super intimidating. Oh my God, when you go into it, you're like a kid going to school on their first day. But we're not young. We're not, oh, you're young. But like I'm saying, we're not we're not in our early twenties anymore. Like we're like late, late teens. Right. But we still get that same feeling because starting something new is always like it's like it's like, you know, you're on your own display for everyone, whether it's a comedy class or it's like applying for a job.

00:32:39:27 - 00:32:54:18
Speaker 2
And like, I want to be on my best. I want to put my best foot forward, and I'm not going to do that and I am going to screw it up. And I don't like that fact. And you're 100% right Daniel. We even have to do that to ourselves. Every single, you know, periodically to remember what it feels like.

00:32:54:18 - 00:32:57:00
Speaker 2
But it never goes away. I never go.

00:32:57:01 - 00:33:07:24
Speaker 1
There, Sammy. So, look, time flies when you're having fun, man. I can't believe we've kind of gone over 30 minutes already. If people were listening to this podcast want to connect with you, what's the best way?

00:33:09:15 - 00:33:21:08
Speaker 2
Feel free to like we can. We can share my LinkedIn posts. They can they can reach out to me. There would be a message you're trying to connect and I'll obviously try and respond to as many people as possible. But yeah, I really appreciate the time. Daniel.

00:33:21:08 - 00:33:23:12
Speaker 1
Yeah, anything you want to share as we close up?

00:33:24:23 - 00:33:47:25
Speaker 2
That's it. Just like I said, good luck to everyone. You know, consider your options if you're if you're if you have three months in and you want to accelerate your process. I think actually Daniel's program is phenomenal. Like, I've been following it for a while, but in general, like know that you shouldn't be doing this on your own and and, you know, find some sort of support network as an international student.

00:33:47:25 - 00:33:50:09
Speaker 2
And like Daniel and I are here to help.

00:33:50:09 - 00:34:10:21
Speaker 1
Yeah, absolutely. And look at and I'm not saying that my my program is the only one out there. Right. I think it's just important that you do your homework, go to your career services and see what what what do they offer and how does that support you? Even coming from a point that your situation is a little different than their traditional students, but they can still help you with some of the basics, like resume writing and so on.

00:34:10:25 - 00:34:29:24
Speaker 1
I also think it's important to to be proactive and start networking with your peers and your seniors to do things like that. But for all of you interested, if you are less, if you are interested of learning more, I'm going to put it link on the show notes where you can kind of watch. I have a 30 minute webinar.

00:34:29:24 - 00:34:49:29
Speaker 1
I'm particularly focused on the main three mistakes that international students make and encourage you to watch it. And if you have any questions, just reach out to me on LinkedIn or my email and we can go from there. Sammy It's been such a pleasure for everybody else listening catch you guys and well if you're listening to this you have made it to the end of the episode in the time of distraction.

00:34:50:03 - 00:35:06:04
Speaker 1
The fact that you're listening to this means you truly care about your career. And to reward you for that, my team and I will be hosting three 1:1 Strategy Sessions for podcast listeners only. So if you want to get a strategy session to speak with me or someone of my team, look at the link in the show notes to schedule your free call.

00:35:06:05 - 00:35:09:01
Speaker 1
Thank you so much for listening and catch you guys on the next episode.

Episode Produced by: Sofia Rojas

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