Job Search: Preparing, Networking, and Building your Brand
As the new year begins and young professionals revisit their job search strategy, our team would like to share some powerful insights from our recent webinar.
The Alariss Global community had the opportunity to hear from three young professionals who have successfully launched global careers. They shared networking and career advice that we hope will help you in your own job search as you navigate the challenges of a tough job market. They also shared things they wish they had known and tips on how to deal with failure when you are still waiting for the right opportunity.
A little bit about our interviewees, they are all from international backgrounds and speak multiple languages.
Josephina Wollak (aka Josie) was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but grew up in Brazil, where she went to school before coming to the U.S for college at the University of Notre Dame. She is currently a Department Administrator at Sotheby’s and has internship experience from various museums in Argentina, Italy, and Brazil.
We also heard from Ferran Sostres, currently working at Goldman Sachs as a Global Market analyst in the London office. He was born in Barcelona but lived in Amsterdam for a while before going back to Spain for university at ESADE, where he studied business.
Lastly, our community had the chance to speak with Christine Gosioco. She was born in Saudi Arabia but moved to the Philippines at a young age before coming to the United States for higher education at Harvard University. She is currently an associate at Bain & Company in the Boston office.
How did you go about brainstorming your internship experience/process, and what advice would you give to people who want to intern abroad?
Josie says, “When thinking about internships, I first considered where in the world I wanted to be depending on my current goals, which ranged from spending time with family, learning a new language, or visiting a new country. After deciding on a location, I would spend some time looking at organizations that were doing work I was interested in.”
Christine says, “It depends on which year I was in. As a freshman, I was trying to find an opportunity that would allow me to do what I loved. As a sophomore, I started thinking about what I wanted to do in the future, which is how I ended working for Harvard Business School in their Turkey Office doing research and writing business cases. I realized that I enjoyed writing about business issues, but I also wanted to be part of solving those issues. As a junior, I recruited for a consulting firm in order to work directly with clients and help organizations find solutions to their problems.”
Ferran says, “My approach was slightly different. Before looking for an internship, I considered opportunities to learn useful skills that I could easily sell to future employers. I spent some time volunteering in Greece for a nonprofit tackling climate change while working remotely for a different organization because I believed I would learn new skills. My advice to students is to find an opportunity that balances between what interests you and what allows you to learn new skills that you can sell to others.”
How did you go about networking in your job search?
Josie says, “I was interested in a nontraditional career path (in the sense that people from the art industry don’t really recruit from colleges) and therefore had to be serious about networking. I reached out to various alumni who were working at places I was interested in until one of them came to give a talk at our school, and I asked if she could meet for a coffee chat. I learned more about her journey and how I could enter this industry myself.”
Christine says, “One thing that you need to know to know is that people want to get to know you. They are also excited to meet you and to share more about their work and the company they work for. Personally, I ended up applying to Bain & Co. because I spoke to someone at a career fair who was so welcoming and genuinely interested in learning about my interests. She also took time to share her experience and explain how Bain & Company would be a good place to start my career. It’s essential to meet people and see if you would like to work with/and alongside them before deciding to work for a company.”
Ferran says, “Generally speaking networking is an opportunity for you to understand what the job is really like, get the feel of the people, using your connections and your friends. It shouldn’t feel awkward if you do it right. If you have resources at your university or as part of an organization, mine them for all you got. Take advantage of your Alumni network and reach out to people with similar interests even when they don’t have an immediate opportunity. Planting the seed and watching it grow can also be very helpful. If it helps, think of it as just trying to meet people and getting to know them! Connect with people to get to know them and try to be as authentic as possible.”
What is something you wish you had known earlier? Please share two examples.
Josie says, “Certain things you have to learn for yourself by experiencing them. I didn’t care about what kind of personalities were in the industry. I followed my passion and learned to deal with different personalities and attitudes because I loved my work.”
“Fake it until you make it doesn’t always work. Ask for help when you need it. Being honest about your development areas is what will help you develop the most.”
Christine says, “You learn by failing! You get a job and see what you love about it — then you decide what your next move is. “
“Everyone has imposter syndrome, and even the people you admire probably still doubt themselves sometimes. If you got the job or the internship, you deserve to be there. The rest is just an opportunity to learn.”
Ferran says, “Remember to rest. The idea that you always have to love your first job is absurd. Sometimes you just have to explore and do the job that helps you learn the most, even though it’s not the job you love.”
“Nothing is as cool as you expect — remember to value a company where you feel comfortable with the people, where you can have a good social life, and be able to exercise.”
What is your advice on dealing with failure during the job search?
Josie says, “One thing I can think of is remembering to ask for feedback after every interview to understand how you can do better next time. Even when you don’t get the job, and especially when you don’t, feedback can help you prepare for your next opportunity.”
Christine says, “Remember to be confident when you are interviewing. Don’t doubt yourself because you don’t think you know everything about the job. Companies know that you don’t know everything, and they are prepared to train you. If things don’t go well, always remember that things happen for a reason. You will get a job or an internship that aligns with your goals eventually.”
Ferran says, “Take each rejection as an opportunity to learn and improve yourself. It is essential to create your personal brand to convey to your recruiter or hiring manager why you are the best candidate for the job.
Some questions to ask yourself as you revise your resume and create your own story.
– What did you learn in the job, project, etc.?
– How would the key experiences transfer to this company?
– What are some transferable skills or key takeaways that will help you in your new role?”
We are grateful to Josie, Ferran, and Christine for taking the time to share their advice and journeys with us.
We hope their stories will inspire you to think global as you decide the next big step in your own career path. Here at Alariss, we believe that geography should not be a limiting factor. Instead, it should be an opportunity to broaden your horizons and increase your options as you begin a new career. If you are interested in an international job or internship, read our other blog post. If you want to know more about remote opportunities to work for companies in India, China, Indonesia, and other countries across the globe, visit alariss.com