I returned home from my third interview feeling pretty pleased with myself. That was one of the best interviews I have ever had. Not only did I feel like my experiences were relevant, and I was actually qualified for the job, but I felt like I could see myself there and I think my interviewers could too.
I decided I needed to distress. I had spent the previous night studying about the company, and my whole week was all about interviews. So I decided I would spend the rest of my day relaxing. Half way through applying a facemask my cell phone rings, and lo and behold it was a co-op advisor telling me I was offered job number two and I had 24 hours to decide.
I quickly jotted down the information the advisor told me. This job was offered from a different faculty, and I had expressed concern about not hearing back from the other two jobs and not knowing what to do. This advisor suggested I talk to my own coordinator about my situation and concerns. I promptly called her and left a voice mail… So much for my “afternoon of not thinking about co-op.”
I sat panicked stricken, thinking “What do I do? The other two positions I applied for still have yet to make their decision. By accepting this job, would I be rejecting the other two? What do I want from this experience?” I contacted several friends for advice. Some of them just suggested I take the job and others just told me which job they thought was more valuable. Though probably the most valuable advice I got was “think about what you want to get out of this co-op experience.”
The three jobs were pretty different. I had already canceled out the first job, I wasn’t that experienced for the position and I did not do that well in the interview. The second job was the one that called me back to hire me, and would be totally different from anything I’ve ever done before, it sounded like a lot of fun, and it was something I was very passionate about. The third job was the one I had experience doing and offered great learning opportunities for growth in my career.
I sat in my bed, pondering my fate, when suddenly my advisor called. She told me several important things:
That she could send out an email to the other interviewers telling them my situation, and asking where I rank compared to the other candidates
24 hours was the normal turnaround
There are no wrong choices
My advisor reassured me with her advice, and I felt better. I decided to make a pro and con list. In the midst of these crucial decision making hours, I was contacted for not one, but two interviews for other companies! WOW! I knew I wanted to work at job number two more than these other two companies, so I declined the invitations, but I was still flattered that they wanted me. This made me think back to my conversation with my advisor when she told me that this is what she loves about Co-op, once someone has a co-op, they are so much more sought after, and I could attest to this. With only 11 job applications, 5 companies requested job interviews. A year ago when I was looking for my first co-op, I felt like I was almost begging for a job until I managed to get one (25 job applications later).
I ended up deciding to accept job number two. Not only did my pro and con list show job two as an overwhelming winner, but also I knew this job would suit my personality. I thought back to what I wanted before I started applying for jobs at the beginning of the semester, and I knew that this was the kind of position I would have been thrilled to get.
The next morning, I called the advisor and told her I would accept the job offer. Once I made the decision I felt like a weight has been lifted, and I realized how thrilled I was to get this position.
Stay tuned and I’ll let you know how things go with my new job!
Beyond the Blog
Curious about Natalie's other interview experiences? Check out Natalie's Co-op Job Search: Round 1.
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