Updated: Jun 28
Since the last couple of days, the posts that were getting featured on this blog were centered around education, career, growth and the like. I honestly felt the need to share something personal with the blog members in the hope that it might lighten up their mood and give them a fresh start to their week. So, in this post, I'm going to reveal a part of my life where I learned the importance of accepting your circumstances and making the most of them.
The story begins somewhere after my 12th boards, when I was too disappointed because of not getting into SRCC, the college of my dreams. The pain of not getting into it, coupled with the fact that my college didn't provide as good placement and internship opportunities, took a toll on me.
When I tried looking for internship opportunities in college, I had a hard time. That's because very few office internships were made available to the students of KMC, on the other hand, SRites were getting a whole bunch of offers every month. This really troubled me and I often cursed my circumstances.
Six months passed and after failing to get even one office internship, I gave up. I decided to quit the thought of doing an office internship and instead decided to use the winter break to apply for multiple work from home internships. Using Internshala's portal, I applied to tens of opportunities in the field of marketing and to my surprise, I got 2-3 social media marketing internship offers.
I knew that my peers at privileged colleges would be getting a better experience, so I decided to pursue all of them together (after taking permission from each HR/founder). That winter vacation, I did 2-3 social media marketing internships side-by-side!
Was it easy? Definitely not. I was slogging day and night, organizing contests for one and writing content for the other, I spent that month at my home without being emotionally available to my family. And, I learned a great deal: both about social media marketing and the importance of work-life balance.
The startups I worked for gave me opportunities to test my ideas, I even performed the HR and business development roles for some of them. One of campaigns I ran was to hire 25 interns under me and lead them to promote the social media handles of an educational startup. That campaign increased the startup's social media standing by 150%, it got 10,000+ impressions in NCR.
Big Fish Internship
The experience that I gained during the winter break gave me credible CV points to showcase my ability to do social media marketing. This base offered me the opportunity to apply and get selected for the marketing of an app, for which only one student nationwide was to be selected and the incentive structure of the internship was so lucrative that with just a thousand downloads, I could earn more than I would have after placements.
When I interacted with the founder of the startup, he asked me how I was planning to promote the app. With a lot of confidence, I shared with him the details of my previous campaign and said that I can hire more interns under me and make them like/follow the social media handles of the app, circulate the links in their WhatsApp groups, post about it on their Facebook timelines, etc.
He asked me, "So, what will they learn in the process?" I was silent. I didn't have an answer to his question. He continued, "Sure, you will learn team management, leadership. But what will they learn?" That was a life changing moment of my life. I had never looked at people and their worth from this perspective before. He made me realize that people are not tools. And, if you need their help to get your work done, then you have to learn to help them in the process too. Otherwise, it'd be a selfish and a wasteful act.
I was so inspired by that founder that I started looking for unconventional ways of marketing. The span of one month I worked under him, I learned the most about marketing across all my internships. I realized how hard it was to genuinely market something from scratch.
I got a couple hundred downloads, but that was it. I couldn't meet the goals of even the first slab of incentives. But, when my internship ended, the founder appreciated my efforts and thanked me for the time I had spent in looking for marketing tactics to get the job done.
About 1.5 years later, I received an unexpected e-mail from him:
He said that he wanted to appreciate my efforts with an Amazon Voucher worth Rs. 1,800 for something I had done 1.5 years ago! I couldn't believe my eyes. It made me so emotional to think of the individual's thought process. He was such a kind and respectful founder, I honestly haven't learned as much from anyone as I've learned from him. He is responsible for instilling the helping nature in my life.
Back to the Basics
Let me take you back to the theme I began with. Think about it:
Had I not been at KMC, would I have tried to do 2-3 virtual internships at a go?
Had I not been working for those 2-3 firms, would I have gotten the big break with the app internship?
Had I not gotten the app internship, would I have interacted with its founder?
Had I not interacted with its founder, would I have learned so much about genuine ways of marketing and about helping others, being kind and an endless list of qualities he possessed?
In short, whatever I got to learn or experience was possible because I couldn't get into SRCC, the same thing I had been complaining for 6 months after my 12th board results.
As a part of the one week challenge I took, I read one of the most influential books I've come across in my life - Outliers. Maybe not now if you don't have time, but definitely read it at some point of time in your life, it will change the way you think about success and its dependence on your own efforts. So many variables come into play to make success happen in your life and your circumstances happen to be one of them.
You cannot avoid your circumstances, that's what you have been placed into. There is no point complaining and wondering how things would have been if your circumstances were any different. What is important is to think how can you make the most of the circumstances that you've been placed in!
I receive so many messages from the blog members everyday in which they complain, "I've low academic scores, I am not from a good college, why did this happen to me?" I was at your place, complaining like this, "Why couldn't I get into SRCC?" Well, because it wasn't meant to teach me the things I've learnt.
Never ever curse your circumstances. Look at the bright side (even if it isn't visible right now) and accept them. Now, think: "How can I make the most of them?" and get going!
This is the first time I've tried writing an inspiring piece within informational posts, so let me know your feedback - whether you'd want more or less of these posts, will adjust accordingly.