One Young World.
Have you heard or read about this conference? It was dubbed the 'Young Davos' by many. Two months after I can clearly say it was a waste of time. What have we achieved by attending this conference? We passed resolutions, fair enough. But they were vague and had no teeth, and moreover, there is absolutely no way for us to actually enforce those resolutions where we live. We're not diplomats or politicians with power, not even powerful businessmen. We are young people with normal lives who compete in the race of life.
Seeing Desmond Tutu, Bob Geldof and many, many others delivering stone piercing speeches was a great experience, not to mention honour! But the good motivation lasts a couple of months, maybe four at best. And then it dies, and once it dies, what have we got left? Nothing more than a gathering of people talking about this and that, with a lot of glitz and glam, but no results.
My internship journey (spoiler - bad ending)
Like the vast majority of my course mates, I have also embarked on the long and daunting journey of finding an internship for the summer of 2010. This cycle starts around September, when the application systems across all firms open, and companies and banks start their annual road shows. I have applied to numerous places, and got interviews all cross the board. Most of them got to the Assessment Centre stage, at which chances are supposedly 'high'. Didn't seem so to me - I got rejected from all of them post AC.
However, there is one case which puzzles me. My last Assessment Centre was with an Interdealer Broking Firm. Knowing it was my last chance, I prepared for it for weeks. On the day itself:
- Arrived on time? Check.
- Maintained a friendly attitude towards everyone? Check
- Did well in the numericals? Check
- Did well in the group exercise? Check
- Did OK in the interview? Check
Before the day finished and I went home, one HR lady told me I was their favourite of the day, and they only gave me the last interview slot because they 'save the best for last'. Sounds good so far, no? I was told that within one week I'll get an answer on whether I got the job or not. Seeing as there were seven of us, only three of which were there for the internship, and who one of which told me he basically failed the numerical. The odds were fifty fifty. The next few days were restless, I was always near my mobile phone, expecting a phone call from HR telling me wither good or bad news.
Come Thursday morning (three days after the AC), I got an email from graduate recruitment. I got rejected. Oh no, I thought to myself, what have I done wrong to be rejected by email. This is worse than having your girlfriend break up with you using SMS. I immediately called them and asked for feedback. This was 8.30. The HR lady told me that the person that handles my application is not in the office, and will be back only on Monday. Talk about good life, Thursday morning, and she won't be back by Monday.
Monday morning, 10.30, I pick up the phone and dial. HR picks up, I introduce myself and ask for feedback. Feedback from HR:
- Trading Simulation (numerical #1): 14/18, 'very good score'.
- SHL (numerical #2): 98% (!!!) percentile, 'excellent score'.
- Group Exercise: 'you did very well, might have been a little stressed, but performed well nevertheless'
- Panel Interview: 'the interviewers were not sure whether you're suited more for trading or broking'
At this stage I paused listening and asked her 'what was it in the things I have said, that made them doubt my suitability?'. She said that since it wasn't her who interviewed me, she can't help me there. She added that they are 'very experienced' interviewers. Wow, experienced interviewers couldn't tell whether I'm suited for one job or another, that's talent right there.
Israel, the holy land and Easter
I flew back to home #1, Israel, to visit my family for Passover (Christian's Easter for Jews). Last time I've been to the place was 8 months ago, time sure flies when you're abroad. The large gaps between my visits allow me to see progress and changes this country is going through. It's developing very rapidly, in every visit I see a new shopping mall or a highway - it's a great achievement. Only a few days ago, whilst sitting in my grandmother's small orchard garden I smelled the smell of blossom from the orange trees, this is the definite smell of childhood for me. It sent me back years, all the way to kindergarten and primary school. Things have changed so much since. My primary school was situated in a kibbutz (an early form of settlement), and had no fences - practically we could go anywhere without anyone worrying something will happen. That type of freedom and security no longer exists today, it seems like the innocence has gone away.
To be continued...