About a month and half ago, my professor from my First Year Development Course for first year business students at the George Washington University, Kevin O’Connell, emailed the class asking if anyone was interested in interning for his company.
I, a student who had moved to Washington D.C. in the hopes of finding opportunities in my field immediately became curious into what this internship entailed. About two weeks later, I was hired as a Contributing Editor and Marketing Intern for The Niche Movement.
I was tasked with one ongoing project for the duration of my internship: reach out to young professionals in well known companies that my generation would love to work for, and ask to interview them on things such as their career journey and career advice. Although I was daunted by this task, I was also excited for the challenge.
It was only two weeks in when Aisha Khan, a recruiter from Netflix, reached back out to me. Aisha was a young professional whom I found on LinkedIn, and the first person I emailed asking for an interview. I was shocked at just how soon I was able to receive a phone interview; I just so happened to come across Aisha’s email through a casual search. #ProfessionalStalking
When the time of the phone interview came, I was excited to hear what Aisha would say. I had just started college, and I was eager to hear how Aisha got to where she was.
Aisha had taken on multiple roles after graduating college that led her to her current career at Netflix. She had worked as a Front Desk Agent at Chaminade Hotel and Conference Center, a Google Play Operations Support Specialist at Google, and even a Showband Vocalist at Carnival Cruise Lines. The vast differences in her previous roles are definitely huge!
When Aisha answered my phone call, her enthusiasm to share her experiences really made the first task in my internship with The Niche Movement worth it. Her experience and insight truly resonated with me as a college student, and I took away several key concepts from Aisha:
1) Follow what you’re passionate about.
Probably the biggest core root of what The Niche Movement preaches is following what you’re passionate about, and Aisha is definitely on the same page!
“Sometimes you get lucky and you’re able to figure that out early on, but then sometimes it’s really about doing a bit of soul searching, and figuring out that perfect mash between what you love and finding a job that actually aligns itself to what you love. I think that’s what ends up being the most successful in finding your niche and finding the job that you’re passionate about.”
2) Find the kind of environment you want to work in.
“What I love most about Netflix, and something that I think what is important for people to also think about when they are choosing their career path, is to consider what kind of environment they want to be in. The culture of Netflix is what won me over. One aspect of our culture is the way we think about hiring. We are hiring you because we are trusting that you are coming in with all this skill and experience, and we’re going to allow you the freedom to drive your work. So it’s that sense of empowerment and that sense of ownership of the work that you’re doing that really allows people to thrive here. That’s what I really love about my job. That I’m trusted to do my job and I’m given a lot of freedom and space to do that.”
3) Expect greatness from yourself.
“What I really look for as a recruiter is someone who is really passionate about the work that they’ve done, and how they plan to continue to make an impact, and make a career path for themselves. Those kinds of individuals will give their one hundred percent, not because it is expected of them, but because they expect for themselves. That inner drive, inner passion, and inner curiosity is something that will take them really far, no matter the company.”
4) Have patience.
“Have patience in pursuing your career path because it’s not just about the job you immediately have right out of the gate, but again figuring out how you’re going to find the right job that matches what you’re passionate about. That doesn't need to be right away; it might mean two, four, or even six jobs after graduating, but you will get there.” Having patience is definitely a recurring theme in finding your niche; in fact, Rachael Tulipano, one of our contributing editors, even wrote a blog on 5 Reasons Finding Your Niche Requires Patience.
As a freshman in college, I am still discovering what I am interested in, what I am passionate about, and what I want to do in my life. In my first few months at GWU, I am already uneasy about being able to find the field in which I will truly succeed in. However, hearing the unique experiences and insight Aisha took away from her first few years out of college, I know that no matter what field, interest, or job I choose to go into, I will do great as long as I am passionate about what I am doing. Aisha truly made a mark on how important it is to find something that I am passionate about, and I am more than ever excited to begin that search.
Aisha was the first young professional who reached back out to me, and I am looking to interview more young professionals at up and coming companies as generous as Aisha to share their stories! If you or anyone you know is interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the Tell Your Story page on our website.