THRIVING IN NAL VON MINDEN

Since I never really applied to jobs before, this was going to be my first real experience.

The combination of my trilingual skill and of my PwC summer internship, I was convinced that I was going to have a tsunami of huge multinationals begging for me to work for them.

Since I grew up a bit since the time I got handed the PwC internship by my father, I started to realize that other people were getting into places on their own.

I started to feel so dumb and lesser than everyone else. I started to feel the guilt of my privilege and never ever allowed people to know that I was given the opportunity to be in PwC, instead of working for it. Even if some people reacted so admiration to it, I tried to keep that information under the radar as I was terrified to start getting into the details of an application process I never went through.

I decided that, although I had a great deal of help for my first experience, that I would get this one on my own. And I told my parents that I didn’t want any help and that I wanted to learn how to do this like everyone else, by trial and error.

What a slap in the face it was… All I can say is that the rejection was real!

Every application I sent was followed by the famous “Dear Francesca, Unfortunately…” you are not good enough for us, I would read.

I started with a few of the multinationals, got rejected by all of them. I therefore realized that I was way too picky and applied for all the big names I could find: Disney, LVMH, Colgate, J&J, Deloitte… without much success.

The only ones I managed to go further with was:

  • Unilever who gave me the opportunity of their phone interview which I massively ruined with a lot of piffle, of trembling voice and of “sorry”s (it was my first one to be fair).
  • IBM who also invited me for a phone interview with a hideous woman that I already started despising after the 5ft minute and whom, apparently, was going to be my line manager (no thanks). Needless to say that it didn’t go far…
  • Procter&Gamble Paris (which I’m still quite proud of) with whom I was successful in all the interviews and tests, until I arrived at the assessment center, managed all of it and failed the last interview out of the three. A real disappointment… I actually recorded it and haven’t listened it ever.

After applying to exactly 31 different companies for my Industrial Year, and after being rejected every single time… I was about to quit. It was March and all of these applications took me 6 months to send in total and not having any results after such a long time was quite disheartening.

But after all this, I refused to come back home empty handed… To look in my parents eyes and ask for their help, yet again. My pride was too big, my ego was too wounded and I decided to apply to medium size companies.

I randomly ended up getting into nal von minden, a medium size company in the pharmaceutical industry, based in Germany, who sold all sorts of materials to other entities (B2B). Luckily for me, I got into a very small department there called self-diagnostics who was a sub of nal von minden, and whom sold pregnancy tests, drug tests and alcohol tests to the public (B2C).

They were the only company who offered me a job.

Since it wasn’t one of the big multinationals, I promised myself that I was going to “make the most out of it”, even though I didn’t know how.

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