Back when I was studying Global Business and Digital Arts at the University of Waterloo, I had to complete an internship in my third year in order to graduate. Knowing this, I worked my butt off all through my first and second year to build job experience, a social media following, and a meaningful network by the time I had to apply. I remember coming into it feeling ahead of the game with sky-high expectations and definitely an inflated ego.

Come internship time, I started off with a handful of interviews. Each time I made it to the final round where another candidate was selected over me. Fast forward through seven months of interviews, conferences, and hundreds of rejection letters, I had pretty much lost all of my confidence. My self-esteem completely plummeted and I was beyond frustrated. In the final two weeks that I had left to find something to graduate with my class, I got an offer from out of town. I was extremely thrilled.

The next day came and I hadn’t heard from the company. Feeling confused and nervous, I got the call.... The internship had been redacted due to unforeseen funding cuts. If I hadn’t hit rock bottom before, this was definitely it now.

Out of desperation, I posted on LinkedIn, looking for anything, anywhere. Then something beautiful happened: my post took off. My inbox was flooded with hundreds of notes of inspiration from professionals all over the world who had resonated with my story, and I received three interviews that week. Within a matter of days, not only did I secure an amazing offer where my then employer built me a rotational internship, but I was also able to connect a handful of other classmates in similar situations to internships through the network I had created.

Tiana as a student as a student at a conference (left image) and presenting to a class (right image).

Left: Tiana as a student, speaking at a conference. Right: Tiana presenting to a class in her current role. 

At the time, I thought the worst had happened. I was convinced that I was either being punished for something, I was totally incompetent, great things just weren't meant for me, or all of the above. But, it was through that awful experience that inspired me to help other students find their internships - by the end of my University degree, 15 students to be exact.

Later on, the more I worked in marketing, the more I realized that being that connector and coach for digital arts students was my passion. From helping more and more students in my network secure jobs, to collaborating with campus recruitment teams for fun, the signs became
hilariously blatant.

This past Spring I made the decision to leave digital marketing all together and do it for a living for Humber College students. Now, each week, I meet with students in similar circumstances to what mine once were and connect them to resources, social media tools, job opportunities, mentors, and confidence. And I have to say, I have never loved a job more in my life.

I certainly never thought when I was heads down building my 10-year marketing career plan that I would be here, nor that a job like mine even existed. So if this happens to be your job hunt story right now, don't give up. You never know where it could lead you.

Tiana Eghdam (GBDA ’18) is a graduate of the Faculty of Arts. Currently she works as a Placement Advisor at Humber College's Faculty of Media and Creative Arts, where she manages internships, provides career coaching, and co-facilitates Professional Development classes.