Daniel Mai

Selling Myself

Right now it’s around the time that people look for a summer internship. There was a job fair at SJSU last week. I went to it, but didn’t really do anything there. I just walked around and had some good laughs, as I usually do when I’m with my friends. The fair was really crowded, and I didn’t want to wait in line for any particular company.

I don’t even think I’m ready for a job.

My friends at school say that I’m absolutely qualified for an internship—I have the grades to prove it, they say. But grades aren’t everything. They just show that I was able the play the game well enough to do well in class. Sure, I learned a lot from the classes I took, but is that even good enough for me to get a job?

I don’t think so.

One of the skills that I truly believe I’m lacking is talking (and communication in general). I don’t really like talking to other people, probably in fear of being judged (but I’m getting better at not caring). Although from the outside you may think that I’m a good communicator, it may just all be a facade. I’m just trying to copy other people whom I think are great at talking. And if that’s working, then great.

But that’s me copying other people. I’m not comfortable with presenting myself. I don’t know how to sell myself.

Am I smart? I wouldn’t say so. (Although my GPA may tell you otherwise, but it’s just a number.)

Can I program? Sure, but they’re not great. I try to make the code readable and to make myself understand what’s going on, but I’m lacking in the reusablility aspect.

Am I an excellment communicator? No, I wouldn’t say so.

I tend to undersell myself. In my opinion, that’s better than overselling myself. I don’t want to give false promises.

I’ve seen the resumes of my classmates, who write about all of their experience with such-and-such program and working on such-and-such project. Most of which I feel like is complete BS. Is BS how we succeed?

What I really want to know is how shallow our experience can be in order for a company to hire us.