Road to US

A story of an international student : Getting a dream job or watching pigs fly!

I came to the USA to pursue my Ph.D. My session started from 2015 January. At the end of my third semester, May 2016, I suddenly got to know, my professor is leaving the University. (He had his reasons, politics was involved, I am not going to give the details here). He had been my mentor, he guided me through every way. The news of him leaving, devastated me and at that point, I was not even thinking about my funding. However, being a good TA, other professors liked me and wanted to fund me for my Ph.D. But I couldn’t think of pursuing my Ph.D. without my supervisor. I talked to the head of the Department and told him that, I want to continue with Masters and planning to graduate in December.

I started my new quest for life in August 2016. I tried to join every career fair that was going on near me. Though I was ready for absolutely any job, my heart was set in automotive. From a very small age, my dream has been to be a design engineer in Ferrari (well Ferrari was not possible but there are major automotive OEMs in Michigan that I had my eyes on). AAbea, a career conference, arranged by Bangladeshis, was taking place in Detroit. It caught my attention. Milwaukee to Detroit- 9 hours bus journey. (I did not know how to drive. My school had always been close to my place, there were three direct buses to school, I simply didn’t think ahead as I was not preparing to graduate soon) The only person I knew well in Detroit, was out of Detroit. So the first night, I traveled to Detroit, attended the conference during the day and came back to Milwaukee the next night.

After coming back from the conference, I realized

– I did not know any software they were asking for.

– I did not have enough knowledge.

– I had a terrible resume

– I did not have LinkedIn account thus I did not have any network.

That wasn’t fun, was that now! I was extremely depressed. The Detroit visit reminded me I wasn’t good enough. This bitter part of my life was too bitter. I already told my roommate that I was leaving my current place by end of December (since that’s the time I am graduating) but I had no idea where I am going to stay. It was the weirdest situation I had ever been in. Though there were some unthinkable kind people who, I knew, would support me no matter what, but sometimes you are just absolutely alone. 

First thing first, I started taking classes on driving. I looked at thousands of resumes and started to put mine together. Attended at least 5-6 career fairs. And after talking to 100 of recruiters, and finally decided to give LinkedIn a try. 

I got my first interview on LinkedIn. 

The interview went perfectly. I was waiting for an answer and I was quite sure the answers going to be yes. It was right around the time of my Master’s thesis defense. On a Friday I got an email from the recruiter saying that,  the company loved me, I can be 90% sure that the job is mine and that she is getting ready with the offer letter. I was ecstatic. After a happy weekend, I received the question that was going to be my worst nightmare for next 6 months ” Are you authorized to work in the USA?”. I applied for my OPT in that time which will give me another three years to stay in the USA but that was not good enough. They turned me down.

And it started… By January 2nd week I managed an internship that paid me just enough to cover my bills and food. I worked till 5 p.m. and came home and applied to jobs, hundreds and thousands of jobs. My husband always asks me “why do you get so obsessed with one thing?”. Well I do, I do get obsessed, that’s the way I am. That obsession helps me get things I want. If you want to get things, you have to be obsessed, or in the least, you have to fall in love. 

Obsession got me six more interviews and rejections. Then the magical thing happened. On the 2nd week of April, I  posted an article on LinkedIn. The article was about how I was only getting rejected for being an international student. (see the attached image) And the post went viral. I believe it got around 80,000 views till last. But I didn’t have time to follow it till last. I was contacted by 100s of recruiters. I got 2 job offers, one in New York and another in California. And then I got contacted by the executive vice president of a tier-1 automotive company in Michigan. He simply told me to visit his company in greater Detroit area. On May 5th I went for the interview, he told me to spend the whole day with them. I still remember when I stepped my first foot on their production floor, it was the cleanest floor I have seen in a manufacturing company. Two third of the production was automated. All the robots, the roller coaster conveyors, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I spent 6 hours with the engineers. They asked me about my visa situation. When I explained, they assured me that they will take care of everything. On May 24th I joined their company as a manufacturing engineer.

3 Comments

  • Rubyeat Islam

    Apu your experience is really inspiring one for me. I am in same situation right now. I am trying for MSc for last two years in BUET but I couldn’t pass each and every time. This year I decide to take admission in MIST for MSc but it has been heard that this year MIST will not recruit students for MSc. I was so disappointed. After reading your article I am feeling inspired. I will keep my patience and try for a better opportunity. Thanks a lot for your inspiring article.

    • mmrahman

      Thank you Rubyeat for your comment. I am glad it inspired you. Life sometimes gives hard times but I believe its very important to learn from those hard times.

  • Piyush

    I also posted similar thing on LinkedIn got 30 thousand views but nothing converted into a job offer. Luck you. Best of luck. I am counting my days

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *