Growing up, my Mom would always remind me that I could achieve anything I wanted to if I really wanted it and worked hard for it. She would know, given that she immigrated to the US from Bolivia in her early 20s and would at time juggle jobs to make ends meet in the pursuit of the American Dream.
This advice has powered me through some tough times. Whether it was getting rejected twice by dream university and once by my dream MBA program, going jobless for months in pursuit of my dream post-MBA job, failing countless times during the CFA exam process, the list goes on and on. But one instance stands out to me for how trying it was at that point in my life – I graduated undergrad jobless and decided to move to New York to start a career in finance. I applied to many roles, tried to network as much as I could, but I could barely manage to get interviews. To help make ends meet, I picked up a part-time job at the Urban Outfitters in Queens Center Mall. As the weeks turned into months, it became incredibly difficult to stay positive and to approach each day with enthusiasm, especially as the rejections piled up. It was easy to feel down and think that nothing was going to go my way. But I kept pushing and right before the holidays in December, I received my first full-time job offer at an asset management firm called AllianceBernstein. This four month period will always stay fresh in my memory because it really tested my mental strength. Most importantly, it was a formative experience that really cemented this important lesson in my mind and I knew it was going to come in handy for the rest of my life.
My advice for people working toward a goal is to persist and be resilient, no matter how difficult things get. Focus on things you can control and always maintain belief that you will eventually achieve the objective.