Imagine you are months away from graduating from your dream college but have no job in hand. Something similar happened to Vatsal Nahata, a former Yale University pass out, who first landed a job at the World Bank as co-lead for the World Bank Youth to Youth Community program and later in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a research analyst after he graduated from the US university.
Nahata, who is currently associated with the IMF as a research analyst, recalled in a recent LinkedIn post that it was March 2020 when COVID-19 was just declared a pandemic and companies were on a spree to slash their workforce.
Nahata wrote in his post, “Also, Donald Trump was President. I would reach the final rounds of several companies only to be told that they could not sponsor my visa. Trump’s stance on immigration made it very uncertain for companies to navigate and predict US immigration policy. Everybody wanted to play safe and hire US citizens. I did not have a job at hand and I was going to graduate in two months. And I was a student at “Yale.” “
He went on to talk about how not being able to get a job even after graduating from Yale University was hard on him emotionally. The IMF research analyst added that he was determined about not returning to India and that his first paycheck had to be in dollars. He also stated he resorted to networking and cold-emailing in order to get a job in the States as he “developed thick-skin by necessity” and was not getting anywhere.
Nahata mentioned, “You could wake me up at 4 am in the morning and I could smoothly network and sell my skills to the most seasoned American executive, all while knowing that this call is probably going nowhere. Things became so desperate that I would often cold-call people in my dreams.”
Stating that The Gentle Hum of Anxiety became his most played song on YouTube, Nahata recollected that he had reached out to so many companies and people that it ultimately paid off and he had four job offers in May-end. Of these, he chose the World Bank offer because they would sponsor his visa after his optional practical training was over. He added that his manager at the time offered him co-authorship on a paper focused on machine learning with the current director of research at the global institution.
After recounting his World Bank experience, he listed down the things this journey taught him. These include the power of networking, confidence to figure life and finances as an immigrant in the US, a degree can only take you so far and how times of crises are ideal grounds to become a more evolved person.
“If you’re going through something similar where the world seems to be collapsing on you: carry on – don’t go gently into that good night! Better days will come if you’re learning from your mistakes and if you knock on enough doors,” Nahata said while signing off.
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