To the graduating class of 2007, here’s a lesson on how to hustle:
1. You study—Study your competitor’s moves. Analyze their weaknesses. Examine your strengths. Create a plan of attack.
2. Practice—Rehearse your moves. When failing, ask people for feedback. Use that feedback to make you and your ammunition stronger.
3. When the time is right, execute your plan of attack.
4. When done, begin looking for your next competition … of course, that’s while you wait for your first interviewer to call you saying you are better than the other applicants ... and here’s your offer letter.
And that, my friends, is how you get hired right after college.
As you read this entry, your senioritis most likely already set in. Your mind is probably thinking of what is going to happen next fall when you’re not in school and you’re not on your parents’ medical plan.
Spring semester, January 2003, I was living on Turk and Kittredge, working 4 jobs to make ends meet: Foghorn, Starbucks on
While everyone else planned their spring breaks, or partied their brains out because they could rely on daddy finding a job for their lazy ass, I took a lesson from some of the most prosperous people I knew … I hustled.
First, I studied. Every student and their momma (i.e. seniors from USF plus SFSU plus
Then I practiced. At the advice of Robertson and Teresa Moore (who know their s***!!), I went on informational interviews. I did the most nerve-wracking thing ever—picked up the phone and cold called VPs and Directors at companies to ask for their time. I managed to score a few informational interviews with the Chronicle, Oakland Tribune and the Mercury in
Once I graduated, I executed the plan. With all the skills I developed, I gained this confidence in interviewing and networking that no one at USF could have bequeathed to me. And with all the feedback I got, I was carrying a resume that professionals in the industry deemed as competitive. One person I interviewed was a VP at the Chronicle. And after a few weeks of keeping in touch, she made the recommendation. HR called. I was hired. But I wanted more. So a few years later, I now work at the Examiner, own my own hybrid, own a 2-bedroom 1-bath, have traveled, befriended many great people along the way, and recently started my graduate program. And I can proudly say that daddy never just handed me a job. And of course, I’m now thinking of what my next acquisition will be after my grad program ends—rule my own country? Sure, I’ll add that to my things-to-do list.
Did I miss out by not going anywhere for spring break? Given what my life is like now, of course not. Besides, the people who did do something barely remember anything. Meanwhile, I used those students’ “down time” to my advantage—it was my opportunity to hustle more. Did I party a lot my senior year? It was the year I turned 21, so of course I did. But no matter how trashed I got, I never lost sight of my competition. When all they focused on was partying with no effort in developing themselves professionally, I used their misdirection to my advantage. I hustled more.
So my graduating class of 2007, start studying the people in your class now. All niceness put aside, they might very well be your competitors come May. Start tailoring your resume. Consult your professors. Build your portfolio and carry it everywhere. Go on those informational interviews. Send thank you notes. Save those business cards. Learn from all your mistakes. Be stronger, smarter, a "smoother talker." The key to your success: your timing. Start now. The more you hustle, the more you get.
Robertson: And because I know what kind of guy Nelson is, here's his email address: Nelson Toriano [firstname.lastname@example.org].