I am sitting in a PF Chang in downtown Boston, alone. My throat hurts so much. Can’t really talk without coughing anymore.
I had an awful two days. Insane and awful. And I want to remember this feeling.
Monday night I knew I was getting sick. I was anxious and worried. I didn’t want to be sick at the most important time of the year. Moreover, I hated uncertainties. One company was telling me they might have to reschedule the final round interview and another couldn’t confirm if I could switch dates. I was miserable then. Even the dream of an offer couldn’t make me happy. Honestly what’s an offer going to do? Just more uncertainty in the future, more time spent away from most people I know, more stretch out of comfort zone?
I was looking at my amazon invitation and decided to cancel. I couldn’t handle more than what I already had. Merrill decided last minute to include me in their investment management solutions group interview, at the worst possible time! I had my operations homework, a stock investing guide, a case book and a portfolio management guide in front of me. But all I did was crying.
I had not done a single case since my first interview. I prepared one and a half stock pitch while I needed 8. I haven’t really been thinking about finance news lately. I didn’t even remember anything about portfolio theory.
But where should I start? All I felt was helplessness and all I knew was nothing. I slept early in the hope that this cough could go away.
And it didn’t! Yesterday I lived in cough suppressants. After interviewing with the analysis group, my throat started to hurt. But I couldn’t stop. I went to the airport early and talked to 4 people on the phone from Merrill for 2 hours. When I arrived at The hotel in Toronto at night, I had lost my voice.
I should have eaten a bit and spent a couple of hours reading case book, but I gave up. I didn’t have dinner, just showered and about to go to sleep. My parents Messaged me and asked if I’ve had any good food, any celebration or any wish for the new year. They asked me if I wanted to talk to my grandparents or relatives on the phone. I actually wanted to say something, but I told them no. I really had lost my voice. And hearing my grandparents’ voices on the phone would just make me emotional. I didn’t need any distraction at that moment. Even my parents have no idea what consultants or investment managers do, I couldn’t imagine trying to explain that to my grandparents.
There were two incidents today when the interviewers had to wait till I coughed my heart out before we could proceed. I am not sure if they’ve noticed it, but I probably cannot be a consultant. Solving problems on the spot is actually fun, but not when a person’s heavily medicated, had no dinner or breakfast and chugged 3 cups of coffee.
I was finally done after 4 and a half hours, back on my cellphone. Apparently many Chinese classmates had gotten together that morning to watch new year shows and eaten dumplings together. And the TA from Tuesday night class just told me because I left 15 minutes early on Tuesday, it counted towards the only class I could miss. The next time I miss it, I need to hand in an essay. What she didn’t know was, just because that awful class, I had to book a late evening train that was delayed for an hour and a half on Tuesday night. Had I completely missed that class, I could have gotten to Boston 3 hours earlier or even before dinner on Tuesday night. That would made a huge difference to my energy level on Wednesday. Well, what can I do. The world is full of unfairness and useless people.
Tomorrow is the last battle. I really don’t have any energy to go on anymore. Really what’s the point. Success would only bring me to a new place, an even more lonely place. A lot of times my friends and families reminded me how fortunate I was to have so many opportunities and how exceptional I am. In fact, I am just a toy of fate, like many others.
On the bright side, I got to eat Chinese food tonight, on Chinese New Year. It’s not all that bad. Today another firm called me to interview. I told them I don’t have much interest. (I can’t answer “tell me about yourself anymore”…) They told me they could put me straight to second round. Lol. The less you want something, the more they want to give it to you? What’s wrong with this world?
Tomorrow’s battle is just a game now. My goal is not to embarrassed our school or myself. Just thought about pitching PF Chang but found out they got bought out by a PE firm already. Well, now I should go back and do some research. It’s going to be a sleepless night. Hang in there. Plenty of sleep will come tomorrow night and Top chef on Saturday!