One Lucky Tiger
July 20, 2015
Blogger: Ashkan Mortazavi
I’m sure you’ve heard of those cliche stories in which an elevator pitch at some speed networking event lands someone a job or internship that they otherwise would have never found. You hear or read about those stories and think, “that will never happen to me!” but all the while dream and hope that it does. Well, I became one of those stories.
In late March, I attended one of the Career Development Center’s Speed Networking events at which I met an Oxy Alumnus by the name of Jody Yoxsimer. Jody and I had a nice chat and she asked me for my resume, which I happened to bring with me. The funny part is because I had a meeting that ran over the event, I could only stay for a mere ten minutes and met only a handful of alumni.
It just so happens that the previous week, I had applied for and been accepted into Walk In My Shoes, a job shadowing program also run by the Career Development Center. When it came time to choosing an appropriate place to shadow, I was coincidentally placed to shadow Jody Yoxsimer at the City Administrative Office (CAO) - a department of the city that acts as a sort of consultant for the Mayor & City Council. At the time, I didn’t put too much emphasis on my interaction with Jody or realize that I was being set up to shadow someone that I had met only weeks before! Luckily for me, Jody had not forgotten.
I was surprised at how quickly I fell in love with the CAO and City Hall. I was lucky enough to visit after the city’s budget had been completed so I was able to sit in on the city council meeting where they go through and amend the city budget. Not only did I have the chance to witness an integral part of the city’s operating procedure but I also discovered that many Oxy alumni occupy influential positions within the city.
Frankly, I was sad to leave on the last day of my job shadow. I had met amazing people, fell in love with the office dynamic, and ate great food (two words people, Little Tokyo). To my utter and complete amazement, a few days later, I received an email from Jody saying that the CAO wanted to offer to me an internship. I was quick to accept their offer and thanked her immensely for the opportunity.
I recognize that the stars aligned for me this summer. Somehow, the universe worked in my favor and I became the typical story of how some speed networking event, an elevator pitch, and a job shadow led to an internship. The important part is for me to remember not only my luck through all this but the fact that so many have helped me along the way so that I may one day attend an Oxy speed networking event as an alumni, eager to help an Oxy student.
Ashkan Mortazavi is a rising junior double majoring in Economics & Mathematics at Occidental College. He is from Bellevue, WA and starting this fall will be spending a year abroad at Cambridge University.