Lesson Learned: Brush Off Negative Responses

Lesson Learned: Brush Off Negative Responses
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This last weekend, November 17-20th, I flew down to Seattle to attend the Pacific Marine Expo. My department, College of Fisheries and Ocean Science, had a booth at the event and I volunteered to run the booth on Friday. I was planning on attending the event anyway because I wanted to introduce myself to organizations and businesses I was interested in. I believe the best tactic of getting an internship and representing yourself well is in person. There was one business I was extremely excited about and they unfortunately gave me a negative response.
            After I ran the CFOS booth, I introduced myself as a student at UAF and a Fisheries major and Marketing minor. This business is a seafood marketing company, which fits perfectly with what I am studying. I told the man running the booth “I understand the company doesn’t usually hire interns, but is there any way I can become an intern for the summer?” The man looked me up and down and said in a negative way “Well, what do you want to do?” I answered “I will do anything because I just want to put my foot in the door.” I thought this was an okay answer because the company doesn’t hire interns and I was making myself marketable for doing any kind of labor or work. This is how the man responded: “When you ask someone for something, you should really know what you want.” I understand what he meant by this, but I was shocked by his reaction to my eagerness to work for the company. He didn’t stop there, he continued to lecture me by saying I need to know the company’s departments and ask for exactly what I want. Then he began stating the major I am studying isn’t “adequate.” He concluded that I should come back and speak with another person at the booth when they are done giving a presentation at the expo. The last thing I wanted to do was return to this booth and company.
            I have been interested in this company for two years now. I always pictured myself working for them and traveling around the world marketing for sustainable seafood. I felt like I hit a wall and was very disappointed, especially since he mentioned he used to be the chairman for the company. Although I wasn’t done introducing myself to other companies. I introduced myself to another marketing company for sustainable seafood and had a better response! They seemed very professional and impressed with my education at UAF. They told me to send them my resume when I return home. My mood immediately uplifted and I had hope again!
            I still feel upset and disappointed with the first company’s negative response. Although, I understand some people who respond harshly may be in every occupation or field. The best way to deal with negative responses is take a deep breath and not let other’s make you feel inferior. In a way, I am grateful for having this experience so I know next time I will research the company’s departments and background before speaking with them.       

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