job search journey

10 Months. 968 Jobs Applied. 704 No Responses. 12 Interviews. 1 Job Offer – Life of International F1 Student

Raghu Career 2 Comments

I received an email from Chiranjeevi with his job search journey. The moment I read the email, I knew that it is going to inspire thousands of students who are facing the same journey ahead. So, let’s get to it.

His email was in response to the previous podcast show – Non Computer Science struggle to find a job.

Here’s the actual email subject line  from Chiranjeevi – “10 months.. 968 applications.. 704 no responses.. 251 denials.. 12 interview rejections.. 1 job offer”.

  • July 19, 2014 – Video Interview with Chiranjeevi (Watch a segment of the interview below)
  • Sep 8, 2016 – Job Search Experience submitted by Chiranjeevi

When it comes to job search, there are two kinds of students.

  1. Those who got what it takes to find a full-time job
  2. Those who don’t have what it takes to find a full-time job

Before we get into the details  and analysis of two kinds of students, you should watch his video interview and continue to read the experience shared by Chiranjeevi.

Interview from 2014: 


My Job Search on F1 Visa and OPT

Hey Raghu,

I saw your most recent blog post and I wanted to share my story. We spoke a little over two years back when I was in India. I was ready for a struggle at that point, but I had no clue I would be hitting the low points in my life that I did. It has been a journey, a journey of growth through hardships.

While I was studying a Masters Degree, I could not find a job on campus. I could not find an internship in the summer. There were nights I went hungry, and nights where was homeless.

I have walked 5 miles when it was snowing to save $2 on a bus ride. I did what I have to do to survive.

All through the process I kept applying for jobs. I did a MS in Financial Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. And like you mentioned, it is tough for a non computer science background person to get a job. All of the university recruitments were for Computer Science students.

I graduated in May 2016. I did not track the number of summer internship applications, but I kept track when I started applying for full time jobs.

In my heart, I knew I would do whatever it takes to find a full time job. I was bent on not going to a consultancy for a job. It’s a vicious cycle.

Persistence is key. I felt like quitting so many times. When things do not work out for so long, you really start to doubt yourself. But I somehow kept persevering.

I got rejected at an interview that would just pay me $45,000 in New York City. When something like that happens, you don’t really think good about yourself.

Since December of 2015, it has taken me 968 applications, 704 no responses, 251 email denials, 12 interviews I got rejected at to finally get a full time offer of a financial services company close to Boston.

The funny part is, if I had received job offers from other 11 employers, I would have still chosen this one. The profile is the best, the money I am being paid is the best, the company is sponsoring my H-1B Visa. It is absolutely amazing. I am being paid a lot more than someone with my experience could possibly expect to make. It was painful when I was going through the process. But it has been absolutely worth it.

If you have enough ambition and emotional stability, this country will give you everything you desire for.

As immigrants, we are fortunate to have had the opportunity to come to the United States. The whole world wants to be here and no one wishes to go back. This is the land of abundance and freedom. Never take that for granted.

No one said America would be easy, it’s not. But where else is it possible on our planet, that you could come from any part of the world and be accepted at face value?

Only in America could you be from any background and have an opportunity to rise to the very top.

You have an equal shot at being unequal. America is not an elevator, it is a staircase which you need to climb. If you have enough ambition and emotional stability, this country will give you everything you desire for. My belief that I am in the greatest country in the world, despite all odds was one of the biggest reasons I landed a job.

The only thing I can say is that ‘If I can do it, anyone can.’ The big disclaimer is that you should be willing to do what I did. I have learnt that if you are going through hell, you should just keep going.


Around the same time frame (2014), I wrote this article – The New American Dream, when I look back today at Chrianjeevi’s journey, I think he’s the perfect embodiment of what I was hoping to achieve through my work here at Happy Schools. No one said it’s going to be easy. But, the difference is are you willing to put up with the challenges?

What’s Next?

  • Why Chiranjeevie shouldn’t have applied for 968 job (new blog post)
  • Join Job Search Boot Camp – Free Email course to learn Job Search Tricks and Tips

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  1. My girlfriend of 8 years cheated on me;4 years later I overdosed to commit suicide; last year I was made homeless by my own brother in USA on F1. Did I give up? Read on.

    Yes, you read that right. Well, I don’t intend to say that my case would be the worst case you have read or heard ever. But each line I write here is true and it’s basically for someone , who might be in a similar situation and can’t see a path beyond it.

    I was in a 8 year long relation with my ex, who cheated on me with my ‘best friend’ . Well, yes of course I was broken. It took me 2–3 whole years to come out of it. But that’s not what I want to share here. I moved on- she married , I am engaged now-all is well!

    3 years back- I was at a crossroad , where I was feeling hopeless, with my career going nowhere. Mind you, I was a 3.9+ GPA guy. I am a dentist- to be precise-no backlogs, no failures ever. But after graduation- all I wanted to do was come to the US and follow up my dental career here in the USA. 3 years went by- I used to visit the states and go back- fighting inner depression always- not having the motivation to even write my exams. I still didn’t write them and each day I feel- I should be able to do it- I don’t know why I cannot still. I wish I knew that.

    Anyways, I was back in India for almost an year now- with no progress in sight. My relationship with my parents is such- that I can never rely on them for any thing except money. There no”parentage” . I can ask for money- and I will get it (with a hassle) but thats about it. No support, no guidance- only arrogance, strife, anger and ego. I was planning for education in Canada, and my brother came in the way. I was afraid to come back to USA as I was scared my visiting visa could be rejected. Seeing no end to all this- I made an elaborate plan to commit suicide and end my misery. ( I used to gym everyday btw- I was in the best shape of my life at that point) but mentally i was broken deep down.

    I tied myself up a chair- so that I don’t fall off or resist myself, crushed a 100 zolpidems in a mixer , mixed them in vodka, drank two full glasses of it. My brother was landing in India at the same time. I had sent emails to my ‘family’ saying how disappointed i was with them and how they had stopped me time and again to do what my heart wanted to do, except my uncle’s family. I don’t remember much for the next 2 days- I woke up in a hospital bed. Everyone blamed it on the protien powder I was taking( i was taking it for an year and half btw). No one acknowledged that it could be due to them.

    Anyways- I gathered courage once again- as i got another life- started applications for my studies in USA- got my visa in the next year and came here. Met my fiance here. She does not know much about my history. I don’t think i can share this with her ever. 2 years passed- i graduated- everything was ok when I was with her or by myself. I had to unfortunately stay with my brother as ‘my family couldn’t afford me a place”( thats ridiculous i know) but neither could i afford a place with my on campus employment restrictions under my visa.

    He is a person who keeps tabs of all good things he does so that he can bloat over it- thats exactly what happened and in one major argument with him- I was kicked out of the house with all my luggage thrown out at 2 am in early march 2016. Snowy night in long island, mind you. Well, I had an option- to sit and cry- or get up and do what I had to do.

    Stayed at a motel that night- couldn’t sleep a bit- but was looking at cars to rent or buy as travelling in long island is impossible without a car. Rented a car first thing in the morning- then went to buy a second hand car. ( my credit was 1 year old by now) . Thankfully got approved for a car and hadn’t mentioned all this to her till now- but then I did and she asked me to come over. She stays in the middle of Pennsylvania. 5 hours away.

    I cant even say- what broke me, but yep- the whole ride- i was teary and drove down.

    Months have passed- I got a job on my OPT- I got a brand new car within 4 months of the old one- got myself a 3 bedroom townhouse to rent with her, and tomorrow I am signing a property deal at the place I work. I basically will own his dental practice and his building starting tomorrow.

    9 months. Thats how long it took me to come out of all this. I am not out yet, but I don’t see any reason why I cant rise from here. Each and every month since march I grew – I grew mentally, emotionally, and well physically- i put on a lot of extra pounds. But yeah- I don’t think giving up was an option for me.

    My little story here is not to gain sympathy from any of you who would want to read it but a small suggestion- things will improve- you might reach your breaking point- don’t give up still. If a person so weak, who once committed suicide , can do it- I am sure you can do it too.

  2. Very inspiring journey one thing is for sure key to success is patients and hardwork, this is to be known by anyone who is looking for great future in USA as things dont come easy but hardwork does payoff well.

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