job search journey

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

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.

[x_pullquote type=”right”]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.[/x_pullquote]

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.

[x_pullquote type=”left”]If you have enough ambition and emotional stability, this country will give you everything you desire for. [/x_pullquote]

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