Conquering rejection 

By Samar Ahmed

Staff Accountant, Audit and Advisory

At the beginning of my third year in university, I suddenly realized that I hadn’t developed any strong relationships with recruiters. I attended a few networking events in second year and then increased my attendance by 100% in third year, as did all my peers. Subconsciously, I knew that my chances of getting an internship were slim but I didn’t lose hope until my friends started getting their offers. That’s when I lost all confidence in myself. I spent about a month being depressed until I plucked up the courage to get back on the networking bandwagon. I did as many mock interviews at Rotman as I could and received some amazing feedback. It was during my Deloitte mock interview that the recruiter encouraged me to apply to The Apprentice.

The Apprentice is a competition inspired by the Donald Trump show of the same name, and it takes place throughout the month of February. Twenty-four students are selected to compete in three rounds. Students are given a variety of tasks to complete, which require students to display their presentation, communication, time management and teamwork skills. This competition’s uniqueness stems from the fact that after every round, students get “fired.” For instance, after the first round, 12 people get fired, with 12 remaining. After the second round, eight people get fired and then we are left with the lucky four who battle it out in the grand finale to win the title of the Deloitte Apprentice and an offer for the coveted summer internship.

During my mock interview, while the recruiter was explaining what The Apprentice entailed, I thought I was going to have a panic attack right there. Nonetheless, desperate in my search for a summer internship, I applied to the Apprentice and got accepted. I didn’t get too excited because I was sure that I would be fired after the first round. My strategy was to concentrate on the task at present and not get too bogged down by thinking about the future. Little did I know that I would end up winning The Apprentice. To this day, I remember how my knees were shaking when my name was announced. That is how I got my summer internship at Deloitte, which eventually lead to a full-time position. The moral of the story is to keep persevering and do things that are out of your comfort zone because life has a way of surprising you in the most unexpected ways.

Samar is a recent graduate of the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto majoring in Accounting. She is currently a Staff Accountant in our Toronto Audit practice.

Samar Ahmed
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