Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Our freshly-minted college graduate is now gainfully employed!
That's my niece who's been living with us since she graduated in May. The photo is from an apple picking outing upstate with my daughter and her friends. My niece had an internship with Paper Magazine over the summer, and has been looking for a full time job ever since. Just as she started getting discouraged, goodness swamped her. There's a small story involved, given that we humans are meaning-making machines.
Last Thursday, my niece and I took a Lyft car to meet my daughter at a restaurant for our semi-regular girls night. I was still in my expansive mood from the meeting I'd had that afternoon, and our Lyft driver only enlarged that. His license plate said "ABAGNON" and I asked him what it meant. "It's an African word from Benin meaning everything will be okay," he said, and then began asking us about ourselves. Is that your daughter? he asked me. She's my niece and goddaughter, I said, and she is much loved. Are you in school? he asked her. No, I just graduated and I'm looking for a job. Don't get discouraged, he told her. Ask for what you want, and listen to everything your auntie tells you. Speak to God, and trust that everything is coming to you. We had a cheerful conversation about faith and prayer for the ten short blocks we traveled, and when we got out of the car, my niece and I agreed that it hadn't felt at all as if the man was proselytizing, but rather that he was sprinkling blessings over us. It's hard to explain, but neither of us felt pinned to the seat by efforts to convert us, it felt so much lighter and brighter than that.
The next day, my niece got offered not one, but two jobs! One, a paid internship with UNICEF, and the other as a full time digital editorial coordinator for a travel and lifestyle brand, with benefits. Best of all, the full time job has a two-month on-boarding process, so she can work for UNICEF in the meantime! She told them about the possibility of the full time job, explained they were at the point of checking her references, and the UNICEF people said, "Of course someone else wants you!" and "We want what's best for you, so you can work with us until you need to leave." Apparently, the UNICEF internship drew more than 300 applicants, all of whom were required to do an edit test. My niece did the test at 11 PM Saturday night after spending the day apple picking. She was exhausted but had just seen the position listed and the deadline was the next morning. Her interviewers, four of them on a conference call, two of them in England, told her that her edit test was at the very top percentile. An hour after interviewing her last Friday morning, they called her back and offered her the job. That same evening, the digital editorial coordinator position was offered to her as well.
It couldn't have worked out better for her. I went into the Lyft app and tipped that driver who was sprinkling blessings ten dollars, which was more than the cost of our ride. I just felt as if I should give a little back to the angels.
(Haha, and now she just got a callback from Buzzfeed!)