When it came time to pursue internship and career options, prospects were daunting as an international student. After more than 100 rejections, I took the bold step of posting my struggles on LinkedIn. I tagged an executive at LinkedIn, who then commented on the post and triggered a viral response that astonished me. Recruiters reached out to tell me their companies needed more people with my boldness. Other job seekers shared their struggles with me and with each other. The experience led to an ongoing social media conversation about job searching and immigration experiences. It also kick-started my career path.
Today, I use my social media presence to help inspire others through my profile and #theBOLDjourney. Our shared experiences show that it’s normal to go through these life struggles. Through our individual challenges and victories, our stories can build a quilt to cover one another.
That sense of sharing and bringing others along with you is part of who I am. There’s an Ngoni Bantu word from Southern Africa, “Ubuntu,” which means “I am, because of who we are.” It’s ingrained in me to build community and to help and uplift others. Even if we feel like we achieved something by ourselves, there’s always somebody rooting for you or willing to give you a chance. —Akosua Boadi-Agyemang, from Francistown, Botswana