Earlier this year, I made a resolution that I would stop waiting for my dreams to materialize. I was going to make them happen. So, driven by this, I went on adventures that scared me. I said no to things that didn’t make me happy. I pursued projects that allowed me to express myself creatively. I launched dreams that empowered others.

In following this streak, I recently, applied for an internship at a global company that some say is tougher to get into than university. Between society expectations and my own goals, I have always aimed to do at least one internship each year.

This year, I somehow convinced myself that applying to Google would be the best thing for my career journey.

My mission in life is to help businesses and individuals amplify their mission and increase their impact through the use of digital solutions.

After reflecting on this mission, I felt that an internship at Google would really challenge me to bring impact on a large-scale level. And in case that wasn’t convincing enough, their super cool working culture was a great incentive to work there.

So armed with the prayers of my mother, endless hours spent researching Google’s application process and, finally, my passion and determination to make a difference — I applied! I should probably also mention that this wasn’t my first time. But once again, I convinced myself that I was worth the shot. #shootyourshot2018

Two weeks, and a day too soon, I got my second rejection email. Shocked and disappointed did not begin to describe how I felt. Here was a dream I had waited for so long. And like the sudden pop of a balloon, it was gone just like that. Rejection was not just something I read about, I was now experiencing it.

It took me minutes to move on from those two simple sentences. I reflected, reread and reimagined what was happening. And finally, when it sunk in, I took a pen and a paper and wrote down how I felt before my emotions drowned me.

In between the words and the spaces, I suddenly began finding inner peace. In a letter addressed to myself, I also discovered some lessons that I was able to draw from this experience. As I share this letter, I hope that it encourages you and helps you find a way to overcome your rejection. The most important thing to remember is that this is not the end — this too shall pass!

Dear Hope,

Well, that went down the drain real fast, didn’t it?

I more than anyone know how much you wanted to this opportunity. You poured not just your energy but your courage into making this work. 

Right now, the disappointment is real. What next, you want to ask. Where do I find my next answer? See the truth is, I don’t have one. And you may not find an answer any time soon! But if anything, I want you to remember that life is a journey and this is just a bump. Yes, it’s a rather sad affair, but if anything you should be happy.

Shoot your shot

Be happy that you shot your shot and sent in that application. Many times, fear and self-doubt hinders people from pursuing great opportunities. But this time, you took a leap of faith and believed in yourself and your potential.

Rejection is not the end

Be happy because being rejected by Google does not mean it’s the end. There are a lot of great companies out there that you could still bring impact to and fulfill your mission. Now that this is out of the way, you now have the challenge of searching wider for other great opportunities.

Rejection does not define your worth

Be happy because you know rejection does not mean you’re not worth it. When you combine your skills, experience and all the great things you’ve accomplished so far, you’ll discover that you are a pretty amazing boss lady.

Take your lessons and move on

Be happy because if anything, you learnt a lot from this application process. You learnt about yourself, who you are and what you want. You learnt more about the digital industry and how you can bring impact to the communities around you.

At the end…

For anyone reading this, I wrote this letter as a form of therapy. I find that writing down my thoughts helps me work through my emotions and overcome them. 

But most importantly, I wrote this letter to remind others and myself that rejection is a part of life. The highlights as well as the setbacks shape who we are and make us stronger.

So, I encourage you to begin embracing rejection. Once you do this, you will discover that getting back up becomes easier. And if anything, remember, you, are greater than this!

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  • Hope Mutua

    Thrive Global Campus Editor-at-Large from The African Leadership University

    I believe in finding lessons in every experience. My name is Hope and yes I've just about every joke there is to do with my name. But I'm still here. I am currently pursuing my undergrad and following my passions in women empowerment, photography, digital marketing, and baking.