Believe in You!
When I was in college, one of my male mentors gave me an advice which has made a huge difference to my life since. We were talking about graduate schools and I was going on about how none of the Ivy League colleges would look at my applications because I was in a small Liberal Arts college in Ohio that they probably had never heard about. I had believed in this myth and internalized it, because one of my professors had said to me that I shouldn't bother to apply to these schools for this reason. I had believed him. But my mentor would hear none of it. It was then that he told me to never give anyone a reason not to offer me a position, an award, a promotion etc. I should always believe that I can do it and go ahead and do myself a favor, and apply for ANY position that I have a strong passion for, or any Award that I feel like I deserve, or ANY school that I desire to attend because it is a great school and I am great candidate. After that, if they say NO, then at least I gave myself a chance at the opportunity. And, trying is always good training.It was all that male confidence that Sheryl Sandberg was talking about in her book "Lean In". I took in his advice. I did apply to several schools including Cornell University's Analytical Chemistry program. Although I did not get into Cornell, I got into the #2 school in Analytical Chemistry in the US: Purdue University and worked with a world renowned Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry: Prof: Richard Graham Cooks.Purdue was a great experience and I shall forever be thankful for my experiences there. Beside graduate school application, I applied his advice for the rest of my years in college. I applied to all the Awards that I believed I was a qualified candidate for and got ALL of them. It amazed me how I had short changed myself before and how many excuses I had come up with for not applying before. I had to go back to this advice when I was applying for jobs as well after graduation. Go ahead and apply instead of second guessing your abilities. If they think you won't fit in their company or you are not the person they were thinking of, they will let you know by saying no. And a "no" is not even the worst thing that could happen. The worst thing that could happen, is you telling yourself NO first, without giving yourself a chance at the opportunity at hand. So I have to keep reminding myself every now and then, whenever I have those moments of second guessing. And I wanted to let you in on this advice too. Believe in yourself. Always.