How Speed Dating, Plaid & Coneing Got Me a Job on King Street

Last year I got to work for T.I.F.F on King Street.  I got a taste of what it was like to work Downtown, doing something that I loved, being surrounded by like-minded people who just

loved

film.  This year, I'll be working on King Street again, not for a couple weeks, but an

ENTIRE YEAR

(and hopefully longer than that if they'll have me).  This is the story of how I got my first "big girl job". 

Yesterday Virgin Mobile made me a verbal offer to become their Channel Communications & Campaign Intern.  When they asked me if I would accept their offer I said: "YES.  A thousand times, YES!", then proceeded to give my newest employers and co-workers high-fives and hugs. 

We're totally on that level now. 

It was what I can only imagine how I'll feel when I get engaged. 

Except with a lot less high fives. 

But this story starts a little while back, before the interview.  It starts at speed-dating.

SPEED DATING.

In December, you'll recall that I went speed dating with a group of gal pals at Riva Supper Lounge.  It was generally unsuccessful, but during one of my 3 minute dates, I ended up talking about careers with a young man whose name I cannot for the life of me remember. 

Sorry Guy!

He was very nice, and unfortunately that might have been a weakness.

Ugh. Girls are so backwards and fickle, right?!

Anyways, he told me about this program he joined online that set graduates up with paid internships, and advised me to sign up because that was how he started his career.  I wrote the website down, and joined it a week later, half skeptical and jaded from my last 6 months of disappointment in job hunting.  I subscribed to e-mail updates to positions I might be interested in, and a few weeks later, after accepting that I probably was not going to find my dream job any time soon, I got an e-mail notifying me about the position at Virgin Mobile.

I thought they'd be cool to work for, and once I read the posting, I knew I could get the job.  Among the requirements? "Must be fun, have good sense of humour, and love to laugh."

Sold. 

These are my strongest traits, and I was going to show them god dammit!

I spent a few hours applying for the position, writing a cover letter, and filling out answers to questions, and updating my resume - you know, the boring and tedious part about getting a job.  By the time I finished, I was so drained and tired that I was just happy that it was over and that I had, at the very least,

tried. 

Low and behold they contacted me the next day for an interview, and a couple days later I was sitting in their King Street office for an interview.  It went so well that at certain points I forgot that I was even being interviewed for something.  I felt totally comfortable just being myself, and not trying to convince them that I was some super professional clone that liked to work, and disliked sparkles, glitter, cupcakes, rainbows, and smiles.  Everyone who I came into contact with was smiling in the office and seemed like they loved being there - something I've never seen at any place I've worked (except Coast Mountain Sports), or been interviewed at before!  They told me they'd be inviting candidates that they liked back on Monday for a second interview, and that we'd have an assignment to do over the weekend if I was one of those candidates.  I already knew I was going to be one of those candidates, so I manically checked my E-mail on Friday even though it was supposed to be my "no-technology weekend away from civilization, dog sledding trip".  When I finally got the E-mail, over come with giddiness, I took a look at the project.

"Design a 1-page document on any topic you are passionate about; we are looking for originality and creativity."

PLAID.

A moment of panic later, I knew what I was going to do my assignment on.  I thought about what I was passionate about, and couldn't come up with anything right away.  Passionate?  People are only passionate about boring things.  I'm passionate about writing, but that would be the most boring article ever.  Then I thought about things that I just really love, and make my life more interesting and fun.  Something that made me quirky, something that I believed in, something that I could make

funny. 

I thought about all the plaid shirts I brought on the dog sledding trip. Tons of plaid.  Plaid shirts and pajamas.  Just a shitload of plaid.  Clearly, I was passionate about plaid...I had it! PRETTY IN PLAID!

As soon as I got home I spent the next few hours designing this picture on Photoshop - a compilation of all my plaid shirts and why I think they are so freaking great.  It was a success.  I went in for the second interview, and it was just as laid back as the first one.  The difference being they had Google searched my blog and read up on all of my antics - and were particularly intrigued and impressed by one of my sillier endeavours.

CONEING.

During the summer, I went cone-ing and wrote about the experience in a blog, that I honestly never thought would play any part in me getting a job.  In fact, I thought that if anything, it might hurt my chances of getting

any

job.  Oh well.  Apparently Virgin Mobile likes to have the kind of fun that I like to have, and that's A-OK with me.  I'm super excited to start a job where they already know and embrace the stupid shit that I do in my spare time, and encourage that I bring more of it to the table!

When my interviewers walked me out and we stood in the reception area, thrilled about the new partnership, I said: "Guys, you need to know that I'm

so

weird.  Cone-ing is just the beginning."  They responded by saying I'd fit right in!  I had a miserable 2011 cursing the fact that I didn't have a proper job, and that I didn't think I'd truly fit in anywhere, but the wait seems worth it when I think about how awesome this job feels already, and I haven't even officially started yet.  Kids, dreams really do come true.

Arianne Tong1 Comment