November 3, 2020


2 minutes

6 months of failure

Kareem Abukhadra

Author, Founder Relentless

In college, I spent 6 months trying to land a summer internship. After getting rejected from over a hundred companies, I almost gave up. Then, I landed a role at an a16z-backed startup.

The best part is when I first reached out, a recruiter rejected me stating that there weren't any open roles. That was no reason to stop trying! I cold messaged the VP of sales, got him on the phone, and convinced him to create a role for me.

Here's how:

  1. I spent 20 minutes of the time listening & asking questions to understand his needs:
  • "What are your quarterly goals?"
  • "What challenges are you facing trying to hit those goals?"
  • "What's something that needs to get done that never does?"
  1. After each reply, I dug into his answers to understand exactly what he meant and try to identify the root causes of problems.
  2.  I spent the next 9 minutes sharing why I would be the right person to solve those problems.
  3. I spent the last minute asking if we could set up more time and finding time on our calendars while I had him on the phone.
  4. I emailed a follow-up right after and shared a few specific things I could do to solve his problems. (Shared below)

There's no reason YOU can't try this too!

Feel free to reply if you have qs (:


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