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114 How a job in the US came my way…

November 24, 2011

Three blogs rolled into one….

On my 30th birthday in 2010 I put up an emotional filled Facebook post that said I had enjoyed the 30 years and that whatever lay in store in the future was all a bonus. 2011 was a watershed year for me. While at a personal level there was a big blow early in the year, on the work front things began to take a dramatic turn for the better. Social networks play a major role in connecting people and it works wonders if you use it and not abuse it.

Two Public Relations firms were in talks with me to offer me a role in consulting sometime in March 2011. One was a new set up which was run by the former CEO of the company where I started my career and the other was Edelman India. I was open to change after June since I would complete two years at the company I was working with then.

Since Edelman was on the shortlist of the next place to work, I began following key Edelman executives globally on Twitter. I had noticed the President of Edelman Chicago active on Twitter and realized the gentleman was in his early fifties from his LinkedIn profile, which was something to regard. Chicago is a city I had come to admire after having visited it twice in 2010.

I had neither dreamt nor wished then, that I would work in this beautiful city. But I had begun to feel since 2008 that some international work exposure would be good since acquiring a foreign degree was very expensive – a crazy trade off, isn’t it? I was slated to be in Chicago in April 2011 and I had couple of hours of free time each of the three days I was going to spend there.

So on a Sunday afternoon (April 17th to be precise) I visited the Edelman website, found the email address of the President of Edelman Chicago and sent an introductory mail mentioning three things – (a) My tentative job offer from Edelman India (b) My interest to start off with Edelman Chicago and (c) That I do not want to relocate to the US permanently or takeaway a job that an American might very well deserve. I was stunned to see a response in four minutes flat and a meeting fixed for the following Tuesday evening. Unbelievable – that someone so senior took the trouble to respond to a stranger on a Sunday afternoon.

Not for nothing it is the Number 1 PR firm in the world. The 20 minute meeting went off smoothly and a few mails exchanged over the fortnight that ensued. The arrangement seemed to fit exactly with what they wanted to explore – Hire a bunch of PR professionals from emerging markets, train them in international PR practices and send them back to their home offices. It made absolute sense for all parties involved.

There was complete silence for almost three months barring couple of calls with HR in Chicago. I informed the MD of Edelman India of my adventurous interaction with Edelman’s Chicago President and he was amazed too. Towards the end of August I had given up hope and was thinking of either evaluating the Edelman India position or the other job offer I had OR continue with the job I was in, but relocate to Gurgaon because the management of the company I was with was based there and it made sense to work in the same office where the bosses sat than in a different location.

Then on August 24th I get a call from HR in Chicago saying they have a job offer for me, that I should join in 5 weeks and that the H1B visa application process would commence immediately. This was a shocker and very exciting news. The rest is History.

I was told by couple of people that I could be the first from India to be directly hired by a global PR firm in one of their US offices. There are instances of people getting transferred or finding a job while already in the US usually soon after graduating from an American University. My case was different – this was vindicated both, at the US consulate during my visa interview and at the immigration counter, when I landed at O’Hare International Airport on October 29th.

114 Comments leave one →
  1. December 8, 2011 5:31 pm

    Amith, this is a great story and also a very good example of how far proactiveness and initiative can take you. I’m a big believer in ‘ask and you shall receive’ and you must be willing to try to make things happen for you. So kudos to you for making that effort and having the ability to think big! I think this is a terrific opportunity. Besides learning more about how PR works here, there are many things that we can learn from Americans — the strong work ethic, the commitment to excellence and the discipline and professionalism towards work in general. I have no doubt that you will take the best of what you learn here and put it to good use when you return to India. Good luck with your stint here!

  2. December 13, 2011 5:24 pm

    You are an inspiration to all those who dare to dream.

  3. December 14, 2011 3:25 am

    A good story about “sticking your neck out”. My move to Lintas has a close resemblance to your story, and I completely believe in it.

    I am sure your learnings in Chicago will be help you progress further with your passion. All the best and let’s keep in touch.

  4. December 14, 2011 3:34 am

    Thanks Ashish. Share your story. Helps inspire young graduates.

  5. sabiana permalink
    December 14, 2011 3:34 am

    Some guys have all the luck!! But I beleiev it is beyond just luck – its to do with belief, simplicity, grit, passion and all of that!! Like I said to you Amith your humblness and passion will take you a long way in life – you are a guy, people normally cherish having around- I wish you and Edelman the very best!! I am begining to see the point you made on Edelman 🙂

    • December 14, 2011 3:38 am

      Thanks Sabi (the first boss) for teaching me to have an eye for detail. Feel free to point out typos 😉

  6. Manjiri permalink
    December 14, 2011 4:34 am

    I have always thought that clarity and planning are your biggest assets! A lot of people are good at what they do but you have an edge over them with these two qualities and I think your journey signifies that unless you know what you want and how you want to do it nobody else is going to trust you!! Keep writing 🙂

    • December 14, 2011 4:37 am

      You must have hit the nail on its head. Lot of planning was leant at SIMC.

  7. Shekhar Das Chowdhury permalink
    December 14, 2011 4:37 am

    I knew the ’till mid-August’ part of the story…but good you wrote this block! I always wondered why AP never informed about his move, or was it that quick. Seems like the latter is the case! Best of luck for the new job and explore States!

    • December 14, 2011 4:47 am

      That’s why you were avoiding my calls. How cute you are Shake Ore…

  8. Ambuj permalink
    December 14, 2011 4:39 am

    Simple things / initiatives do deliver and the quest can take you places. You have proved that.

    I appreciate your courage to put it forward in a simple manner without making it sound heroic! It takes vision, honesty and the determination to live by both.

    Loved your post!

    • December 14, 2011 4:49 am

      Thanks Ambuj. The objective is to inspire young graduates to try new and different things.

  9. Ambika permalink
    December 14, 2011 4:50 am

    This is one of the most inspiring stories ever! The detailed chronology of events that you have described here add to the essence of the success story. You have proved that trying a different route has never harmed anybody and it might end up surprising those who give it a shot! Truly inspiring!

  10. December 14, 2011 4:52 am

    Thanks Ambika. You can do it too… 🙂

  11. Tejasvita Rao permalink
    December 14, 2011 5:01 am

    you’re a rockstar! 🙂 🙂

    • December 14, 2011 5:06 am

      I’m just a rock. The stars I have to still reach out for.

  12. December 14, 2011 5:19 am

    This is a dream story for dreamers. Dreaming and reaching to achieve are two different things, though, and this is a near-perfect and well-narrated tale (like your internship at the Indian National Congress a gazillion years ago!) for a nice bridge between the two. Congratulations!

    • December 14, 2011 5:22 am

      Thankyou Shashi sir. Serendipity indeed. I remembered the internship and will write about that too soon. If not for your encouragement I wouldn’t have tried for that internship. Even getting into SIMC is in the same league as these two in more ways than one.

      • December 14, 2011 5:41 am

        Well, you exemplify the saying “If you don’t buy a lottery ticket, you ain’t gonna win it!” I like the way you regard each reaching-to-achieve task as a huge challenge, so that it gives you that extra seriousness, energy and preparation to encounter it. I’ve seen that thoroughness of preparation is what defines you in what you do. I look forward to the internship piece!

  13. December 14, 2011 5:20 am

    awesomeness!!!! am really proud of u Amith, and if there’s a success story in our friends circle u definitely are the one…..cheers to life and loads more bro…..\\m// (this btw is the devils horn sign flashed at concerts and not someones bimbli)

    • December 14, 2011 5:24 am

      Hey Pritham – you are being too kind and very funny. I’m rolling on the floor laughing.. Cheers to our primary school days of teaching us to dream big.

  14. Carol Pinto permalink
    December 14, 2011 5:24 am

    Lovely Amit!!! Congratulations…I’m sure you’d go a long way…Definitely inspiring for the young and the younger… keep writing….

  15. Pooja Poddar permalink
    December 14, 2011 5:34 am

    Wow Amith! Quite inspiring…I always knew you had that extra edge and you keep proving it time and again. I am sure this will encourage a lot many to be proactive and not keep waiting for opportunities to land at their doorstep!

    Cheers to your determination and courage!

    Good Luck 🙂

  16. December 14, 2011 5:43 am

    This is truly inspiring Amith. This just proves that self belief and hard work can work wonders. Though it was only for a short while, I must say I learnt alot from you while working together. So thank you for that.
    And Congratulations and Good Luck !!!!

    • December 14, 2011 6:06 am

      Thanks Alisha. I would blindly hire you anyday – you know that. So short while can be made into a long while.

  17. Ambika permalink
    December 14, 2011 5:52 am

    yes! i sure will be giving it a shot, soon, very very soon 🙂

  18. Lavanya Rajesh permalink
    December 14, 2011 5:53 am

    You are inspiring Amith. Wish you all the best.

  19. Vernon Lasrado permalink
    December 14, 2011 6:22 am


    Mate I have to tell you the truth …. its always inspiring to hear something from you every now and then…. I really don’t have the patience to read “English” for a long duration… however I read your story twice and I have to tell you … You always have been the good old guy with the “Balls” to do what you want to do…Impressive is just too less for this I have to say! Good work mate…Proud to know someone like you around! Cheers & Peace!

    • December 14, 2011 6:29 am

      Hey Vernon – I’m just the same old guy you knew from Mangalore – only some gray hair and some baldness… thanks for reading and commenting

  20. Sandeep Lakhina permalink
    December 14, 2011 6:24 am

    truly an inspiring and motivating story. feels great to know that you are on a path you wanted & desired. god bless.

  21. jyotsna permalink
    December 14, 2011 6:28 am

    Amith.. the narrative is as compelling as the story. Many a time, as Indians, we are very shy to ask. But, your experience can reassure many of us that there is nothing lost in trying. May you have a long and happening career. Jyotsna

    • December 14, 2011 6:32 am

      The mantra is – Ask and You shall receive. Thanks Jo,

  22. Supriya permalink
    December 14, 2011 6:29 am

    I am very happy for you. My best wishes always.

  23. Kailash permalink
    December 14, 2011 6:40 am

    Hi Amit,

    Truly it inspired me, good show, all the best Amit.

  24. Vinod Pais permalink
    December 14, 2011 6:43 am

    Amith, indeed a nice way to reach destination of choice…shows the readers how social networking really has changed things especially to guys who are deserving & proactive in their approach.

    • December 14, 2011 6:47 am

      Thanks Vinod, for teaching me early in life, to lead.

  25. December 14, 2011 6:44 am

    Amith , your story has hope and its about paradigm shift…. the key learning is to put your efforts and set the bar higher….. you have broken the myth my friend… and a big thank you for writing and letting your friends know about it……

    Best wishes


  26. Priyanka Bhatia permalink
    December 14, 2011 7:05 am

    You always inspiring and always there to help, guide, teach in person and U r truly rock star whichever place or country u be and i wish u all the best.

    • December 14, 2011 7:10 am

      Thanks PB – all the best to you too for the big thing coming your way

  27. December 14, 2011 7:08 am

    Congratulations Amith!
    More better things are on the way.
    Merry Christmas in advance 🙂

  28. December 14, 2011 7:16 am

    Enjoyed reading your post and the comments that followed. All the very best Amith. Stay the same. And oh yes! I would love to read about your internship with the Congress too.

    • December 14, 2011 7:20 am

      Thanks Poo – that blog is coming before christmas. You have lots to write on lenswiper too…

  29. December 14, 2011 7:16 am

    Brilliant! A very inspiring post.

    Reminded me of what Kurth Hahn said, “There is more in you than you really think!” and I am glad you took the step to explore that.

    Wishing you great successes & many milestones ahead.

    May dreams come true.

    Shalini Menon

    • December 14, 2011 7:20 am

      Thanks Shalini. I know you are one of the few, following your dream on a road less travelled.

  30. December 14, 2011 7:45 am

    Good stuff Amith putting digital to its best use 😀

    All the best

    • December 14, 2011 3:34 pm

      Thanks Bhavdeep. Yes digital plays a bigger role than most marketers think.

  31. Shivangi permalink
    December 14, 2011 7:48 am

    🙂 Inspirational indeed, sir! And I thought non- fiction is boring! I’ve started out on an adventurous path of my own…and reading your precise and concise account gives me more hope. Thank you and all the very, very best to you!

    • December 14, 2011 3:35 pm

      What Sir?
      Waiting to hear your story when you are ready to share Shivangi.

  32. smita diwan permalink
    December 14, 2011 8:23 am

    Simply amazing,very inspiring 🙂 great to have you as a good friend Amith Prabhu !!! All the best & Keep writing 🙂 🙂

  33. Preeti Kumar permalink
    December 14, 2011 9:22 am

    Hey Amith, very inspiring indeed. Most of us never give a shot to our aspirations assuming they are impossible to acheive….

    • December 14, 2011 3:36 pm

      Thanks Preeti. One of my all time favourite clients you are.

  34. December 14, 2011 10:51 am

    had I not read this post, I wouldve never realised how big is the achievement for you! You are a classic example of what sheer talent and perseverance can help achieve! damn good buddy, keep up the good show and do us proud!

  35. Ashokan Ponnan permalink
    December 14, 2011 11:24 am

    This is absolutely awesome boss. Have seen so many people during my journey, but you are an exceptionally different person. All the best.

  36. maddy permalink
    December 14, 2011 12:19 pm

    Amazing stuff Amit. We didn’t about this story till now.. you really rock and this is very inspirational

    • December 14, 2011 3:38 pm

      But my doing such crazy things I can never be in one organisation for 24 years like you Madhavan.

  37. Rifath permalink
    December 14, 2011 1:02 pm

    God helps those who help themselves – your story could not have ratified this any further. Truly amazed 🙂 Wishing you lots of luck and laughter along the way, fella SIMCian!

    • December 14, 2011 3:39 pm

      I must say that SIMC was one of the three organisations that taught me to do things differently. Thanks Rifath.

  38. December 14, 2011 1:51 pm

    Inspiring story .

    • December 14, 2011 3:39 pm

      Thanks Radhika. Will surely look you up when I’m in NYC.

  39. December 14, 2011 2:04 pm

    Nice one Amith, Always like to read your blog…Inspiring

    • December 14, 2011 3:41 pm

      The idea is to inspire before I expire 😉 Thanks Vinay for all the support.

  40. Rajvin permalink
    December 14, 2011 3:03 pm

    Great story Amith!!! right from our chaddi days in Aloysius as benchmates, i knew u wld make it big…. so i guess ur success shldnt come as a surprise to those who know u well… proud of you… and surely the PR world wld say you are just warming up mate! cheers and good luck

    • December 14, 2011 3:43 pm

      I have not made it big Rajvin. Still the small guy – except the short pants have become long pants.. Thanks for taking me back to 1988 – 4th benchers we used to be.

  41. Saffronistah permalink
    December 14, 2011 3:47 pm

    Honest story that cuddles the heart and inspires us to stay curious…

    What I find most comforting to remember whenever I hear or read of such experiences is – it’s actually the journey that counts as much as the end-result. True accomplishment is in the trying! Had you not been curious to pursue your dream by sending a mail to Rick; this post would not be here.

    In my own case, I live in the moment and stay curious…

    • December 14, 2011 4:01 pm

      Absolutely Arnab. The key ingredients are indeed to live the moment and stay curious. Thanks.

  42. sandip Janee permalink
    December 14, 2011 5:25 pm

    A truly inspiring story of one of our most talented and intelligent super senior..amit sir there is a lot to learn from you..I will take the learning and try to imbibe it..

  43. Rayan permalink
    December 14, 2011 5:59 pm

    Super like…. two thumbs up….
    Best wishes….

  44. Novena Bothaju permalink
    December 14, 2011 6:46 pm

    Well Amith, this is indeed an exemplary story of ‘SELF MOTIVATION’. You have been a stimulus for Me and many others and definitely for many more to come.

    Shall always look upon you as MY INSPIRATION. Love YOU!!!!

  45. Suhani Jain permalink
    December 14, 2011 9:17 pm

    Hey Amith, thanks for sharing your experience with us.Your instinct about working in the US and passion is indeed applaudable. The fact that you never gave up and patiently waited for a change in your career for that exposure is excellent.Great going.Indeed Edelman is the best PR firm – I met a couple of people from Edelman at the University of Washington and they are so good !Wish you all the best in your career.Cheers

    • December 14, 2011 9:40 pm

      Thanks Suhani. You should consider Edelman Seattle for a job opportunity.

  46. Max and Jessie Rasquinha permalink
    December 15, 2011 1:21 am

    Dear Amith,

    1) Many thanks for sharing your “success story” that has destined you to land in the U.S.A.
    2) Life is filled with many more challenges, and I am sure you will accept life as it comes.
    3) Chicago is a great city, and your gracious presence will make a further difference now.
    4) Each of us have something to offer to the new society, hence wish you best of luck.
    5) The changing climates, the changing cultures will bring so many changes in you.
    6) But knowing your perseverence of the past, you will create futher success story in you.
    7) We wish you best of success in all that you do.
    8)Take Courage, work hard, and give the very best to this great country that will protect you.

    Kind regards and best wishes

    Max and Jessie Rasquinha, Houston, Texas.

    • December 15, 2011 2:55 pm

      Dear Uncle Max and Aunty Jessie – Thanks for your structured and kind wishes. Really appreciate it. Watch this space 🙂

  47. Prem permalink
    December 15, 2011 2:40 am

    Great work Amith, I am sure this is the beginning, God bless.

  48. December 15, 2011 5:59 am

    Proud of you Amith, proud beyond words! 🙂 Life’s all about the dreams you dream and the chances you take to make them turn into reality! I am glad you did exactly that…All the best for the new endeavour…Kick some ass in the “Chic-ago” 😉 Cheers, Drashti

    • December 15, 2011 2:56 pm

      As a great man once said – Stay Hungry, stay Foolish. Thanks Drashti.

  49. Archana Arun permalink
    December 16, 2011 11:03 am

    Loved your post….well its an eye opener for some who are at the cross roads of their lives. Its a cold call of a different level altogether….needs a lot of gall to do that….and am amazed at what you have achieved. Will show this post to my better half cos am sure he badly needs some push on something he has been dodging all this while…this will surely help…….:) thank you and kudos to you….will miss a charming person like you around the office!!!

    • December 16, 2011 4:53 pm

      Was I charming? from when? anyway hope Arun gets inspired. Miss you Archana. Thanks for reading.

  50. praveen nayak permalink
    December 16, 2011 2:55 pm

    Amith praveen nayak from Mangalore. Great to hear all the sucess. Let all your dream come true.All the very best

    • December 16, 2011 4:53 pm

      Thanks Praveen Sir. How have you been – good to hear from you. See some people are not forgotten despite the long silence.

  51. Svasti permalink
    December 21, 2011 9:17 pm

    Wow, enjoyed reading this piece Amith. Good luck in the windy city !

  52. December 22, 2011 4:33 pm

    Thanks Svasti. How have you been?

  53. PRateek Kotha permalink
    December 26, 2011 12:21 pm

    Dear Amith

    It has been a pleasure and indeed an honor to know you and be connected to you.I always feel good to discuss about my internship with AICC for which you guided me so well.I met a batchmate of yours recently in Bangalore and He was telling that there are various things that we can learn from you.Planning and Balance in lyf is what he mentioned and made me understand that I should also follow the same.

    I have been a bit laid back when it comes for organizing things_I am more like a person who executes and moves on to the next assignment.

    This note has made me understand to use the power of social media and not to abuse it and also to be much more organised with my lyf.

    I can very well understand the other company you mentioned here apart from edelman.I was also planning to try for edelman for which I was in discussion with you but currently-I will be taking a short break from professional work due to some personal reasons.

    I would surely be organizing my lyf,work and hit back harder.

    ThanQ for being an inspiration-Putting up an amazing example and raising the bar for Me.


    PRateek Kotha

    • December 28, 2011 5:10 am

      Hi Prateek, Glad the blog helps to inspire you… Do well. You write well. start a blog.

  54. Vishy permalink
    December 27, 2011 1:58 pm

    Great Amit. Wish you all the Best.

  55. December 28, 2011 2:00 pm

    amith! finally i read your story & wow, i feel i kept myself away from some great reality & literature!

    i love what happened with you and yes its great inspiration for us who get so lost in everyday deadlines that we hardly stop to try our luck with our long cherished dreams. we hardly give ourselves that chance…i know i haven’t for the past 7 years of my working life..your story gives me hope for the 8th & counting…

    well done & wish you all the very best! lovely.

    • December 30, 2011 4:07 am

      Thanks Sreeparna. I told you in 2003 that everything’s possible. Now you know 😉

  56. aditi permalink
    January 7, 2012 10:11 am

    Wow Amith! this is inspiring stuff (i noticed that inspiration is an oft repeated word in most of the comments on your blog 🙂 ) but nothing describes your story better. Am impressed!!

    • January 10, 2012 6:48 pm

      Hi Aditi, Thanks for a being a client for a very short while but making an impact on me. stay in touch.

  57. January 12, 2012 11:20 pm


    We are proud to have you as part of our team. We expect that you brought as much knowledge to us as we could bestow upon you. So glad you found us!

    All the best,

    • January 17, 2012 5:52 pm

      Thanks Travis. Time flies. It will be 3 months next week after I joined Edelman Chicago. Thanks for hiring me 😉

  58. jerardin dsouza permalink
    January 24, 2012 6:51 pm

    wow..!!!!…read the people who read your blog..!! It really looks out of the world.,this relocation of yours, dear Amith..You indeed are humble & focussed, from whatever little I know of you.Yes, .AMERICA is the DREAM of everyone’s DREAM…so it looks like the Moon..When you are focussed towards your 2025 Elections…It all looks Possible.Yes ,you indeed think out of the box. If you could be the First in US of surely could repeat it here in India.Your potential is evident…Very happy to see so many people happy for what you have done,my dear Amith.. love, u always jerardin

    • January 25, 2012 4:21 pm

      Hi Jerardin – Yours makes for one of the most interesting comments. Thanks.

  59. Fr. Alwyn M. J. D' Souza permalink
    February 23, 2012 8:22 am

    Dear Amith

    Your blog is truly inspiring! I am not surprised because that’s what you are! Full of possibilities and options! I fondly remember your consistent contribution and pro-active participation in the youth ministry back in India. I remember at times when we hit dead end; you always come up with three options…!

    You have inspired so many young people as the first ICYM National Spokes Person and surprised many more when you ventured out to New Delhi in the millennium year 2000, to serve as the first full time ICYM National Youth Volunteer for nearly 2 years.

    I was lucky to be with you from February 3-6, 2012, for the weekend in your down town apartment at Chicago! Amith, your enthusiasm is truly contagious! What you have achieved so far is just the beginning. A tip of the iceberg! The best is yet to come…!

    It’s my happiness to see you grow and shine. Shine like a star! I’ll be following you with my prayers. God bless you and all your endeavors!

    • February 29, 2012 10:16 pm

      Thank you Fr Alwyn for being an important part of the journey.

  60. June 3, 2012 4:52 am

    Very cool.

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