It’s painful for me to write this first sentence, so let’s just get it out of the way…

Yesterday afternoon I was informed that Union Square Ventures was no longer interested in considering me for the analyst position. I did not make the cut.

I am immediately taken back to the beginning of the summer and one of my first posts entitled ”Their Mistake, My Fault" about receiving my TechStars rejection email. Looking back at this post, I am reminded of three things:

  1. I was overly optimistic about my chances to get into extremely competitive TechStars NYC program at the time. Looking back at the teams that were selected and just completed the program, these teams totally blew us out of the water for the various reasons stated in my post. So it was certainly not “TechStars Mistake” — they made the right choice. It was our ambitious mistake, but I’m still very happy for the experience of applying.
  2. I love my enthusiasm and optimism in the face of rejection. It’s awkward for me to quote myself, but this statement is totally appropriate (again). “I don’t make excuses or have regrets. I make shit happen and learn from the past.”
  3. Mark Suster again provides comfort with his sympathetic post that sums up my feelings exactly — “Embrace Your Loses - They Will Make You Stronger

Reading through Mark’s post again, it’s scary how accurate his assessment reflects what I am going through right now. It is so authentic and real, and that’s why I love it and have to quote his whole opening paragraph just to make myself feel better.

I HATE LOSING. I hate it. I really, really, really hate it. It chaps my hide. It rips at my core. I don’t get over it easily. I lose sleep. I fucking hate losing. It’s not so much the actual outcome that I hate - it’s the process. The fact that I lost when I should have won.”

And in that final sentence he says it all. “The fact that I lost when I should have won.” I look back on the TechStars rejection, and I now can say we should not have been in the same class as those companies. But this is different. Maybe in time I will come to feel the same way I did about TechStars, but this, right now, is different.

I am still convinced that if I made it through the initial screening, I would have been the last one standing at the end of the interviewing process. I know there are some extremely talented people interviewing for the position, and this is by no means a knock on them. I honestly believe that I would have come out on top given the opportunity to go through the in-person interviewing. Maybe it speaks to my strength to interview in person or to the fact that I could have done better with the video interviews, but I know I would have shined.

(Oh, and for the record, I am aware of how ridiculous that last statement may sound. I know. I didn’t even make the cut for the top 10% of the applicants and I’m still convinced I’m the best person for that position. That’s just who I am.)

So now that I have that out of my system, it’s time to move on.

I have nothing but the utmost respect for USV, and I wish nothing but the best for all the candidates who are still in the mix. Honestly. I am not a sore loser, and I don’t hold grudges. I live. I learn. And I become better because of my loses. USV is a tremendous company and means so much to the NYC tech community, and I know they will continue to do well.

I certainly have learned a lot from this process, and I am truly thankful for that. I will second guess myself on a lot of it, but that’s just the way I am. I hate losing and hate rejection, but I accept it as an integral part of how I improve.

At the end of the day, this rejection is just another stepping stone of my personal philosophy on life:

Learn. Grow. Dominate.