Learn. Share. Repeat.

“life is about creating and living experiences that are worth sharing” – Steve Jobs.

When great friend of mine Lionel, who is happen to be a teacher at CALUMS (University I graduated from), calls and says:

— Hey Dani, what’s up? here is the thing, I need you to come to my Tuesday class, give a 10 – 15min speech to my students, share your experience during your student years: how to apply to jobs, how to set your goals right and how to find a right company that eventually will become your sponsor taking care of your immigration status.
– Umm not sure if I can do that man, I mean I don’t think…
– (by interrupting) No excuse, you will do well, trust me. They really need to hear your story and advices you are going to give them. Just make your speech casual, at the end we will make Q&A session.
– Alright Lionel, if you say so, Ill be there.

My main goal was to delivery an educational speech, sharing my own experience and knowledge that would help graduate students to find a right path towards their professional career. One of my life credo says: “by helping others you are helping yourself”, feeling of being helpful to others, is one of most remarkable feeling we can possible have, which is not only satisfies our spiritual insides but also gains confidence and believes. That being said, even so I was little nervous, fear of public speaking didn’t go away from me until now, on top of that I didn’t have that much content to share, regardless of all of that I still had a lot of excitement from the fact that I’m going to perform in front of group of students, possible become their mentor for 20 min more or less.

The preparation for the speech itself didn’t take me long, it’s about my journey and steps that I was taking during my transition between school and my job, why should I even prepare for that right? Basically I’ve spent about few hours just to outline the speech, put some keynotes, did some rehearsal and straight drove to the school with full of excitement and confidence. The moment I arrived and open the door the class, my self-confidence went downhill. First of all, there were not 20 students but at least 40 if not more, second they all staring at me and expecting some hell of the speech. All I was thinking that time was how to not ruin the trust and credits I was given by my friend Lionel. I asked him 2-3 extra additional min for me to prepare more, and that’s it, everybody became quite, I started my introduction by saying: “look, I’m not here to teach you guys, I don’t qualify for that, but I’m here to share my knowledge and hopefully it will be very helpful in your near future”, the moment I finished with that sentence, I noticed they are all really listening and expecting real advice and good story from me, it did touched me in a way, all of the sudden I instantly remembered everything that I’ve been through, put myself into their position and with this in mind continued the speech with full of joy and confidence.

To summarize the whole thing, here are the key points (tips & advices) what I’ve made during the speech:

1) Set your goals right. Know exactly what you want from the beginning, take care your finance first, postpone your trips to Vegas, San Francisco, they can wait, time is most valuable thing in this country, don’t waste it.

2) First thing to remember, US doesn’t like lazy people, I mean it. In order to live normal life, when I say normal, (I’m talking about having car, staying under the roof and being able to cover all your credit cards and other bills) you should be ready to work your ass off like you never did before. No discussion. Period.

3) Everybody wants to come to States and stay legally, statistically for 300k every year there is only 85k visa will be issued. Having said that, don’t rely on getting H1b (work visa) too much, as you can you see your chance of qualifying is less than 50%, think applying for the Green Cart right away, you are going to have to option: getting married to US citizen or through the Employer.

4) Green cart through US citizen. There is nothing I can talk about, everything is clear as crystal already. My only recommendation would be, if you ever get chance of doing so, just do it, trust me, it will make your life way easier. Plus, there is always option of divorcing 🙂

5) Green Cart through Employer. My personal experience says, apply for small businesses. You won’t take home astronomic pay check, you won’t have excellent benefits, you probably won’t have paid vacation either, but what you are going to have is, great chance of building trust and connection bridge with your boss, which is eventually going to bring you to the time, when he will say “YES” to sponsoring you with Green Cart. Main difference between working at small company vs corporations, is that your boss would personally know you. Day by day, face to face, you going to have as much casual conversation as conversation relating to your job. At the end, why would somebody sponsor you, without knowing you well enough? Most of the times, they do that not because you are super mega talented specialist, that nobody on the Earth can replace, but just because your boss has sympathy for your loyalty, ambitious, and your personality.

6) Last but not least. United States is a country where in order to achieve something very serious, you have to know a lot, I mean everything about something specific. To put it differently, know everything about something small, rather than a small about everything. Bruce Lee said it best: fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.

Given these points, keep in mind, my message was addressed to the students, who is planning to stay in US by changing their status from being student to having work permit. Everybody else should scratch whatever I’ve said.

Generally speaking, from my perspective, it was tremendous experience and a real privilege sharing my experience and lessons I gained during my own journey, with others, who are hopefully, I should say definitely, will benefit from them. Special thanks to my big friend Lionel, who gave me this remarkable opportunity. As a matter of fact since Lionel teaches another class, I made sure he would invite me one or multiple times to experience this feeling again. Feeling of joy, by sharing your knowledge with people who are about to experience it in the near future. After all knowledge has no value, unless you use and share it.