Ivan Radith: "How Long Is It Going To Last?"
Faces of L.A.ās Jobless: A Neon Tommy Special Report >>>
Born and raised in Indonesia, he moved to California in 2005 to attend college because his parents saw more opportunities for him here. Heās a U.S. citizen but views America as a foreign country. He sees himself more as an Asian than an American.
His father is the regional director of an American bank in Indonesia. His mother ingrained in him the ways of Asian culture.
Radith graduated last year from California State University, Northridge, and majored in finance. He loves math and analysis. Heās been struggling to find a full-time job that taps into his talent.
āIt discourages me a lot,ā he said. āI just feel, how long it is going to last?ā
He worked part time in a coffee shop in the first semester of college. But academics became more intense, and he quit. In the second year, Radith received an offer of a paid internship in a friendās toy manufacture company. The company was small, but Radith enjoyed working there.
āI studied everything that is related to my business major, from accounting to shipping, everything. I learned a lot,ā he said.
Radith had hoped for a full-time position when he graduated, but the owner decided to move the company to Hong Kong. In 2008, he laid off all the employees who couldnāt move there. Radith didnāt want to leave. āThe U.S. is still going to be the super power. Jobs are still here,ā he said.
Having spent 15 years in Asia, Radithās parents told him not to return as a local, but to find a job and come home as an expatriate. Asia still looks up to the U.S., and Asian companies tend to pay foreigners higher than locals.
But heās placed that dream on hold. Because of his proficiency in Math, Radithās professor alerted him to a job at an elementary school to teach after-school math in September 2008. But the position only lasted four months. Radith found teaching annoying when he had to deal with the drama of children. āI love kids ā but the very small one who doesnāt cry.ā
Making his own money gave Radith a sense of independence. After quitting the teaching job, Radith couldnāt find another job in the economic downturn. He took a break from working and focused more on school, where he finished two majors in finance and management and graduated with honors.
After graduation, Radith found his fourth job as a loan officer at TomatoBank, where his responsibility was to accept loan applications. His feeling towards this job was complicated. Heās interested in finances, but he grew bored by working in a small bank, and quit in January.
He applied for jobs with the big banks, but they all rejected him because he did not have the work experience they want.
Radith now is considering pursuing an MBA degree.
However, MBA schools also require the same work experience as the big banks. Radith, 22, was the youngest applicant in the admission interview of Cornell University, and the second youngest one was 29 years old, who has been working since the age of 18. The Cornell instructor suggested Radith gain some work experience and apply again next year. So now he is back to job hunting again.
Radith has sent over 100 job applications in January. He goes to job interviews four times a week for two months in concession and has refused several job offers so far. Still, he refuses to work in entry level. To some other companies, he was considered over qualified. His expectation for jobs is always an entry level job at big companies, such as JP Morgan, Citi and UPS. This expectation has never changed for all these months.
His ambition is to be a hedge fund manager who deals with stock market trading and foreign exchange.
āI see myself in New York and Wall Street,ā said Radith.
Jobless for 11 months, Radith says heāll take anything--even if itās a sales job.
Managers donāt like people who sound desperate. āI just want to tell them, donāt pay me a month and see what I can do. But that just sounds desperate.ā
Best way to find more great content from Neon Tommy?
Or join our email list below to enjoy the weekly Neon Tommy News Highlights.