Wonsulting is all about turning underdogs into winners. What does “underdog turned winner” even mean? It’s the mission of Wonsulting to help those who come from non-target schools/non-traditional backgrounds to land into their dream companies.
Over the course of 5 years, I’ve met many underdogs in our Wonsulting community who exemplify the characteristics and potential to become the best in their fields not only because of their work ethic but also their character. Exemplified in their actions, these Wonsulting underdogs turned winners are prime examples of leaders to look up to. Their success was never linear; rather they went through rejections but saw it as redirections, they took steps back in their careers but also took more steps forward, and most importantly, they give back to others because they remember the times when they were in the same shoes of million of job-seekers trying to land into their dream careers.
In this article, I talk about how these Wonsulting Mentors from The20 are turning underdogs into winners and why you should follow their journeys. I’ll also go through exactly why we chose them to lead the first cohort of The20, a Wonsulting Company which is a cohort based job accelerator made up of 20 highly ambitious underdogs who are looking to break into their dream careers. Because of them, the mentees have landed 40+ interviews in a 3 month span with multiple offers from companies including EY, Udemy, PwC, Deloitte, Booz Allen, MongoDB, and more.
Meet the Wonsulting Mentors for The20
Yifan Gong is currently a Manager, Recruiting Operations at Udemy, a global marketplace for learning and teaching online. I first met Yifan when I first graduated from UC Riverside; I was lost in my career but was fortunate that my mentors, Joy Embry and Linda King, introduced me to him while he was in LinkedIn’s BLP program. I remember having a phone chat with him and preparing for a phone conversation by preparing questions; he answered them thoroughly which helped me learn more about what I wanted to do in my career.
Yifan exemplifies the true underdog turned winner mentality because of his willingness to give back to his community. In our sessions for The20, he provides amazing insight on the hiring process to encourage students to land their dream jobs and to debunk resume myths (as we do on our TikTok). His experiences working in 3 tech companies with LinkedIn, Instacart, and now Udemy are only a smart of who he is: he’s a person who exemplifies a friendly personality, someone who you can reach out to not just as a connection, but as a friend.
Brandon Schwartz is currently a Management Consultant at Capco, a management and technology consultancy dedicated to the financial services industry. I met Brandon through our COO Jerry Lee as they are really good friends from Babson college. I remember the first time I met Brandon and could instantly tell that he was always about giving back to the community; whether it was through his words of wisdom during our LinkedIn Lives or joining Wonsulting events, Brandon’s advice has helped hundreds of our community members learn and grow their skills, especially in the consulting field.
Brandon exemplifies an underdog turned winner mentality because of his willingness to give without expecting anything in return. Although in a field that is known as having 60+ hour work weeks, Brandon takes time out of work to deliver results: in this case, results meaning advice that will help generations of job-seekers for years to come.
Ami Patel, also known as #AuthenticAmi, is one of my most passionate Wonsulting mentees I know and is currently a Masters student at University of Southern California (USC). She’ll be working at Microsoft as a Program/Product Manager in the summer! When I first met Ami, she was interning at Splunk and was attending many of our Wonsulting LinkedIn Lives; one thing that stood out about Ami to me was her willingness to keep on going despite rejections from companies. Her mindset is one that many should mirror because it’s what exemplifies the true definition of “rejection is redirection”.
Ami is an underdog turned winner not only because she pushed through rejections but because of her storytelling. Being a first-gen woman in tech, she is an upcoming female leader who all students should look up to if they’re trying to break into the tech industry. Ami defines the non-linear career journey, a journey that most people don’t talk about but she does, and that’s what makes her authentic.
Adrian Lauderdale and I met on LinkedIn a few years ago when he was beginning to create content on the platform; I remember the videos he created that fell into my LinkedIn Newsfeed in unison with Germain Louie and knew that he would be someone who would make a difference in the world. Having done many speaking engagements now, Adrian is not only a public speaker but is all about adding value to his community; he’ll be working at Hubspot as a Business Development Representative in the next few months as well!
Adrian’s underdog turned winner story is one that all should hear; he loves creating content on LinkedIn, and he was even invited to speak at one of LinkedIn HQ’s events at the same time I was to talk about his experience. I remember inviting him to the Google office when he visited at the time, and we recorded one of my #WeeklyWordsofWisdom videos. His dream at the time was to intern at LinkedIn, but although it didn’t work out, the rejection was a redirection to him interning at Slack and then accepting an offer at Hubspot. It’s all due to his willingness to foster relationships and make friends with everyone he meets.
Iris Guo and I met on LinkedIn in 2020 when she started not only creating LinkedIn content but also participated in several workshops and hackathons. I always wondered to myself how someone like her could do a million things at once with all of the projects she’d been working on, whether for OpenMeal or Neutrify. Through her work ethic and determination, she accepted offers both at Microsoft and Google X, a feat that many people wouldn’t be able to accomplish.
Iris is a true underdog turned winner because of her ability to balance both work and passion projects. It’s amazing to see someone in her position do the things she does (and with ease too). It reminds me of myself when I was a senior in university doing everything I could to help my community succeed. The same with Iris; for her, it’s all about making an impact on the world, or as she likes to say, an #IrisImpact.
Gary Pierre is an amazing example of an underdog turned winner. Coming from an international background, Gary reached out to me last year to participate in our Wonsulting Project 2020 (and winning it too); however, I knew it would be more than just a one-time interaction with him. Through his consistent networking and actions, he was able to land internship positions at Selena and Nasa.
Gary’s underdog turned winner story comes from his mentality; his LinkedIn posts are always transparent about the job search process, referencing both his rejections and successes but also shows takeaways on what he learned so others can too as well. People like Gary have the world in their hands, a world that’s waiting to be inspired and motivated by a leader like him.
Jason Tsao and I met a few years ago when he first started at Accenture as a Consultant. I remember when we first chatted on the phone about LinkedIn content and our careers; I could tell he had a willingness to help others in their careers and would always update me regarding his progress in his career/life. He also started his own project called Never Ending Cycle which is his travel blog aimed to show that travel is possible to all regardless of budget.
Jason is an underdog turned winner because he not only puts action to the Wonsulting advice but also has an eagerness to always help others. He participated in the Wonsulting Project 2020, helping job-seekers affected by COVID-19 layoffs & furloughs by providing opportunities to them to contribute to his blog. Also, I always say that <1% of people update me regarding their careers; thankfully, Jason is part of that 1%.
The first time I met Oliver Pour, there was only one emoji to describe him as: 🔥. When we had our first phone conversation, I could tell he was eager to put the work in to land his dream career in the tech industry. Having leadership positions and being elected as President of Boston University as a junior, his potential was through the roof; through his tenacity, he was able to secure two internships both at Facebook and Amazon.
Oliver’s underdog story comes from grit; everytime he was rejected for a role, he got back up and worked 10x harder. I’ve never seen anyone with his willpower; his mentality is if he can do it, you can too, and when he gets to where he wants to be, he’ll help thousands of others do the same.
When I think of Bihan Jiang, I think of someone who is “all knowing” in so many different fields; whether it’s Operations, Software Engineering, and Product, Bihan knows everything. I met her when I was at Cisco and she was too; it was when Wonsulting was first growing and scaling, and I’m super happy to see her growth throughout the past few years, having interned at amazing companies such as Facebook, Instagram, and Cisco before accepting an offer at Scale AI.
Bihan’s underdog turned winner mentality is what others thrive off of; she even had her own YouTube channel which breaks down interviewing, networking, and more career development opportunities. If you’re thinking of someone who knows what she’s talking about, look no further with Bihan’s amazing words of wisdom.
Alvin Meledath, who also is the Customer Experience Lead at Wonsulting, is one of the most caring people I know. Having worked in Sales and Customer Success, Alvin has helped so many people especially coming from International Backgrounds. He even wrote a Wonsulting blog before regarding motivational tips for those with similar backgrounds. Alvin was a no-brainer to have as a mentee; through messages like this below, I could already tell he truly wanted to make a difference in people’s lives.
Alvin’s underdog story comes from his background, having been through rejections after graduating from his masters but ultimately landing into his dream field at Softchoice. Alvin is always transparent with his story, sharing his insights on LinkedIn which have helped thousands especially in from international and sales backgrounds.
These amazing Wonsulting mentors of The20 are not just underdogs turned winners due to their backgrounds; what makes each of them unique is their willingness to give back to their communities, whether Wonsulting or on LinkedIn. Following them is a golden opportunity, and if I had people to select from the Wonsulting community to look up to, it’s them indeed.
Be on the lookout for them as they turn more underdogs into winners and help thousands more land their dream jobs.
Jonathan Javier is the CEO/Founder of Wonsulting, which mission is to “turn underdogs into winners”. He’s also worked in Operations at Snap, Google, and Cisco coming from a non-target school/non-traditional background. He works on many initiatives, providing advice and words of wisdom on LinkedIn and through speaking engagements. In total, he has led 220+ workshops in 9 different countries including the Mena ICT Forum in Jordan, Resume/Personal Branding at Cisco, LinkedIn Strategy & Operations Offsite, Great Place To Work, Talks at Google, TEDx, and more. He’s also been featured as a Top Job Search Expert in articles from Forbes, Business Insider, DailyMail, Yahoo News, LinkedIn News, Jobscan, Brainz Magazine, and more. He’s amassed 800K+ followers on LinkedIn, Instagram,& TikTok as well as 30+ million impressions monthly on his content.
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