Austin Z. Henley

I work on AI + dev tools.

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All my career rejections


See the discussion of this post on Hacker News.

I've been reflecting on rejections lately. I've been fortunate to have more successes than I had ever imagined, but receiving a rejection email is never a fun day. I decided to write out every single rejection in my career from industry jobs, academic jobs, conference papers, and research grants.

Over 50 times I have been rejected in my short career. Gotta collect em' all!

Rejected industry positions

I first interviewed for a full-time industry position in 2013 right before graduating with my masters, and it did not go well. I've had some offers, but quite a few more rejections.

Rejected academic positions

Typing this list out makes it feel really long. I was very fortunate to receive numerous offers even though I didn't expect to get a single one. Big thanks to my Ph.D. advisor, Scott Fleming, and mentor, Margaret Burnett, for their help preparing me.

Rejected conference papers

Paper rejections don't sting anymore. I seem to have about a 50% acceptance rate with my submissions. And with the help of many great collaborators, I've co-authored strong papers that have won several awards. The rejections are inevitable and generally lead to a better paper anyway, right?

Rejected grants

I've had two grant proposals funded and two rejected, so I should probably submit more...

More rejections to come!