Austin Z. Henley

Assistant Professor

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!