Adebanke Otunba-Payne told the photographer how she became a sales-and-service cashier at the dealership after graduating from Providence College in Rhode Island with a degree in accounting.
A snippet from their 35-minute conversation and her photo were posted on the blog and Facebook on March 2. It was shared more than 22,000 times with 19,000 people commenting on it, in addition to more than 824,000 liking it.
"I'd probably sent out my résumé to 30 different places," Otunba-Payne told Humans of New York. "And I couldn't afford to keep waiting for people to call me back. So I went to the strip with all the car dealerships, and started going door-to-door to see if they had any openings in accounting."
After striking out at a few dealerships, she went to Jaguar Land Rover Manhattan, which she says was her "first choice" anyway.
"They sat me down right there for an interview," Otunba-Payne said. "I was there all afternoon, then they said, 'We like what we see. Can you start tomorrow?' I ran outside and called my parents. My dad was so proud of me. I was so proud of myself."
Despite its name being left out, "A lot of people realized it was our dealership because I've gotten a lot of notes saying, 'What a great thing' or 'Thanks for hiring her,'" Isaac Ashwal, vice president and general manager, told Edmunds.
The duo that interviewed her, Service Manager Anthony Caligione, and Service Director Mikhail Kopilovich, told Edmunds they were struck by her warm personality, her positive outlook and her tenacity, something that other recent job candidates lacked.
"It did send a nice message that having perseverance, determination and a hard-work ethic will get you somewhere," Ashwal said.
Edmunds says: There are lots of heroes in this story, starting with dealership management that recognized potential when it walked in the door.