The job market hasn’t been kind in the past few years, especially to new grads or undergrads looking for internships. Find out the biggest reason why I chose not to settle and how it worked out for me. Written by Juliet Rocco
This can’t be good for my health: My blood pressure was at an all-time high by junior year of college. I still had six months worth of interning to complete in order to graduate on time by May 2013. After filling out countless applications, I decided that my email was the official black hole of the universe.
Week after week, I was scouring the internet and job boards for anything that was passable. Sometimes if I was really lucky, I’d get an automated response from the organization.
By winter, I still hadn’t found anything. It was a feeling of hopelessness and some nights spent crying (I’m not ashamed to admit that). My resume was okay. I had a lot of leadership roles, extracurricular involvement, and a solid GPA to get me by.
Mid-winter: I got an email about scheduling an interview with a small organization for a marketing intern position. I was beyond excited and thought, “This is it, I’ve got at least one internship block done!”
Not so fast: They rescheduled on me roughly four times and were late to both interviews by over 10 minutes. No, this was not The Worst Interview I’ve Ever Had, but I knew this was not the place for me by the description of what I would be doing and how it was structured. I politely declined their immediate offer.
I called my parents to break the news. As you could imagine, they were not too happy. Their silence through the phone was not reassuring at all. How could I complain about not being able to find an internship and then turn down the first offer? Because I knew I could do better and get something that my hard work deserved.
When I told people the intern position just wasn’t the right fit, they would look at me, blank stare and a look of wonder thinking, “Who does this girl think she is?” I didn’t care about others’ reactions though, my goals were specific and I was very determined to get what I wanted.
Light at the end of the tunnel: By the last few weeks of spring quarter, my classes were in full swing with projects and presentations. Through some very good networking opportunities, I had an interview for my dream internship and another interview with a fantastic organization. All of this happened within a matter of days and it was quite overwhelming to make a final and best decision for myself. My summer internship has just completed and it was a wonderful experience. I really couldn’t have asked for more.
“If you want something go get it, period.”
– The Pursuit of Happyness
I believe we can achieve things with the help of others, but you need that fire to drive you to go after exactly what you want. That’s what I did and I couldn’t be happier.
Takeaway: Everyone is going to make mistakes and I took a chance turning down offers and honing in on very specific organizations. My overall happiness was higher than it could ever be because I decided not to settle for less than I deserve. That’s what I want you to do.