How to Navigate the Internship Struggle

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Graphic by Noemi Gonzalez

Internships are the bane of my existence.

I completed 27 internship applications this past week; 27 stinkin’ applications and I’ve only heard back from two so far.

During my time at ASU, I have completed three internships. None of them were related to one another in the slightest, but I managed to rule out jobs that I didn’t want to work ever again.

 

 

Finding an internship is simple. However, finding an internship that fits you is difficult. College students have the “don’t know what I’m doing” syndrome. Our minds change on a daily basis. We learn so much about ourselves.

The dreams we had for ourselves sometimes wither and die a horrible death. Other times, our dreams prove to be exactly what we want from life.

We change so much during college. Our habits are different. Our mindset matures. Sometimes, the career we had in mind as a freshman no longer suits us as seniors.125f3d14-783e-42ee-ba0d-dc0b25b3d923

Do as many internships as possible. Apply for every single one that interests you and if you turn out to hate it, then you learned something about yourself in the end.

Use your time wisely, but be open-minded. Don’t limit yourself to one branch when the whole tree is available.

I did internships in science education, forensic toxicology and most recently, social media marketing/management. I found my calling in social media and journalism.

I thought I’d be the greatest scientist who ever lived, but my talents and passion decided differently. I never would have found my career if I hadn’t taken a chance on myself and on applying to internships.

Here are some tips for the future interns:

  • Apply on more than one website. Don’t limit yourself! Use websites like internships.com, internqueen.com or internmatch.com to find internships. They’re great resources and they offer simple ways to connect with employers.
  • Don’t be afraid of the paid internships. It’s guaranteed that you will have to work for free at some point, but don’t run away from an internship because they pay you. Yes, being paid means that you’ll have to actually try. In the long run, it’s good for you! Also, money.
  • Write a generic cover letter. Make sure that it’s amazing and then edit it to match whatever internships you apply to. SPELL CHECK FOR THE LOVE OF CHUCK NORRIS. And make sure that the organization name is correct before hitting submit.
  • Create a database resume. Carefully write out all of the things you’ve accomplished and make it a giant resume. Then select jobs and create custom resumes for each internship you apply for in a new document. This way, everything is formatted and you only need to copy and paste. This trick has saved me so many times, I can’t even.
  • Actually APPLY. What are your chances of getting the internship? Low? Okay, well they’re even lower when you don’t apply. You might surprise yourself.

Reach the blogger at Stephanie.Tate@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @StephanieITA