The Internship Application Rollercoaster

The Internship Application Rollercoaster

vsBy Vanessa Salman ’17

It’s that time of year again — that’s right, it’s summer internship season.

You’ve perfected your resume after going to Career Services’ drop-in hours, made your cover letter a window into your professional soul, and submitted your application. A week later, you still haven’t heard back and you’re as antsy as could be. The worst starts to go through your head: do they hate me? Did they hire someone better than me? Did they even see my application?

I’m gonna stop you now – stop thinking this.

Take a breath. A deep, cleansing, mindful breath. This process is scary and competitive, but if you don’t get that coveted position at that fancy magazine or don’t intern with a notable Member of Congress, that is okay. There will be plenty of opportunities in the future, but for now, focus on finding something else for this summer.

Easier said than done, I know. But you have to keep a positive attitude and your head held high in these types of situations. The search, the application, and the wait time are all extremely nerve-wracking, however the reward of the experience is worth the temporary insanity – I promise! As cliche as this may sound, everything happens for a reason, so maybe not getting that internship will lead you to an experience you didn’t expect.

I say this all from personal experience. I went through this process just like everyone else, and let me tell you — it was emotionally draining. Applying to internships, especially those with larger organizations, make you feel like a number. You constantly refresh your email and just hope that there’s something about you that stands out among the hundreds or thousands of other numbers in the applicant pool. If you don’t get that internship you’ve been vying for, explore other options.

I applied to quite a few internships this summer, ranging from consulting firms, to various federal agencies, to congressional offices, and didn’t receive any good news. After encountering many dead ends, I decided to explore other options other than internships for the summer. I am so glad I did this, as I received a job opportunity for something that I hope to do post-graduation. As bummed as I am that I won’t be interning in Washington, DC with the rest of my friends this summer, I am happy with the way things have turned out, and it’s all because my summer didn’t go according to plan.

There are so many ways to find other job or internship opportunities (no, I’m not just saying that). LinkedIn, Indeed, and are just a few means of finding opportunities online. Play around with the keywords you use to find more results.  Also, Syracuse students have an advantage because we have access to OrangeLink, which gives you access to job and internship postings, in addition to an employer directory. How cool is that?

Instead of sulking, it’s best to spring into action, and search for something else to do with your summer. You won’t regret it.

Need help with making the most of your summer? Call our office to schedule a phone, Skype, or in-person appointment, at 315-443-3616!