October seems very early to begin even thinking about internships for next summer, but I promise there is no better time than now to start thinking. I can speak from experience. The earlier you start to reach out to the people you know and begin to utilize the resources offered at PC, the better. Last fall, I never even considered visiting Career Services to talk to an advisor because I thought the summer was very far off. Little did I know, now is the time to begin looking for internship opportunities as deadlines approach quicker than you would expect. So, I was a little behind the game, but nonetheless very motivated to begin my search and hopefully find something. I visited Career Services last spring, when the thought crossed my mind that I should probably get moving. Upon meeting with an adviser, my resume was reviewed and I was on my way to begin the search. I made the mistake of starting too late, jumping into some internship listing websites without really knowing how to navigate them, and most importantly lacking an understanding of what kind of internship I was dreaming about. My applications were being sent to a wide variety of companies and organizations, but I had forgotten to ask my heart what I really wanted. So, my advice to you is to start earlier than you think is necessary. Really think about where you can picture yourself because your experience will be what you make it. Utilize all the resources that Career Services has to offer and don’t forget—reach out to those closest to you and even those who you think are a little too far out on your social web. You never know who can get you in touch with the right people, at the right time, and in the right environment. At the end of my summer internship at New Balance, they offered me a position during the fall semester, to continue my work in a slightly different area of my department. I went from being discouraged a few months before to being completely confident that the skills I’ve gained through my curriculum at PC have made me an intern that can carry her own weight. I had and will continue to have the most wonderful experience at New Balance, but my worrying could have been taken away a lot sooner if I had began my search in the Fall. I figured sharing my own personal blog post from the day I got the offer for my internship would be a great representation of the feelings I was experiencing. This is also ironically around the same time that I found out I’d be blogging for PC this semester! Here is my personal blog post from May 11th 2012:
“I like to think of myself as a pretty patient person, except when I’m hungry and/or tired. In that case, I want my food and a comfy bed and I want it in the next five minutes. Otherwise, I don’t mind waiting. These past few weeks have been full of waiting, hoping, sending e-mails, and waiting some more…all in search of a summer internship. The search began right after February break in the PC Career Services office. I went to meet with an adviser, got my resume looked over, and began applying online to countless summer internships. Paid, unpaid, close, far. I lost track of the emails I sent, the cover letters I edited, and the forms I filled out. I was getting pretty discouraged and became comfortable with the idea of another summer of waitressing. I soon realized that 1.) I waited far too long to get the ball rolling and 2.) I wasn’t looking under my own nose for potential opportunity.
My sister, Cait graduated from college just a few years ago and has had an awesome experience working at New Balance in Boston. She knew my frustration and made me aware of some internship applications on their website. After following up and scheduling an interview for yesterday, I was nervous and excited. With hopes for the best and expectations of the worst, I knew it would be a learning experience if nothing else. The more interviews we experience, the more comfortable we will be when those difficult questions are thrown at us.
Only a few hours after leaving New Balance, I was pleasantly surprised with a call back from the Human Resources contact I had met with earlier in the day. With that call came an offer to accept the position this summer. Shocked is not the word. First of all, I never thought I’d hear, either positive or negative news, that quickly. I was prepared to give it at least a week and then start worrying. Second, we are always harsh on our own abilities and the way we come off to others. I had second guessed some of my responses and even second guessed the leather folder I carried my resume in with. I just can’t accept that I’m old enough to be doing this kind of thing! At this point in my search, being so close to a successful effort and failing would have hurt. I have felt that hurt before—being denied from an organization recently at school. Receiving a second interview but then learning I did not make the cut. We need those types of moments to appreciate the ones that make us feel so accomplished. From that experience, I realized that we can’t analyze what others are looking for in us, but we can wait until the right opportunities come along. In the midst of being denied from this organization at school, I had reached out to an admissions counselor at PC. He manages the student blogs on campus that are published on the school’s website. Amongst a handful of other students, I will begin blogging for Providence at some point this summer and into the 2012-2013 academic year. While I will still keep this personal blog, I will be starting a new one that covers topics pertaining to my life at school. This blog of course covers a lot of those same topics since over half of my year is spent in Rhode Island, so I will definitely publish some posts on both this blog and my PC blog. I will keep everyone posted on when that begins and I’ll be sure to pass along the link!
Exactly who you are is exactly what someone, somewhere, is looking for. So, just wait. Be patient. No, actually don’t “just” wait. Go after whatever is next even when you’ve just felt that hurt of being told “no” when all you wanted to hear was “yes”. You will hear the “yes”..sometimes right when you are on your way to your favorite mexican restaurant. Let me just tell you…my steak fajitas tasted THAT much better.”