Lessons I have learned from my internship hunt

I started my first internship hunt a few weeks ago. I’ve got three more semesters, which includes summer, to my graduation date. And I am supposed to leave college with a minimum of two internships. It has been an interesting few days. This post is resultant from twittalking with @laurenkgray. She tweeted “I think we all learn more about ourselves on the internship/job hunt! Good luck!”

Last semester, I knew I was going to intern in the spring. I carefully planned my spring schedule to ensure that I had alternate days of the week free. I was excited and ready to find my internship. I considered many. And I applied to one for many reasons, which included that it was a campus job, all previous interns all had amazing comments about their internship experiences and an incredible woman was in charge. I didn’t get the job. Therefore, I am back to square one: sorting through my contacts, searching through Google and using the Intern Queen. Through it all, I have three weeks to find an internship before the commencement of spring.
My search has turned up some interesting facts about myself. The first is that I find it hard to create opportunities for myself. I love networking and I do it a lot. I am the vice president of USF PRSSA and have to create networking opportunities for my chapter’s members. The fact that someone else would benefit from the relations I forge, propels me to be an excellent networker and middle man. But when it comes to creating opportunities that meet my needs, I am quite shy.

The second is that I should never feel entitled to a position. Just because I want and might do well on the job, doesn’t mean the job is for me. So many times, we fall into the assumption that once an employer likes you and sees your awesomeness, you automatically get the job. Don’t ever feel entitled to the position you are vying for, even if your parent is the CEO of the company.

The third is that unpaid internship hunting is exactly like a job search. Just because there isn’t a price tag on the position doesn’t mean it would be an easy hire.

The fourth is that I need to redirect my editing mode. Normally, I write everything without editing at first. Then I switch from my writer’s mode to my editor’s mode. It is a neat trick I learned as a creative writer. As a writer, I always need to distance myself from my writing to edit it effectively – without my personal emotions. However, 15 minutes isn’t enough for me switch between both mode and the struggle upsetting. Now, I have to learn to edit while I type.

The fifth is that a rejection in public relations is worse than a rejection in creative writing. As a creative writer, I realize that a ‘no’ is just one more step closer to a ‘yes.’ And that each rejection makes me better. I accept it. Some people even go as far as laminating their rejections. However, a PR rejection stings a little. It makes me wonder what I did wrong.

The sixth one should have come up later but nevertheless it is: I should never put my eggs in one basket when it comes to internship hunting. It would never hurt to be not-so-focused on an internship alone.

Now, I am going to stop talking about my few days’ revelation and add two more general points that I’ve gotten from online conversations.

As an intern, DON’T follow a prospective employer just to get an internship and be so pissed when you get a rejection that you unfollow that person. It is tacky and unprofessional. Twitter should never be about benefiting from people but interacting with them. I say there are two rules to Twitter: It should never be about who follows you but who you follow. It should never be about followees/followers count, but who you interact with. So, before you follow that person, whether a prospective employer or someone else, be sure you are clicking the follow button for the right reason.

Finally, there is now something called a twesume. Oh dear lord! The news surfacing in the online grapevine is that there is a new trend of merging twitter and your resume. The result is a 140 word-count resume description with the inclusion of the harsh tag “#twesume.” To this, I have no comment.

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