Mia1.jpgI remember being told that I should apply for a summer internship. “It will be good for your resume.” “You can explore other areas of student affairs.” “It will make you more marketable in the job search.” All of that sounded convincing enough to me. And besides, it’s not like I had anything else to do this summer. The process was through a large organization and was essentially online dating for internships. I posted a little page about myself with my resume, cover letter and references and at the same time, I could look through hundreds of different internship postings.

Oh, I should mention that there were a few different kinds of postings to sort through. I was really willing to work in any area as long as it wasn’t student activities, which is my regular internship. But, I refused to apply for any internship that wasn’t paying for my flight to and from, housing me and paying me. And, most importantly, I was not looking for an internship that was within driving distance from home…preferably in a spectacular place. You can say my standards were exceptionally high. Although a decent amount of internships fit these criteria, they were the most sought after positions.

Bad News

I sifted through something like 400 internships, applied for around 30 of them and had something like 15 phone interviews over the course of 6 days. I had a bunch of second interviews, and some disappointing conversations about start and end dates that I couldn’t commit to. Then one of my top internship sites was no longer able to host interns for financial reasons. My prospects had dwindled down to about four. A few weeks later the day came, a Wednesday, that they could offer positions to the interns. I waited for the calls. None. Nada. Well…one. One called to tell me that they were not offering me the position.

When I get upset, I feel myself start to get overheated. My neck and chest begin to get blotchy and the knots in my stomach grow more uncomfortable every minute. I was there. Hot, blotchy with a stomach full of knots. Students were in my office having a meeting about a huge upcoming event. There was no way I could leave. They had so many questions that needed to be answered. I grabbed a glass of water and buttoned up my sweater to cover the blotchiness. We finished the meeting and I remember thinking that their creativity and hard work were what made me love working in student affairs. Having a job where students are yearning to do great things leaves me no time to be a slacker.

Never Give Up

We were told in the beginning of the process that not every intern will be placed on the first day, and many interns and sites will continue to interview and offer positions for weeks after the initial offer day. So, the next day I went back on the portal and searched through the hundreds of postings still available. I let go of the idea that the internship needed to be in a spectacular place but held to my other requirements as non-negotiables. That day I sent 95 personalized emails to new internship sites with my resume, cover letter and contact information.

I probably should have thought before I sent 95 freakin’ e-mails because within 24 hours I had 14 more phone interviews scheduled, and many more responses followed in the next few days. Long story short, I started my phone interviews that afternoon and had two offers in California and one in New York by the next afternoon. WHAT. It was a Friday; I had until Monday to decide.

 Off to Cali!

MiaOceanIt was time to call my parents to tell them I would be moving to California for the summer. Because as it turns out, after some disappointment, there was a little bit of luck sent my way. After suspending the requirement for the internship to be in spectacular place, I ended up with an offer in Los Angeles, less than two miles from the beach. Turns out I was going to get everything I wanted after all.

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