Quitting Is Not an Option

Domo-Kun in all his Splendor

Photo by dailyinvention

Can you believe that March is already upon us!? The spring semester is flying by, and, if it continues this way, summer internships will be starting before you know it.

I know many students have been searching for a summer internship for a couple of months now…or for those who started in the fall, for several months. If you are one of these students and you haven’t yet secured an internship, I can imagine that frustration might be setting in.

If this describes your current state of mind, here are some tips to keep you going:

  • Assess Your Progress. Are you getting interviews? Since the purpose of your resume is to land an interview, your resume might be in need of some help if internship applications are not converting into interviews. Scoring interviews but not getting the job? Your interviewing skills might need a little work. Make an appointment with one of our career staff in Career & Leadership Development for a resume review or “mock” interview.
  • Quantity vs Quality. Are you throwing your application at any living, breathing internship you find? A lack of focus in your internship search could spell trouble. Just as with a job search, there should be a verifiable reason as to why you’re applying for a particular position…and it shouldn’t be because it’s an “internship.” What career field do you hope to go into, or what are a few fields you’re interested in? Don’t know? Take a step back to figure this out before you do anything else.
  • Be Strategic. Are you only searching online job boards for opportunities? You could be limiting your possibilities. Networking is a key strategy to employ in your internship search. Hometown connections, family contacts, professors…this is only the beginning of your current network. Get the word out there that you’re looking for a summer internship, talk with people who might be able to offer the kind of internship you’re seeking, and possibly try to create your own opportunity.

Now for a reality check: You could use all of the advice above and still find yourself struggling to secure an internship. It happens. There is a lot of competition out there, and sometimes there’s nothing different you could have done. “It’s not you, it’s me.”

However, one thing I don’t want you to do is quit. The internship search is time consuming and challenging, and it’s all too easy to just abandon it in favor of an easier alternative. Resist the urge, remain persistent, and reach out for assistance.


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