This is a guest post by Cristina Grimaldi for Student Stories.
There’s a huge difference between saying you want to be successful, and actually taking the steps to make it happen. I learned that lesson when I completed my first internship during my sophomore year of college. It was then that it finally registered with me just how critical experience is, especially before you enter the scary place everyone calls “the real world”.
When I did that first internship, I started to realize several things. I noticed how many other people are also making steps towards their goals, the importance of experience on a résumé, and that most things will never just be handed to you. You can be the type of person that waits for an employer to contact you, which is unlikely, or you can be the person to go knocking on every door with no shame. If you see an internship opening, apply. If you get denied a position, apply to 15 more.
Towards the end of my sophomore year I applied for an internship that I thought I really wanted, but I ended up not getting it due to lack of experience. As soon as I got off the phone with the human resources manager who had told me they were giving the position to someone else, I got online and applied to every single internship that interested me. I was offered one that so far has given me the best knowledge about Public Relations, which also goes to show that if one door closes, a better one will open. But never give up when you are denied a position because ultimately, you will need the experience. The more quality work you have on your résumé, the more likely you will get hired right out of college.
I am also really active on professional social media sites. I connect with and contact people who are in my field, and ask them for advice or even offer to be a helping hand on any projects or events. I find it crucial to utilize social media because it is a great way to network with people who you might need help from later down the road. You will be surprised as to how far making connections can get you.
The last thing I want to mention is that there is always a way to be involved in work. I’m going on a trip for six weeks at the end of the summer, but I still wanted to get a summer internship somehow. I contacted a woman that I met through a close friend, and she is the vice president of a firm in Philadelphia. I asked her if I could intern with her for two months instead of a whole summer, but with longer work days, and she said yes. So no matter what the situation is, there is always a way to get what you want as long as you are willing to put yourself out there.
So at the risk of sounding completely cliché, I’m going to leave you with this: go after your goals and don’t ever let someone saying no stop you from moving forward.
About the Author:
My name is Cristina Grimaldi and I’m a junior at Temple University. I was born in Naples, Italy and although I moved to America at a young age, Italy will always be in my heart. My family also has my heart. I have a strong desire to succeed and no matter what bumps may come my way, I will always push forward.