The stress associated with applying to internships for the first time is a universal aspect of a college student’s life. The New Year comes in with a bang, and along with it comes the feeling that, while you have been sitting around binge watching Netflix, everybody else has been tirelessly applying for internships and seemingly landing every interview known to man. The key to remedying this is to get off the couch, put your game face on, trash your thoughts about everybody else beating you to the punch, and apply to as many places as possible.
I am guilty of feeling inadequate compared to my peers when it comes to the internship search. I changed my major during my junior year, and it feels like I am too far behind everybody to land a desirable position. And like many college students, I am overwhelmed by the process of finding a job. It can seem like too much. But it is important to break everything down into manageable pieces.
Start with your university’s career resources. Most schools have a website that has a list of job openings and employers seeking students from your college. Universities also have career services department that will take some of the stress away from finding the open positions.
However, the most important aspect of finding an internship is to show initiative. It is important not to apply to companies just because they have openings, but to seek out companies that you personally would like to work for, and apply there. Even if they don’t have any positions posted, it shows great enthusiasm to email or call the company and ask about summer internship opportunities. This would make you look even better as a candidate, because it shows you have more interest in the company than the paycheck.
It is also extremely important that you follow up with companies that you are interested in working for. Sometimes, a simple phone call or email asking about the status of your application can push you over the edge and make you more desirable as a potential employee.
Don’t put a limit on yourself. Don’t feel timid because of the competition. Find a starting point that is comfortable for you. Seek out jobs based on your personal interests. Follow up. All of these suggestions will help to ease the stress associated with job hunting. And if you feel overwhelmed, take a little break. Sometimes, a bit of Netflix is perfectly acceptable as a form of procrastination.