The internship search can be a long, drawn-out process that takes a heavy toll on your self-confidence.
It’s a time filled with interviews, hope, rejections, waiting, and anxiety, and on top of this, it is all happening while you are enrolled in college. Employers expect us to focus on classes and keep our grades up, participate in a slew of extracurricular activities, gain real-world experience in our intended field of work, all while using all of our energy to impress them and make them realize that we would be a perfect fit for an internship at their company.
In my case, it took me a long time to find an internship. I would go through the same cycle over and over: apply, get my hopes up when I received an email from the company, and then feel dejected when it was a rejection. It was emotionally exhausting. We naturally fear rejection, and when we experience it all in one big wave like we do during the internship search, it’s hard to handle.
My sense of self-worth took a steep downturn. I felt like I wasn’t good enough. But it helped me to realize something extremely important: we are more than our work experience. We are more than our extracurricular activities. We are more than our grades. Each of us possess something special, something that differentiates us from the masses. We just need to learn how to tap into that.
For a long time, I was under the assumption that I wasn’t getting a job because everybody else was simply better than me. This mindset is toxic. It permeates every thought, creating a constant sense of self-doubt that holds us back from accomplishing what we are capable of.
To get out of this rut, I took a step back and thought about my past. Which aspects of my upbringing shaped me into who I am today? What were significant accomplishments I had achieved, and what did I do to reach them? How do my involvements now reflect both my past and my future goals? These questions made me remember that I’m more than just a bunch of words on a resume or numbers on a transcript. I’m a real, motivated, eager human being who can make a significant contribution to any business if given the chance.
Everything always falls into place, but it is up to you to help fit the pieces into the puzzle. You have to first see the best in yourself before anybody else will see the best in you. Don’t be afraid to glorify your achievements, or to brag a bit about yourself, because we all deserve to feel good about ourselves and to share that with others. Tap into what makes you special, and use it to your advantage, because now more than ever we need to learn how to transcend our resume and paint ourselves in a much more personable picture. Believe that you are capable of doing great things, make others see that, and everything will come together.