Looking for an internship is daunting, but why not make it fun?

By Wiwin Hartini

It scares me to think about the fact that I only have a few terms left at PSU until I graduate. My mind keeps reminding me of how critical it is to lay out my plans A, B, E, etc. I remember looking for an internship last year and applying for 20-something opportunities online. It was not surprising not hearing back from 90% of them. I ended up with one internship at the end. The feeling of being rejected is never fun,  but I thought, why not make the whole process fun and adventurous? Why not change my perspective on job/internship hunting?

I then started doing my homework by having a conversation with a career advisor and learned that the process of finding an internship is a two-way process: Students are looking for opportunities and companies are looking for talents. The tricky part is to find the match. This totally changed my perspective on the process.

Instead of applying to every opportunity I see online, I started focusing on the companies and their values instead, asking myself  questions; 

“Which companies would I want to work for, for a long period of time?” 

“Which companies whose values match mine?”

“Which companies make me excited?”

I understand that as a student graduating from college, sometimes all we want is that first job that at least can provide some cash to get by. But I also realize how important it is to be excited and passionate about what we do to accomplish great things.

Now, I prioritize the companies values and culture, so during my interviews, I used the opportunity to also interview the interviewers and ask myself if I want to be like them in the next few years. I recently submitted eight applications and was interviewed by three companies and offered two internship opportunities. It is still scary for me, but I also gained valuable experiences by going through the process. At the end of the day, it costs students time and effort into applying and cost companies money to find the right candidate. So, why not make it more enjoyable? 

One thing to keep in mind is that I’m not an expert on this matter, but I would love to share how changing my perspective about job hunting has helped me during the process. And as long as we don’t give up, we’ll get somewhere. 

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