This semester I decided to find myself an internship. The process was like the Odyssey, only with more paper work. As far as I know, Odysseus never had to write any cover letters. It was stressful, arduous, and time consuming but in the end I got an internship. Next semester I’ll be writing grants for the Gig Harbor History museum. It’s a fun environment with enthusiastic and dedicated people, which counts for a lot. I decided not to pursue an internship when an interviewer said to me “this job requires a thick skin which I don’t think you have.” That day I got to bike three miles there and back with a migraine to be insulted by a complete stranger. Fun. The internship process is full of little pitfalls like these which is why I’m going to share what I’ve learned. I sincerely hope it makes your life easier.
- Start early. Remember how it took Odysseus twenty years to get home? Well finding a good internship took me five different applications. Don’t expect the first opportunity to you find to pan out.
- Use resources like ASK Night and the Career Fair. I found my internship at the Career Fair. It was a great way to meet potential employers and see face to face who I was dealing with.
- Leave yourself plenty of time to get to interviews. I borrowed my roommate’s car and couldn’t figure out how her ignition worked. Previously, I had only driven a Prius, where you push a button and away you go. I sat there for a half an hour sending panicked texts and having several mini heart attacks.
- Be prepared for internship limbo. This is the period after you interview but you haven’t heard back yet. It’s a bit like Calypso’s Island without the sex. You sit there, not doing anything, and it drives you nuts.
- An interview is a two way street. When you interview with an organization you are also interviewing them. Ask questions. If it’s going to make you miserable you want to find out before you decide to work there.
- Celebrate. You worked hard. You deserve a treat, a little bit of your favorite something. Just don’t do the lotus eater thing.
If my advice doesn’t work out… find your own. Good luck with your search!