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Dear Denise: Getting internships in college

Jose Gonzalez-Campelo/The Cougar

In The Cougar’s bi-weekly anonymous advice column, I talk about internships. To submit your questions for future issues, click the Dear Denise button on our home page.

How do I get an internship? It’s so hard applying to so many and getting constantly rejected.

This is such a good question. Finding and securing internships is a difficult and unique journey for everyone. As usual, I can only speak about my experiences, so I will let you know what’s worked for me. 

In my college career, I have had about four or five internships. Two were on campus with the athletics department, and two were off campus. I say four or five because some things I label as internships may not be considered an internship in a traditional sense. I tell you this just to show my credentials! 

As a senior, when I search for internships, I use LinkedIn and the Experience Valenti website. I’m a loud and proud LinkedIn supporter. There are so many jobs on that platform and a good selection of ways to narrow down specific details until it works best for you.

 The key with LinkedIn is to have email notifications set up so that new postings are sent to you. Experience Valenti is a website designed for Valenti School students. If you aren’t in the communications school, I’m sorry. Your college may have a similar website. 

When it comes to rejections, I am definitely a pro at that! It’s so disheartening to constantly receive rejections when you put so much effort into the application. When I receive a no, I try to look at it as a blessing. In my mind, if they didn’t want me, then good for me. Maybe I wasn’t meant to be there because the workplace sucks or the coworkers are evil. I come up with scenarios to try and feel better, to be honest. 

On a more helpful note, I know Career Services offers programs such as résumé critiques and interview practice. That is helpful when learning about your strengths and weaknesses in the interview process. 

Keep applying! The only way to get a yes is if you complete an application, so don’t lose hope.  

What’s your ideal office aesthetic?

I like a clean, minimalist look in an office. That sterile look is comforting because it doesn’t allow me to get distracted. I think having a few pictures or personal touches is acceptable, but I don’t want to crowd my space too much. 

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