Junior year of my undergrad career was a big one for me. I had a really good job selling advertisements for the campus newspaper during the school year and saw strong results. I had just been admitted into the business college. I had taken on additional leadership in the two student organizations in which I was a member. And I had a strong GPA. All of this added up to, what I thought would be a short recruiting season for me, ending with an internship offer. My recruiting season, though, was anything but short.
I had interviews with three or four companies early in the fall, right around the time of the career fair. They all went pretty well, from my perspective. And I ended up getting second round interviews with two of them. One of the companies, we’ll call it “Company A,” flew me into their headquarters out of state, put me up in a hotel, and fed me - it was amazing! I had an awesome experience at this company. The day of the interviews I had at their campus was great too - I was able to meet a lot of their employees, learn more about the company, and, of course, interview. The interviews I had were challenging. Part of it was because the people interviewing me were director level and had about 15 years of experience on me, but I did the best I could. Following the interview, I shot an email out to the contacts I met that day to thank them for their time and for the great experience.
Company B was a local company, so they did not fly me in (which was OK), but we did have a Skype interview. The interview went really well. I liked what I heard and performed as well as I could’ve in the interview. I was confident following that interview and fully expected another interview, as was part of their process. I waited and waited for HR to get back to me. It was a few weeks later when I reached out to them. I was told to be patient as they were still figuring things out. I followed up one or two more times and was met with the same response. It wasn’t until August of the following year that I finally heard back - I hadn’t gotten the internship. At that point it was just comical how poor their communication was and I’m glad I didn’t end up at Company B.
I heard back from Company A about two weeks after the interview, right as scheduled. Unfortunately, I was not extended an internship offer. I was really disappointed because this was the one I wanted. It paid a great wage, had housing provided, had the opportunity for full-time hire, and would give me great learnings. Rather than dwell on it, I set up a call with the recruiter to understand why I did not get the internship offer. We spoke the next week and I thanked her for her time.
I continued to look for other internships, but it because a challenge. Between Thanksgiving and winter break, there is little internship opportunities available because most of the good ones were already taken. My friends were all set with their internships for the following summer and here I was, a strong student with good experience, and no internship to show for it.
Right around the holidays that year, I shot a personalized email to all my professional contacts, including the recruiter at Company A to wish them a happy holiday season.
Flipping over to the new year and my second semester, I had to get moving on an internship. If I didn’t get one, I’d keep doing my campus job at the newspaper, but I wanted to get a new experience for my learnings and resume. I attended additional career fairs and did my best to network and sell my skills. I met a recruiter at Company C and had great conversation. We stayed in touch over the next few months and I was very interested in working for them as well. We had a phone interview in mid-February which landed me an in-person interview. That interview was local, so I drove to their headquarters about an hour from campus. The interview was mid-March. I had a really great interview and loved their campus. It was a modern campus with open seating and, seemingly, a lot of opportunity to grow as a young employee. After the interview, I was told I’d hear back in about a week.
Two weeks go by and I hadn’t heard anything.
A funny thing happened almost exactly two weeks after my interview with Company C: I got a call from Company A. They asked me if I had an internship lined up for the summer, which was now about a month away. I told them I did not, but was interviewing. The recruiter for Company A told me they had more spots available and wanted to offer me an internship for the summer. I was elated and so excited, as this was the company I wanted to intern for all along. They told me the reason they called me back was because I was persistent and followed up multiple times with the recruiter. I took the offer pretty much on the spot.
I called Company C the next day and told them I had taken the offer from Company A. Company C then immediately extended me an internship offer for that summer which I had to decline.
It was funny - I went the entire school year without an internship offer and then at the beginning of April I received two on the same day.
Perseverance and a steadfast belief in myself put me in the position to get an internship offer. While I was nervous I would not land an offer, I never got down on myself even when time was against me.
For those of you that are seeking jobs or internships, keep pushing and never lose faith in yourself.