What To Do If You Didn't Get That Summer Internship

You’ve spent hours working on your resume. You have countless cover letters saved on your computer. You’ve even practiced your best "I swear I'm capable of handling adult responsibilities" interview smile in your mirror until you were practically doing it in your sleep. After months of applying for summer internships, you...didn’t hear back from anyone at all?


Don’t worry, collegiette. We’ve got a back-up plan for you. Here are some ideas to consider if you don't get the summer internship you were hoping for.  

Be honest with yourself

Maybe you cut some corners on those cover letters that are supposed to be unique to each company by copying, pasting and changing the name. Maybe you didn't do your research for the job you were applying for. Maybe that joke you thought was hilarious actually fell flat. Whatever it was, be accountable for your actions and learn to do better next time.

Don't get discouraged

Internships are also hard to come by. They can be seriously competitive, so it's important not to give up after only a few applications. You're not necessarily doing anything wrong, but maybe try changing your strategy. For example, if you only applied to big, well-known companies, then send some applications to smaller or local ones too! Those can get you experience and be a great stepping-stone to other opportunities.

Apply for a summer job

The only thing worse than feeling upset about not getting an internship is letting that feeling ruin your whole summer. Get yourself a summer job, whether it's restaurant work, retail or tutoring at a summer school. Not only will it keep you busy (and make you some cash), but it also adds more professional experience to your resume!

Buff up your resume

As you work or volunteer over the summer, it's really important to keep your resume up-to-date and professional. Adding in relevant projects or achievements can also give you a boost over other applicants! Taking the time to do this will show employers that you're reliable and consistent with your work.

Look into internships during the school year

Summer internships are highly desired because that's when the most amount of people are available to work them! If time and your degree progress allow it, consider looking for internships that run through the school year. This will give you more options and less competition.

Consider attending a career workshop

Even if you think you understand why you didn't get an internship this time, going to a career workshop can give you more to think about and improve upon when it comes to your work life. You also get the chance to ask questions and talk to experienced professionals. Look to your school's Career Center or ask an advisor about workshops near you.