The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
By Christina Rella
If you’re a rising college junior or senior, LinkedIn may have been a very discouraging place for you this summer; if it wasn’t, you probably had an internship. Congrats if that was the case; seriously that’s amazing! But if you were amongst those who spent summer working at their hometown job (like me), I feel your pain.
I know how disappointing it is to apply to hundreds of internships on LinkedIn, only to receive none. It’s even worse when you scroll through LinkedIn, just to see a bunch of your classmates living their best “corporate girl summer.” It may have been a good resume booster to say you interned for that new startup company this summer, however, it’s also great to show that you’re a dedicated and consistent worker at your hometown job. Work is work, regardless of where it is.
While an internship is definitely a helpful step in landing a job by graduation, it’s not the only step. This is NOT me telling you not to apply for internships; as a matter of fact, go apply to some after you read this. However, this IS me telling you that the work you probably did in place of an internship was just as important as an internship could’ve been. For example, in my case I wasn’t working next to the head of a marketing company as I planned. Instead, I was working as a receptionist at my dance studio where I learned and practiced a lot of other beneficial skills. I had to be a good communicator, something that is important in almost every job. I also had to be organized, friendly, and able to answer any questions that were asked of me. This is just one example of how any work experience is good work experience. In my next interview, I’m now prepared to answer those tedious questions about how to deal with difficult clients. Not to brag—but I even know almost exactly what I could contribute to a company.
In college, there’s a huge stigma about getting an internship versus not getting one. It can be hard to feel like you’re on the right track when you’re not going at the same pace as everyone around you. It’s important to remember that there’s no right or wrong pace when it comes to your life and career. Some students have internships their freshman year and others don’t have them until they graduate. So while having an internship is obviously a great help in securing a job, there’s no right time for when you have to have one. Stick to your own pace and achieve your goals at your own pace. If you can’t secure an internship, just make the most out of the extra time you have without one. You don’t need an internship to actively practice the skills that will eventually lead you to your own personal success.
At the end of the day, everything happens for a reason. You didn’t land an internship this summer, but who’s to say that next year you won’t land a huge job anyway? Trust the process of your own life and try not to worry too much about things outside of your control. With that being said, it’s okay that you didn’t have a corporate girl summer. Keep hustling ladies!