Don’t Let Rejections from Internships and Jobs Discourage You

It’s the time of year when most of us are probably lining up jobs for the summer, and hopefully by now everyone has started to hear back from potential employers, interviewing with them, and hopefully getting accepted.

But most of us are probably going to face a rejection or two, if not this summer then in the fall, or the spring, or next summer. Most of us have probably already been rejected from something before, whether that be an internship or a scholarship.

It really sucks. There’s no other way to put it. Even if it’s not something you were particularly invested in or excited about, it’s awful to feel like you’re unqualified. It makes you think that you’re not good enough.

It sounds trite to say that rejection is a part of life, but it really is, and there are ways to make sure that rejection doesn’t crush you.

First of all, make sure that you’re sending in applications to a lot of different places. Even if you have one that you desperately want, it’s always best to have a backup. Don’t get too attached to one idea and think that that’s going to be how things will turn out. More often than not, what you think is going to happen actually won’t come to pass.

Try to keep an open mind when you apply, and while it’s not a bad thing to have big expectations, remember that every college student is out there trying to get experience this summer, and that’s a big pool of people. You’re competing not just with other students at the U, but in all of the colleges in the cities, in Minnesota, and many from out of state who want to come to Minneapolis to get big city experience. If you’re looking for internships in places like Chicago or New York, the potential pool is even bigger.

If you don’t get an internship, that doesn’t mean you’re not qualified or that they weren’t impressed with you, only that there’s a certain number of people a company can hire each season.

And that doesn’t mean that just because a smaller-scale job rejects you, a larger company will, too. Sometimes people are just more well-suited for things. Think of it like acting - a lot of people are excellent actors, but sometimes a certain actor fits one specific role better than the others. That doesn’t mean the other actors don’t have talent.

If you’re rejected from one place, take it as a sign - you can find another job that you might like better, or is more suited to your interests. Maybe you’ll end up taking a job that’s only tangentially related to what you thought you’d be doing and you’ll end up loving it.

So if you didn’t get a specific internship you wanted, don’t let that interfere with your self-image or your willingness to go find a different one. Maybe you just weren’t meant to have that one job because you need to have an experience somewhere else, discover something new, or just learn how to take rejection gracefully and try again later.