What I Learned About Dealing with the Unexpected

Throughout our lives, many diverse things may get thrust upon us. These different events might be great opportunities, or they could be misfortune.

For some, it is hard to deal with unexpected things. Being a perfectionist who lives by planning out her day, when different things arise, I find myself having a hard time dealing with them.

In one particular instance, I got my hopes up when I was picked for an elusive interview for a summer internship. I was beyond excited at the chance to get paid over the summer, while strengthening my resume. It consumed my life for a few days.

When I told my parents about this great opportunity, they were hesitant and told me to do some more research on the company. As I came to find out through Googling them, what they had told me were “facts” about their company were not even close to being true. I found articles about other college students’ experiences with the company.

It became apparent that this was a scam to trick eager college students into underpaid work and long hours, thus trapping them into a pyramid scheme.

I was shocked. How could I have fallen for something like this? How did I reach this point in the process when I had done no research? How could someone do something like this to anyone, especially young adults just entering the challenging real world? I was so disappointed. I didn’t want to believe it.

As a few days passed, I realized that I could learn something from my experience. I didn’t have to paint it as all bad. I pulled out a few things that I viewed as helpful.

First, I learned how to identify red flags that could come up when trying to get an internship or job. Having a line of credit or “getting paid for how hard you work” isn’t how it works. These are sure signs that something is wrong.

Second, I bettered my interview skills. I had done one group interview with the company. I, as a more quiet and reserved individual, was pushed to speak up and attempt to impress the interviewer. I was successful in that I was the one selected to move onto a higher level interview within their process.

Last, I figured out more about myself and how I deal with situations where I am let down. I had a hard time at first, as I didn’t give myself a break. I was upset that all of a sudden I had no plans for the summer. But I weathered the storm and came out the other end stronger. Looking back on the experience, I am proud of myself. I put myself out there and, although I got let down, I managed to take the best out of the situation.

It is one of my hopes that other students, at Michigan State and at other universities, don’t fall for such a thing - that they get out in time, like I did. Participation in these kinds of “internships” or “jobs” isn’t a good thing to have on your resume. It’s not fun to experience. I can only hope that we will all use our heads and not just listen with our hearts when such experiences enter our lives.