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How to Beat the Internship Rejection Blues

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northwestern chapter.

Internship season is among us, and for me, it means an inbox full of rejection emails, tired fingers from typing endless cover letters and countless hours spent networking on LinkedIn. At the end of this lengthy process, I ended up with an unpaid internship for a local magazine near my hometown. Of course, I was appreciative to have received an internship, but I could not help but dwell on the several rejection letters from my dream jobs. As I scrolled through LinkedIn and saw where my classmates were working this summer, I couldn’t help but mull over my failures. Students my age were working at Apple, Facebook and NBC. I felt insecure about myself, with my abilities as a student and with my talents as a journalist. Eventually, I realized that my summer internship wouldn’t define me or my future career. Even if I hadn’t received an internship, I knew I would be OK; I’m still young and have endless opportunities ahead of me. If you’re still swimming in a sea of internship rejections, here are some tips to get through it:

Spend less time on social media

LinkedIn is great for networking, but it is also the prime spot for a great humble brag. How many more “happy to announce I got my dream job post” do you really want to look at? Take a break from Facebook and LinkedIn and stop comparing yourself to other people.

Focus on your own achievements

Just because you received a rejection doesn’t mean that you are not talented in your own way. Look at your resume and be proud of what is written there. It doesn’t matter how long or short it is – it matters that you accomplished something amazing. Don’t take rejection personally; it often has nothing to do with your skills, but which candidate aligns with a company’s vision.

Start planning for next year

Instead of crying over rejections, focus your energy on getting an amazing internship next summer. Talk to a career counselor and figure out how to fix your resume. Get a new LinkedIn headshot taken and start writing cover letters. Just because this summer didn’t work out, it doesn’t mean you won’t be successful next year.

Be happy with what you have

Even if you don’t get a summer internship, there are so many other opportunities available. Whether you’re working a job, going on vacation or just hanging out with friends and family, be proud of how you’re spending your time. Your summer does not need to be defined by your internship.

Enjoy your summer

We only get a few months away from exams and homework, so enjoy them!

Gifs Courtesy of Giphy 

Emily Chaiet

Northwestern '20

Emily Chaiet is a senior from Fort Lauderdale, Florida studying journalism at Northwestern University. She is also pursuing a minor in sociology and a certificate in integrated marketing communications. In her free time she likes to rewatch the Office on Netflix and go to CycleBar.