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The Struggles of Finding Internships as a Freshman 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Temple chapter.

As the summer approaches, so does internship season. As a college freshman, it has been a struggle to find anywhere that is willing to hire me. I find it unfair that many employers discriminate against freshmen purely because of their class year. I understand that freshmen often have less experience in the workforce when compared to upperclassmen, but everyone must start somewhere. And there are ways that freshmen can get experience within their field of study early on. For example, when I first came to Temple, I knew I wanted to get involved in as many clubs and organizations as soon as possible, to get a quick start toward familiarizing myself with my career path. 

I am a journalism major, so I decided to join clubs that would allow me to write and publish stories so that I could acquire journalistic experience and get my name out there in the world. Additionally, since high school, I have been proactive in networking and meeting reporters and people working in the field. These factors caused me to feel that I had set myself apart from other freshmen and gave me hope that I would be able to secure an internship this summer, but even with this experience, it has still been difficult. I applied to several positions which I fit the criteria for, yet multiple of them got back to me stating that they only hire juniors and seniors.  

Reading these emails greatly upset me at first. Employers should look at each candidate for who they are and what they are capable of, not just the year that they will graduate. Otherwise, freshmen are thrown into a box, deeming them as inexperienced and uneducated, preventing them from gaining more experience or setting themselves up for success. 

A blog post by Simplify states that many freshmen are unable to obtain summer internships because they “are not analytically driven when creating their resume” and attempts to influence freshmen to go to their upperclassmen friends for aid. I find this demeaning, blaming the issue on the students rather than the employers. Most freshmen may have less experiences to fill their resumes with when compared to upperclassmen, but that does not mean that they are not driven. Many freshmen who I know have completed many rounds of revisions on their resume and are working tirelessly to find an internship, although many companies do not want to hire them. 

Although less opportunities are offered to underclassmen, it is possible to find internships. Here is a list of advice I have gained since starting the internship search. 

  1. Use multiple platforms to search for internships- Create accounts on multiple websites to expand your internship search. LinkedIn and Handshake are great websites for students to use to find professional opportunities, but students should consider using other websites as well. For example, Temple’s Klein College of Media and Communication has its own job search platform, known as Klein Connect. See if your college offers a similar website, or if not, investigate platforms that are specifically geared toward your major. 
  1. Consider working remotely: When I first began my internship search last month, I was determined to find an in-person job in my hometown. I got it in my head that it would benefit me more than a remote position, but that is not the case. Many of the in-person positions that I applied for were the ones to turn me away due to my class year. Additionally, there are so many more opportunities available when searching for remote or hybrid positions, compared to in-person positions located in your hometown. 
  1. Be willing to work as a volunteer: I know that the ideal internship opportunity is either paid or provides college credit, however, if you are unable to find a paid job yet are desperate to secure an internship, be open to volunteering at a company that suits your future goals. Companies are much more willing to hire you as a volunteer than a paid employee. It is an unfortunate fact, but it can still grow your resume and provide you with a better understanding of your field. 
  1. Always focus on networking: As you apply for internship after internship, make sure to get in contact with the hiring managers or recruiters, because they could always help you get a job in the future. I recently reached out to someone who was a recruiter for a broadcast company. Unfortunately, he could not provide me with an internship at the news station located near me, but we emailed back and forth and connected on LinkedIn. I am grateful for this because his company owns many news stations across the United States, so I plan to reach out to him in the future when I am job searching after college. 

These simple words of advice all helped me to secure an interview for one of the internships I applied for. I hope they benefited others as well, and good luck to everyone who is currently searching for a summer internship! 

Rachel Grant

Temple '27

Hi, My name is Rachel Grant and I am a freshman journalism student at Temple:) I am from Harrisburg, PA, but cannot wait to explore all of Philly. In my free time, I love hanging out with friends, going out for coffee, and relaxing while watching Netflix. Aside from writing about life and campus news for HCTU, I also write opinion pieces for The Temple News.