Dealing with Rejection: Internship Edition

I am in the Integrated Master of Professional Accounting at The University of Texas at Austin. I have mostly good grades, and I am involved in activities on campus. I work hard, and I have real work experience during a pandemic. But all I have received is rejection emails.

This spring, I went through the recruiting process for accounting, which involved many events, multiple applications, and what I thought would be numerous interviews. I didn’t make it past round 1 for any of the internships I applied for. I’m not going to lie to you; it was gut-wrenching. I had worked so hard to impress people, keep my grades up and build my resume in the middle of a pandemic, for what? To not be considered for any position? To be told, there is someone who did it better? I considered dropping out of the program I am in, changing my major, and honestly, dropping out of school entirely because time and time again, I do not feel like I’m getting anywhere.

I was trying to decide whether I wanted to write about this because the feelings are still really fresh. I’ve spent the last week incredibly distraught and trying to decide if my assignments are even worth doing. However, I realized that there is absolutely no way that I am going through this alone. Maybe none of my friends are or the people in my program, but someone somewhere has to be feeling the same way I am currently feeling. So if you are that person, here are some tips that I have compiled that have helped me get through this.

 

1. This feeling does not last forever

If you had told me this at the beginning of the week, I would have told you you’re lying. Remember the last time you felt depressed or anxious or were just in an awful place mentally. You are still here, and you are still trucking along after that. That has to mean that these feelings will not last forever either. 

2. Remember how you got to where you currently are

For me, I had to remember that I had gotten into UT-Austin for a reason and that I was given a spot in the Integrated Master of Professional Accounting program for a reason. Even though the people reviewing my application or interviewing me did not see my potential, someone else will eventually because other people have in the past. 

3. Take some time to do things that make you feel accomplished

For me, this was washing my bedsheets (mainly because I was spending most of my time there), taking out the trash and the recycling, or doing the dishes. These were small tasks that felt absolutely impossible, but afterward, I felt like maybe I could do way more than before.

4. Do something that makes you happy

This sounds so stupid, I know, but I started playing video games just to distract myself from my feelings and talking to the other players brought a smile to my face. I encourage you to do anything that could possibly bring even a slight smile to your face.

5. Do NOT place your self-worth in their acceptance

You are worth so much more than a job offer. In this society, we place our worth in other people’s hands so much more than we should because of social media. What if I told you, your worth comes from within? It comes with the smile you bring to the world every day and with the energy you contribute. Your self-worth should not be determined by how other people perceive you.

6. Do NOT go on LinkedIn

I made the dumb mistake of going on LinkedIn to see all the internship announcements from my peers. While I am happy for them, it made me feel even more alone, which is not something I needed to feel more.

7. When you’re ready, ask for feedback

Next week, I plan to go to career services and see what I could have done differently. I also plan to email the recruiters at the companies that rejected me to see how my application could have been improved. At the end of the day, this can be a learning experience to get you to bigger and better places. 

 

I think that’s all I have for you! Just remember that you will get through this just like anything else.

xoxo,

Sheryl

 

p.s. Don’t pick up those scissors to cut your bangs either because trust me, you will regret it.