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Handling Internship Rejection Like a Pro

Rejection: everyone’s been there, and if you haven’t, you will be. Whether it’s rejection from a school, a human, or a job, rejection hurts. But like most things, the more you face it, the better you will get at handling it. Regardless, here are a few things to remember when facing internship or job rejection.


1. You Are Qualified 

Being rejected from an internship or a job can make you feel like you are the most unqualified person in the world. Maybe you weren’t qualified for a few jobs that you applied for, but you ARE qualified. Internships (almost all internships) are extremely competitive, and usually, everyone flocks to apply for the same position. Try not to get discouraged by rejections. At the end of the day, you do have skills that are worth mentioning, and you will find an opportunity that is right for you at that time in your life. Sometimes you have to trust that if it's meant to be, it will be. 


2.  Be Gracious 

It is understandable if you want to ignore the person who rejected you, but it reflects better on you when you don’t. Instead, you should thank that person for considering you. If you are interested in future or other opportunities, this would be a great time to let them know you would love to be considered. You never know what could happen next, so bottom line, you don’t want to burn any bridges. And, in some cases, it may even be appropriate to ask for feedback. You may not want to hear it, but it can be a big advantage for you as you move forward with other applications. 


3. It’s Okay To Cry 

Alright, when you’re done doing the ‘adult thing’- be sure to take a little time to wallow. Facing multiple rejections is hard, so it’s okay to cry, whine, and complain. Bottling up your feelings will result in greater pain when you finally accept your missed opportunities. Just remember that after a good cry, you have to pick yourself back up and keep going. 


4. Move On To The Next 

You’re not always going to win the interview on your first try or even your twentieth! That’s OK. Take the rejection as a learning opportunity, and understand that it will make you stronger. Don’t waste any time pursuing the next opportunity. The longer you wait, the fewer chances you will have of securing a great internship. It is always better to have options than end up with none at all. 


5. Stay Productive 

Sometimes you can hit a bad streak, and it seems like rejection is the only thing you manage to attract when applying to internships. If that is the case for you, don’t lose hope in your abilities and try investing in them instead. Consider volunteering, signing up for classes, or taking on the odd summer job. These opportunities might not be the dream internship you were hoping to get, but they are experiences nonetheless. You can almost always spin a non-ideal situation into a valuable learning experience. 


Trying to secure an internship, especially in the summer, is tricky business. Realistically, it can take fifty applications before you even hear back from one opening. It is important to take these rejections, or even no responses, in stride. If you are currently struggling with this issue, don’t give up just yet. There is still over a month left before summer, and thus there is still plenty of time to be sending out resumes and cover letters. No matter what that outcome is, remember that you still have plenty to offer, and there will be an opportunity that’s right for you waiting around the corner.

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Laura is a Senior at the University of Connecticut majoring in Communication and minoring in Entrepreneurship. She has a passion for fashion and photography. Laura is also the current Events Chair for Her Campus UCONN!
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