How Getting Rejected From Internships Benefited Me This Past Summer

Like most other rising seniors during the winter quarter of their junior year, I started looking into things that I could do over the summer. I wanted to get into activities that could help me explore what I wanted to do with my future and would also build my resume for my upcoming graduate school applications. Because I wanted an internship so badly, I was willing to do anything I could to get one. I got involved with a program through UCLA's Career Center and threw myself into getting my dream internship. 

But even with all the work I put into my applications, it did not end up working out. I was devastated because I felt like I had put so much time and effort into applying to those internships only to end up getting rejected. However, even without anything lined up, I knew I still wanted to get involved, so I started looking into activities I could do on campus during the new school year. This was actually very difficult since most organizations I was interested in had their meetings during the same time as my dance practice. 

However, right before the year ended, my departmental advisor sent out an email about applications to be a writer for the VDay Coalition. I ended up taking that chance and submitting something that I was really proud of. A few weeks later, I got an interview request from the director of the VDay Coalition. After that interview, I ended up getting a spot as a writer for the coalition, thus spending my summer writing a beautiful piece that I am excited to eventually see on stage in the winter. 

I also began to watch a lot of YouTube videos about the beauty editing industry, an industry I am very passionate about and am looking to pursue. It was while watching those videos that I found out about Her Campus. After a very quick and easy Google search, I found out that UCLA had a chapter and applied. When I got in, I was so excited to be stepping into a sphere where I could dictate what I got to write and also experience writing in a formal setting.

In addition to those activities, I was also very aware of the fact that I would be applying to graduate school in the fall, so I got a job. I spent a lot of time working and saving my money. Even though some days were harder than others, that job was a large benefit to me because I now have the money to pay for my grad school applications, applications that run upwards of $100 each with very scarce fee waiver opportunities. 

Another plus was the fact that I was able to write my portfolio. For most of the graduate programs I am applying to, they ask me to write anywhere between 25-30 pages to showcase my creative work. All summer I spent my time conceptualizing, plotting and writing. By the end of the summer I was proud of the two stories I had come up with and the 30 pages I had written. Now that the school year is in full swing, I am very glad that I have already written my portfolio because now I just have to edit my work.

Amidst all the work I did end up doing this summer, the thing that I found the most important was that I had time for myself to do things outside of the school/ work sphere. I had time to read the books I wanted to read, something I had not done at all the year before. I was also able to catch up with some old friends from high school and talk about the tolls that college had taken on us.

Looking back at it now, my summer ended up being a good and productive one. I have also realized that if I did end up getting into and doing an internship, I would not have had the time to do the things that I did. So ultimately, I was able to turn the rejections that I received into a happy and productive summer.