My internship search has not been going well. Starting steadily over the summer, I’ve been applying to various places to further my internship experiences. Aside from one job offer that I turned down (another story in itself that I’d rather not go into because I’m a bit frustrated in myself about that), I have been having trouble getting any offers. Granted, a lot of the positions that I’ve applied for have been fairly well known companies in the Austin area that also pay their interns, so competition is pretty stiff. Nevertheless, it still shakes my confidence to have a week of “amigoingtogettheinternship” anxiety only to receive the dreaded rejection email template. (On another rant-y note: unpaid internships. Why??)
After every rejection, I take a step back and try to think about what I’ve done wrong and try to move forward. After moving forward, I find myself going through the same cycle:
-Take a step back
-Figure out what I did wrong
-Get over it
Each time I’ve done it, the confidence that gets shaken gets exponentially bigger (if that makes any sense), and causes me to further question everything that I’ve done throughout the process. I think after the umpteenth time of rejection, I finally took multiple steps back and assessed not only my interviewing skills, but also where I’m at as a student, a potential intern, a mentee, a club director, a friend, a son, and as the person I have to face when I look into the mirror everyday. After my last rejection at a place that I really wanted to work for (and a day of, once again, stepping back) I realized that I had to not only look at what I had done in the job application process, but I needed to look at myself as a whole in where I am in life right at this very moment. I’m sorry to get a bit cornydeep on here, but cornydeep is really what has gotten me to reassess my situation and disappointments and to learn, grow, and evolve from it.
I started my internship pretty early from my sophomore year of high school. I got my first internship at SpareFoot during my second semester and from there I worked at my school’s marketing office. They were both wonderful opportunities and I only left because I wanted to diversify my experiences. After riding high waves, I’m figuring out that maybe this is finally my trough. Scratch that, this is definitely one of my troughs. Instead of increasing my self-doubt, I need to collect the pieces and just charge ahead. I have a lot of personal projects that I want to work and fully focus on because I want to see it grow and be successful (or in some cases, become even more successful).
I suppose, as a comprehensive list and for self-accountability, I’d like to share with you all some of the projects that I’m currently involved in/working on.
-I am the finance director for Topper Radio, St. Edwards’ first campus radio station. I joined last semester because I was curious what this passionate pair of students wanted to do with a radio station, and I feel like the organization has grown ridiculously exponentially since our first meeting as an executive board. With my friend Kelley, our goal is to raise a substantial amount of money to fund operations for the station itself (an online radio station is not cheap) and for future events (preferably a lot of money). It’ll be quite an endeavor, but I believe that we can do it. On that note, check out Topper Radio at topperradio.com!
-I’ve assumed a position as the “Film Chair” of the Digital Media Consortium, a club designed to connect the people in my major (Digital Media Management). The organization kind of withered away during my time at school, but with the efforts of some students, the club is being brought to life in full force. I will try my damnedest to return this organization to the glory it once was. At least in the remainder of my time at St. Eds.
-I’d like to point out that this is the most involved I’ve ever been on-campus. Someone should pat me on the back or something.
-I am also working on my honors thesis. Started off as a joke, I realized that there was an actual discussion to be had with the way food is presented both visually and thematically in the works of Hayao Miyazaki. So yeah. My thesis is about food.
Aside from these personal projects, I also want to teach myself a lot of things (coding, programs, even more about analytics). I’ve realized that I don’t necessarily need additional internship experience to have a fulfilling semester. Sure, it would be great and nice and I’m not going to stop my search, but taking multiple steps back (take a shot if you haven’t made this a drinking game yet) I’ve realized that putting myself down will only hinder my performance in some of the really awesome things that I’m already involved in.
On that note, I’m planning on having a bi-weekly show on Topper Radio featuring video game soundtrack music. I want to call my segment “Prince of All Cosmos” as a reference to one of my favorite games (not series because I have yet to actually play past the first game pffft) Katamari Damacy.
There’s too many things that I could be and will be focusing on to let myself be bogged down by job rejections. Competition is stiff, you know? That being said, I’m going to also revamp my approach to applying to internships, build my skills, be more assertive in future interviews, and be the best Joseph I can be (bad Big Brother nod here).