Editor's Note: The views presented below do not reflect those of The Daily Tar Heel. Just Cy Neff.
You wake up from your dream in a pool of sweat. The dream was terrifying — a detailed and surreal scene of you living with your parents at age 34. Your mom sits on the velvet couch across from dreamland 34-year-old you, one hand wrapped around a gin and tonic, the other dabbing at her tear-drenched eyes while she bawls about how successful you could be and how much further you could have gone in life if you hadn’t missed those college internship deadlines.
You lie in your sweaty pool and contemplate the expanse of chalky and cracked ceiling directly above your bed. “Ceiling,” you ask. “Am I gonna be okay? I’ll be just fine this summer if I don’t find a career-oriented and intellectually engaging internship. Right?” The ceiling says nothing back to you.
You think about your friend who has their own website and a banging LinkedIn page. You know it's your time to shine, but you have nowhere to start. Luckily enough for you, Cy Neff from The Daily Tar Heel has assembled a few tips on how to make sure opportunity comes knocking at your door…
Actually read those emails your major’s department sends you
One day I was bored and saw one of those emails that the head of my major’s department sends out either every day, or maybe every week (I don’t know because I usually delete the emails before reading them). However, this time, being especially bored, I read the email. To my surprise, literally half of the content in the email advertised internship/fellowship opportunities for the summer and beyond. Read these emails! Follow the links! Fill out the applications!
Talk to your professors
Being a professor is basically like being smart for a career. Aside from being smart, professors are also resourceful and well-connected in their areas of study. If a class interests you, go to office hours and talk to the professor about real-life opportunities that could come out of it.
There are a multitude of websites dedicated to posting and filling internship vacancies. Give 'em a look! Some are narrower (dedicated to a particular field or location), but some have a broader range, in case you’re having trouble making your mind up.
Think outside the box
Look, everyone and their moms wants a summer gig in NYC or San Francisco. Less trendy areas will be less competitive. We’re not advising that you go somewhere awful like Myrtle Beach or New Jersey, but to simply broaden your geographic horizons.
Be rich and well-connected
If you’re financially independent and/or responsible for helping your family financially, odds are you find the idea of taking a summer to go to another city to get a (likely) unpaid gig and scrape together rent money to be a ludicrous one. However, if you’re academically mediocre but come from wealth, there’s a pretty solid chance a family member/family friend will be able to score you a pretty coveted job somewhere or other. You might not even have to apply!
Calm the hell down
Worry about something else other than your career path! You’ll spend the rest of your life doing that! There’s really an abundance of options. Work your ass off the first half of the summer and blow all that shit traveling the second half! Spend time with your dog! Start gardening or knitting or getting involved with social causes! Have a sexual awakening! You’re a Tar Heel, the world is yours. <3
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.