Although different in their end goals, Internship and Cuffing Season share many common threads in how to approach them. Here’s some guidelines for navigating these next few months!
1. Make sure you’re doing it for yourself.
Don’t apply for an internship for which you are not qualified, or that you are not at all interested in, as it will leave you less excited about life after college. Apply for something that excites you personally and professionally that will stretch and shape you in ways which academic life at UNC might not.
2. Perfect your profile.
Just like with dating, your profile can say a lot about your intentions. The way you present yourself is crucially important. One wouldn’t want to present themselves generically to a potential love interest; try to appear unique, intriguing and like someone who can bring something to the table that all those other applicants cannot. Whatever your field or internship, there are endless ways to show off your creativity, uniqueness and skills when applying.
3. Shoot your shot.
While it’s important to be realistic in the application process, take a risk and stretch for that really awesome job; there’s no harm in trying! Getting more rejections than acceptances reflects your ambition (and eventual growth)!
4. Consider service.
The service internship alternative: There are some who are applying for volunteer service opportunities rather than the traditional internship for this summer. This is an admirable move, however, it shouldn’t just be an alternative. Don’t apply to a program that’s potentially problematic just because you need something to do. Just as one wouldn't apply to an internship for which they are blatantly unqualified (a humanities major probably wouldn’t apply to work in a cancer research lab), one shouldn’t apply to be of service if they’re not equipped to contribute.
5. Understand your self worth.
Similarly to if a relationship falls through, if you aren’t successful in getting boo’d up with a summer internship, the best thing one can do is self care. Believe it or not, there are still many ways in which one can use a summer productively to grow themselves personally and professionally without locking down an internship at McKinsey or on Capitol Hill.
However arduous and stressful this next month may be for those of us in the full swing of Internship Season, there are many for whom summer internships aren’t an option. Student athletes, students who can’t afford to work for limited or no compensation, humanities majors — we wish you the best of luck in your other summer pursuits.
In the meantime, iron your blazer, update your LinkedIn profile and practice your handshake.