What To Do When Nobody Calls
The hunt for an internship has been going for months - you went to career fairs, spent hours applying online, and wrote enough cover letters to fill a textbook - and yet, come April, nobody has come calling. What gives?
If you’re ready to throw up your hands and give up on an internship, you’re not alone. But giving up isn’t an option. Here are a few steps you can take, starting today, to not only improve your chances for next year but leave you feeling content along the way.
Ask yourself whether your major actually requires internships.
It’s easy to get caught up in the craze of internships these days, especially if you find yourself surrounded by CS majors. Hearing everyone talking about what they'll be doing this summer can be daunting if you find yourself planning on staying home all summer. However, for many majors in CNS, internships are either impossible to find, or unnecessary for their career path. Success comes in many forms, and internships are just one. Although massages and free food at Google sound nice, remember that you’ll get to watch Netflix all summer instead of working - a privilege that is not to be overlooked.
Analyze what may have prevented you from getting an offer.
While taking a step back and analyzing your own flaws or shortcomings may be hard, it's a crucial step to improving as both a person and a professional. Take this opportunity to review your resume and LinkedIn profiles from a recruiter’s point of view. Would you hire yourself? If the answer is anything but an enthusiastic yes, you’ve found a starting point. Where are the weak points? Are there any classes you can take in the coming semesters to make you stick out of the pack? These questions act as a great foundation off which to build a plan for next year that lands you that cool internship you’ve always wanted. In addition, researching specific companies or job opportunities similar to what you are interested in can give you a better understanding of what companies want in their interns. It could be that you’re missing only one or two crucial skills they want - something you can easily fix in the future.
Make a plan.
Once you’ve identified areas to work on, make a plan on how you can acquire the skills or resume items you currently lack. From classes to student organizations to personal projects, the number of ways to learn new skills at UT is nearly endless. Give yourself things to talk about with recruiters; student orgs and projects are perfect for this. Anything works, so long as it gets you excited. Passion shows in interviews, and companies are eager to hire students who aren’t afraid to try new things. While sitting in your apartment watching Netflix is a great way to finish off a long day of studying, maybe try going to that club meeting you keep skipping. You never know where it might take you.
In the end, it’s important to understand that internships are just one path to success. Whether you get one as a freshman, or none during college, internships will not determine your future. Only you have the power to do that. Happy hunting!