In my last article I talked about what you should do / not do as an intern. Today I will talk about the period of finding and applying to internships.
The period of applying to internships is one that is laden with challenges, struggles and hardships. To get that one internship you will have to apply to hundreds of internships out of which only a few may call you for the next round of interview. Out of these even a fewer may call you for a final interview. And if you somehow do not crack the final interview then you will have to start your application process all over again.
The important thing to know is that you cannot escape the disappointments and challenges. But the more important thing to know is that you WILL be able overcome these challenges and come out a winner.
In my experience the following unique “tools” in your armour can help you win through.
1.) Positive thinking
This point is really cliché but nevertheless the most important of all. No matter what hardships you are facing and what struggles you are going through, the only choice that you have is to carry on with a very positive attitude. You must have this tremendous faith that it is only a matter of time before you land up in the internship of your choice.
A friend of mine was going through a tough time in terms of money. He did not have any place to stay so he was staying with his friend in the suburbs of Paris. In his friend’s house there was no internet. So, every morning at 7 AM he used to leave for his school by bus and from 8:30 AM till 5:00 PM he used to continuously keep on applying to internships from the school’s computer lab. He never complained. After 3 weeks of non-stop applications he was successful in getting selected into 2 internships. (Later the internship that he joined helped him in getting a job).
How do you measure whether you are positive or not? Do this. Take a pause from whatever you are doing. Look within yourself. And see whether you are feeling happy or not at this very moment. If you are not feeling happy then you are not being positive. Positivity and happiness goes hand in hand. You have to do everything in your power to make yourself happy. Go out with your friends, watch a comedy movie, play with your dog or cook something. Only if you are happy you will be positive and only if you are positive you will be able to overcome the challenges of finding internships.
3.) Killer Instinct
Just being happy and positive will not help. You must have the killer instinct to keep on applying to internships with dogged perseverance. You don’t care about the barriers. You keep on hitting the wall till it breaks.
My roommate in Paris used to eat internship, sleep internship and breathe internship. When I used to wake up in the morning I would see him applying to internships and when I used to go to bed I would still see him applying to internships. He used to apply to 50 internships every day. He just refused to get tired and sit back. Finally, he got an internship in the UN which led him to getting a very highly paid job in Airbus.
4.) Positive Influencers
Self-motivating is not always easy. Sometimes you need to look outside of yourself to get motivation. You must have such people around you who can influence you positively to persevere. You must have examples of people who managed to get internships against all odds. You need to know success stories of other interns which can inspire you to get back to the game and keep on trying. Basically, “if they can, so can I”! For me, it was my friend that I mentioned in the previous point.
5.) Negative Influencers
This is the odd one out! Like you need positive influencers in your life to inspire you to find internships; you will also meet some people who may demotivate you. These are the people who will always show you the negative side of life. They will tell you how tough it is to get internships but they will never tell you how they themselves overcame difficulties in getting internships. Stay away from such negative influencers.
The internship searching period can be tiring, demotivating and draining. In such a situation, mental and emotional support from friends and family can be tremendously helpful. You need at least one such person, who you can talk to; who you can share your feelings with; someone who can give you the necessary fillip. It will lighten you up and will make way for positivity.
Nothing beats this one. I know; you must be thinking what this point is doing here. You are in your early or mid-20s so you definitely do not feel that your health can go for a toss. But trust me, if it does then you will just not have any energy, motivation or happiness to work towards your internship. It has the potential to slow you down massively. As internship finding is anyways a challenging task, health is the last thing that should trouble you. So, sleep in time, eat in time and exercise regularly. Easier said than done though!
So, what do you think? Are these points important for you? Do you have any points that can be added to the list?