College is hard, it’s stressful, there are so many responsibilities required of you, and the last thing someone wants to hear on top of all of this is, “you gotta get an internship if you want to be successful.”
The first I had heard of this internship nonsense was the first day of junior year, since I had come to college as a sophomore and changed my major the previous semester. We went around the room and had to tell the class what we did over the summer. I listened to my new classmates rave about their amazing summers in New York City working for these glorified companies, and then suddenly it hit me: I hadn’t done anything like that and I’m a junior. I was in full panic mode and my head was spinning: I only had one summer left to apply for anything like that. I’m never going to get a job because I have no experience; I’m slacking behind everyone else.
I went home and applied for all the positions I could find online. Eventually, I got a call back from one in DC for an independent company. I accepted it without even waiting to hear from anyone else; this was meant to be. I signed the paperwork and was excited to start gaining some experience through the summer.
Flash forward to summer; my start date on the contract was May 21, a Monday. I made the 4-hour drive the previous Saturday to Northern Virginia, where I was staying with a friend. Monday rolls around, and my boss calls me and says that she is out of the country, that we’ll start next week. Over the course of three months, I drove to DC six times and was stood up four, however, get to meet Monte from Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta. I was told to remotely run the company’s social media account even though I had never received an event calendar highlighting the events my boss was attending. How was I supposed to run a social media account when I had no idea what was even going on within the company?
Around the halfway point into my contract, one of my good friends from high school was killed in a car accident driving home from work late at night. I rushed home for the funeral and spent time grieving and remembering my friend with friends. Because of this, I was running behind on one of the two Instagram posts I did for her. I emailed her and explained my situation and the response I received was, “I understand that your friend died, but this is a business and things still have to get done.” While I understand that, I felt disgruntled because a) I was not getting paid to be in this position, and b) she had stood me up four times out of the six we had planned; I apologized and finished my post as soon as I could. She later sent me an email saying that I was not doing enough, but I never knew what I was supposed to be doing since there was little to no communication. She told me to write blogs, so I did. I tried to upload my blogs to the site, but she did not give me the passwords in order to access this. When I asked her for the password to upload my blogs, she never responded, and I never heard from her again.
I guess what I’m trying to get at is this, if you have had a horrible internship or job experience, you’re not alone. You may feel like you’re one out of the sea of many students who have had life-changing opportunities, but you’re not. It took me a long time to realize this and it took even longer for me to realize that I did nothing wrong, I had gone the longest time thinking that I had done all of this to myself. To all my guys and gals out there, you’ll find something, you’ll get a job. So, don’t stress about it so much, breath, and enjoy yourself!