Staring at my computer screen, I read over the rejection emails, emails with no response, and Google drive full of resumes and cover letters. Applying and searching for internships was harder than I thought – it was not as simple as applying to a restaurant job. During my freshman year, I felt as if I was all alone; my family did not go to college and thus couldn’t help me in the application process. However, I was introduced to the Center for Global Health through the LIFT program. I no longer felt alone as I was surrounded by others who were just as confused as I was. Meeting after meeting, I began to learn more and more about the skills needed to successfully apply and gain an internship.
Trust me, the process took a while. The knowledge of creating a beautiful resume or answering interview questions did not come instantly. The one-on-one’s with career coaches and others in the CGH department showed me the step by step process of how to develop these skills. It was difficult in the beginning; when I had to write my first cover letter, it felt as if I was writing a 10-page final paper. I was not confident in my abilities, but the idea that I had to show who I was within a limit of a page terrified me. I was nervous for every meeting and kept apologizing every time I showed someone the draft of a cover letter, resume, or personal statement. However, that fear goes away.
My first internship was one of the best experiences I’ve ever heard. The gratifying feeling that YOU got that acceptance email with YOUR hard work truly gives you brand new confidence. I was able to have a remote experience, yet I gained so many skills and met amazing new people. I loved every second of it – and it took a lot of work to get there. You’re going to face numerous downs; I cried at my first email that denied me an internship. However, the most important thing to remember is that you’ll learn from it. You’re not going to be a professional at internship applications. The CGH department provided me a team of people that knew me very well and gave me the support to keep trying. It is completely okay to have help when applying to internships – it does not have to be a one-person job.
So, next time you think that the internship you want is hopeless, reach out for help. You are not alone, and many others are learning with you.