Spring Semester Means Major Internship Stress, But Why?

Carly Busfield, Howl Editor

It’s that time of the year and internship applications for summer opportunities are starting to close this upcoming February. Yet so many college students are stuck and unsure where to even start. Waiting to hear back from employers after sending your resume to seemingly everyone can be stressful, especially if your peers appear to have everything planned out. Does this sound familiar? You are not alone in your feelings.

What is it about internships that scares people? Is it the process of getting one or the dying patience of waiting for a response? Or is it difficult to communicate via numerous networks like LinkedIn/Indeed? Does the job itself induce stress? Whatever the reason is, people get very nervous about internships. Opportunities do not necessarily fall into the palm of your hands, unless you are lucky. There is a negative stigma around the stress of internships as if it will always be there and never go away. Yet, that’s false. .” 

It can be challenging to find a good opportunity at times, as I can attest from personal experience. My own career is in its early stages, therefore I’m constantly looking for methods to advance it. In spite of this, because we are college students, I am attempting to balance a social life. To experience this kind of stress is inherent to what we do. Contact your professors; everyone knows someone, and there is always a place that could use people with all different kinds of skill sets. It’s true!

To potential employers, one must present themselves in a way that stands out from the competition and makes them appear stronger. There can be 50 applicants for a single position, so what makes the one fortunate individual they choose special? The trick is hitting all the marks. Being active outside of the classroom is a terrific way to stand out. The most crucial step is creating a solid resume and cover letter since it portrays yourself completely.

One of the easiest ways to land an internship is to talk to those around you. Chat with your advisor and see who they know and where they can lead you. Internships are meant to give a student experience in the real-world and apply it to their degree. Do not be afraid to reach out to anyone. Recently, I reached out to an opportunity and was afraid of seeming annoying or overbearing. Yet, my own advisor, John-Erik Koslosky informed me that a reporter may admire “pushy”. That remark helped me realize to not be afraid, be yourself, and just give someone a call. Send an email. Do anything if it is of that importance. 

Many students feel helpless and lost when searching for internships. Where would someone even start? As soon as students enroll into Bloomsburg University, they are granted access to a LinkedIn account with their school email to build upon for themselves. If you have ever heard the phrase “building a portfolio”, this is exactly that. Some professors utilize this more than others, but all-in-all we have the same account ready to go. Another great site to get onto is Indeed. 

Indeed allows their users to create a resume on the site and send it to other employers. The main purpose of Indeed is to research and apply to a series of options available. The site also allows deadlines to be displayed and organizing of jobs, applications, and more. There are plenty of other sites just like these to apply and make a page on. Let people know who you are. 

Helping so many people who are pursuing the same objective while largely following the same advice is challenging. It is the student’s responsibility to represent themselves favorably and market themselves to potential employers. One can only be led on their journey; one cannot be advised to be exceptional. For many students, internships are the hardest part of this semester. Anyone can find a new work opportunity if they put themselves out there.