Am I Asking Myself the Right Questions in this Internship Search?
Should searching for an internship be hard? How long should the internship search process take? How do I know if I am applying to the right place? If the internship process you are about to embark on is renting an abundant amount of space in your head, I can firmly tell you that you are doing it wrong.
Professionals subconsciously give off the aura to college students that if the internship process does not take an extraordinary amount of time, then you are probably doing it wrong. We also are told that the career development process is very important. There is truth that the internship search will take time. There is also truth that career development is important. It is important in how it will affect your life – whether it will affect your life for better or for worse. However, what is truly important is your character development. It does not matter where you are or what firm you are working for, unless superficial titles are where you find your worth. What truly matters is your intentions in what internships you apply for. Who are you looking to for approval in your worth? Most importantly, are you looking only to your interests or also to the interests of others in this process?
I can genuinely say I am not an expert in internship search process because I am a twenty year old college student who completed her first internship this summer. However, reflecting back on my internship search, I can see what were important and non-important factors I considered in the internship process. Here, I am to humbly share my internship search experience with you.
After completing filmmaking courses at a nearby institution my freshman summer, my heart longed to be immersed in production. Once back on campus, it seemed as though the independent-commuting-3-hours-to-class-everyday-aspiring-filmmaker was unrecognizable. Immediately, I was thrown back into the fast paced, you-should-know-what-your-next-10-year-plan-looks-like environment. I did not even have my full schedule for the current semester solidified yet…let alone my next 10 years.
Campus acquaintance catch up conversations started out with both parties explaining what they did the past three months. Then, almost always, it ended with the flaring question of, “so what’s your plan for next summer?” Never did I have any idea what my next summer would look like. However, I came up with some unique and convincing response every time. I was good at costuming my responses that made it look like I had it together when in reality, I had no idea what the next moment would be, or should be.
Fall semester passed, winter break happened, and before I knew it, it was March of spring semester 2019. Still, I was in the same future mental state I was in back in September. Stressed, confused and overwhelmed about what an internship for my sophomore summer should be.
Finally, I applied.
It took an optimal level of stress to finally get me to submit my resume to a number of firms through Handshake and Indeed. The firms I submitted my resume to consisted of marketing, operations, sales, and finance roles- with roughly two production jobs in the mix. In the next two weeks, I received a few emails from solely business firms that were interested in setting up a time for a phone call. They saw potential in me. I truly was a lucky girl. However, my heart did not feel connected to these firms.
About a month later, I received a response from an application I submitted for one of the production internship listing saying they were interested. My spirit lit up. Next day, we scheduled a phone interview. Once the phone interview was completed, I was asked to come in the following weekend for an in-person interview. It felt as though lightning was flashing by my eyes and yet, somehow I interwoven with the lightning’s spirit, piercing bolts wherever the sky took it.
Putting others before myself meant taking a leap of faith in accepting this unpaid ten week internship. Here, I became a humble servant to my bosses and coworkers learning much more in submission than in a place of authority. I am extremely grateful that the Lord of my life, Jesus Christ, shone through the way I walked, served, and loved through my production internship.
What I can offer to anyone starting the internship and job search process is to analyze your prior experiences. What have you have enjoyed and not enjoyed? How are you naturally wired? What gifts did God freely give you? How do you want to serve the world?