Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Where do I even begin?

Start with yourself.

Applying for summer internships can be stressful. Many start the search and process in the fall and winter (and some maybe in the summer before). To me, this seemed so scary. In the fall of my sophomore year, I tried to look at internship options. I thought about the classes I took my freshman year, and the semester I was in the middle of. I realized that when this summer actually rolls around, I will have four semesters done. Four semesters equals half my time at Babson College. My upcoming semester abroad my junior year leaves me with three left at Babson.

If you’re anything like me, then you were afraid to start focusing on your specific career. This does not mean that I don’t enjoy school and my classes, or that I am unmotivated and uninterested. It’s the fact that I have so much more to learn. I love the fact that Babson requires you to take classes in many different areas. There are so many directions you can go in with a business degree from Babson. So, when I was told to start looking for a “good” internship, I was scared; I did not know where to start. I was in the middle of taking important classes at Babson, such as MAC and TOM. Those classes had me stressed at the time, but what if it was something I wanted to pursue? What about the five classes I was planning on taking in the spring, like Marketing, IT, or Finance? For me, I needed more time to explore and learn. 

I am glad I took my time in my search process. I always thought I wanted to do something more creative and conceptual. It took me until midway through my spring semester to admit that I did not love numbers, and that I worked well with conceptual ideas. This is when I began my internship search. It may have been late, but for me, I think it was the most efficient. Applying for positions with absolutely no idea if you want to spend your entire summer doing that is not productive for you, or the company reading your application. I decided to take my interest in marketing, operations management, and social media, and realized that Public Relations could be a great option for the summer. 

Although I appear that I was late on my search, I would like to argue that. When still exploring options and gauging my interests, I focused on my classes. I found many contacts in different industries, and I worked with career development on my resume. When I realized what I wanted to do, I was beyond ready. It was in March when I decided to set aside time every week specifically for internships. I tried to schedule my phone calls, send emails, my interviews and my searches during this time. I managed my time and took the search as seriously as a class.

My advice is to spend a lot of time thinking about yourself. Think about what you want to do. Don’t think about what your parents want you to do, or the class you get the best grade in. Find something that you like, and that you want to learn about everyday. After all, internships are a once in a lifetime experience. Also, they very well can become your entire life over the summer. Make your summer count. Make your internship about YOU and your interests.