You worked hard to obtain an internship in your field. Hours of review on your resume, countless interviews, and maybe even a new suit. But after 10 weeks of blood, sweat and tears to prove yourself, you didn’t receive a full time offer. Ouch! As you return for your senior year, you look around and learn that many of your friends landed the big opportunity and will sail through their final months as a college student.
I know it is disappointing and frustrating and perhaps scary. You may be wondering, what do I do now?
It’s all about perspective. It may seem like the end of the world right now, but I promise this is a blip on the map, a tiny road block. Now you must decide how you handle it. Are you going to whine and moan and blame your manager or the company or your co-workers? Or are you going to take the bull by the horns and OWN this? Here’s how.
2. Build, Don’t Burn Bridges
Even though you did not receive an offer, your summer employer is likely your best reference to date. Follow up now with your previous managers and team. Tell them that you learned a lot over the summer and you would like to stay in touch. Ask for feedback on approaching your job search. Ask if and how you can tap into their network. Stay connected with anyone and everyone you met during the internship.
3. Utilize Fall Recruiting
All of the tools and resources that you need are at your fingertips in the next few months. It is important that you revise your resume, attend appropriate career fairs, meet with a career counselor, talk to your professors, or receive targeted guidance from a career coach. Whatever you do, do it NOW! Don’t wait until you get closer to graduation. Pick yourself up, shake off your frustration and get going!
4. Formulate Your Story
Inevitably recruiters are going to ask you in an interview what happened. You need to first understand why you didn’t get an offer. Then articulate what you learned and what you are doing about it.
I started out the summer slow and struggled with multitasking. I developed my organizational and time management skills over the course of the internship and now have a solid system in place.
I received feedback that I was effective at networking with the people above me, but not gaining the respect of my peers. I became actively involved in a final team project and learned to leverage the strengths of those around me.
Tell everyone you know that you are seeking employment after graduation. The job seeking process is very public. Utilize social media – The more people you speak to in the field, the more confidence you will have to share your strengths and land an awesome job.
Life is a journey and you are well on your way to an exciting career! YOU CAN DO THIS!