By: Lucas Mears
It can feel intimidating to not have a position or an internship ready for the summer. While it is perfectly normal to feel anxious or frustrated by this, it is also perfectly normal to not have a position or internship yet. Stay calm, and remember you are not alone, and most importantly do not give up! Here are some tips on adjusting your strategy and continuing your search.
Continue Applying Through Traditional Means
This one may seem obvious, but a lot of people become discouraged and just stop. Keep going. No one likes rejection; however, you have to keep going to get in the game. New positions will continue to appear, new companies will begin to recruit, and sometimes you might even see an old position resurface. Continue checking Handshake and other resources relevant to you (LinkedIn, niche job boards, Indeed, etc.).
Consider Adding Smaller/Local Businesses to Your Search
While you should continue your search process through traditional means, you should also consider expanding that search to smaller businesses, startups, or boutiques. For example, if you wanted a financial experience, think bigger than your traditional firms. Explore new startups or a smaller independent firm. If you don’t see roles for these companies posted, but you’re interested, send out a prospecting email to see if they need any help in the long- or short-term sense. Everyone can think of at least five companies in any industry space, but what about companies 5-20? Expand your list to expand your search.
Ramp Up Networking
Networking remains one of the best ways of gaining information and sometimes even a position. Continue any networking attempts you have been doing and consider increasing it even more to expand your reach and potential opportunities. Utilize the events happening on campus (career fairs, info sessions, meet & greets, etc.), reach out to old friends, former classmates, former internship/job supervisors, professors, or alumni. Run the informational interviews and meet as many people relevant to your industry or search as possible!
Consider Non-Traditional but Related Roles
Consider expanding your search beyond the exact position you want. For example, let’s say you wanted an internship working in analytics. Instead of only roles that end in “analyst”, consider things that allow similar skill building. Doing a research project, becoming a teaching assistant, joining a club/org, working in statistics, these are all ways to gain exposure to analytics that may not come up in an “analyst” search. You should NEVER settle for (or even apply to) a role you don’t want, but also be open to considering all the possibilities that might help your resume and that you find interesting.
Just remember, it is totally fine to still be searching! Don’t settle and don’t give up! Keep plugging away and always be willing to adapt your strategy to succeed.