Jodi Lo | Monday, September 1, 2014
Summer is over. Even sadder is that the season for recruitment and job fairs has creeped up and started.
As a senior, I feel like I am well within my rights to give the younger general population important advice: Forget everything and assume nothing about internships.
Somehow, the word internship has gained new meanings within the Notre Dame culture. Internships are about being able to learn in a new environment and gain experience from mentors and supervisors while hopefully having fun along the way, yet we as a student body have warped this word into a social indicator of intelligence and charisma. An internship is no longer about having fun and transitioning into adulthood; it’s about showing off to others how successful and social you are and about getting a job offer with a good salary well before you finish school.
It’s the cultural crime of Notre Dame. We are all victims to the unhealthy internship mentality. We need to work against it.
There’s a rather easy solution to this problem, and perhaps the solution also will help you succeed with your future interviews and careers. Don’t go and put all of your eggs into the big name companies’ baskets and only those baskets. I can’t stress enough that sometimes those companies just don’t suit you, and an internship shouldn’t be about the ability to brag about working for Google or Deloitte for the summer. Just go out and look for something that interests you, something that you enjoy doing.
If you do that, you won’t be another person applying simply because of the company’s name. You won’t have to feign interest to score the internship. And if you get the internship, you won’t be bored out of your mind doing something you actively dislike or don’t care about.
An internship is about having an appetizer for your career, and the best part is that internships are simply that: appetizers. You don’t like it? Well, good thing you ordered something else. If you enjoyed it, order yourself another dish just like it. Don’t pick an appetizer based on the price tag; pick it because it suits your taste buds and it’s what you enjoy.
This is your life we are talking about. Do you really want to pick something based on other peoples’ views instead of your own? You, yes you, are a capable human being with a stellar personality and an intellectual mind. Put that mind to use in an internship that excites you.
I would like to wish everyone good luck in their internship and job-hunting endeavors. Remember, it’s only the Career Fair.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.