By Danielle Zukoff
Expected May 2019
My Freshman Summer Internship Experience: Part One
As a freshman, it’s common knowledge that a summer internship isn’t necessary. Most of my friends had plans to work at their local restaurant or become a counselor at their summer camp. “Most firms don’t hire freshman anyway,” was what people usually said. But, for me, there was something undeniably attractive about getting a feel for the real world. I wanted to take the NJ transit into New York City and intern. The thought of waking up, putting on my business clothes, and grabbing a book to read on my daily commute excited me. Even though I was warned of the difficulty of finding an internship as a freshman, I was determined to find one.
Once April hit, I had made no progress and started to panic. Although I had been applying to internships, not one firm had called me back. Practically all of my friends had their summers planned out, yet, I was still hopelessly searching for that dream internship (also hoping that it would be related to my major: Economics). I started calling home almost every day, freaking out to my parents about how I was going to be stuck at home all summer with absolutely nothing to do. They comforted me, telling me that I was only a freshman and that I would definitely find something to do. Still, I wasn’t convinced, and without even a job locked in as backup, I dreaded the thought of coming home at the end of the semester.
Throughout April, I continued searching through GWork and other job posting sites. I had been submitting my resume along with a cover letter to multiple openings in NYC and figured that the odds of me getting a call for an interview were increasing with each submission.
Finally, on a Tuesday morning, I received an email from a financial communications start-up firm in NYC called Vested. It stated that they wanted to interview me. Even though this was progress, I still had to get through the interview and secure the spot. Prior to the interview, I researched Vested. It was perfect, I thought-; a small firm of driven and motivated people who are passionate about finance. Even though I had never taken a finance course, I was eager to learn about the subject area and open to exploring it as a potential career field.
The interview went fantastic and I ended up getting offered an internship on the spot. I couldn’t contain my happiness and quickly called home to tell my parents that I had received an internship offer from Vested, a company that was located minutes from Wall Street. They congratulated me, telling me that they knew I would find exactly what I was looking for. I began counting down until the start of my internship.
Despite the stress I went through, everything worked out in the end. Here’s my advice to you: Don’t stop searching and DON’T feel pressured to get an internship after your freshman year. I applied for internships because I wanted to, not because I felt pressured. I wanted to experience the real world and being in the Financial District for an entire summer is everything that I wanted.
If you really do want that internship, you’ll find it. Just stay passionate and keep applying. Make sure to not get discouraged and also convey your passion in your interview. Firms want to hire people who are interested and eager to learn. As I reflected on my search for a summer internship, I realized that even as the summer crept closer and closer, I continued to submit applications. In the future, I will bring the same persistence and dedication to my search for jobs and internships.