Stay Motivated During the Internship Search

Thursday, 07 March 2013 18:27 Written by  Hiba Abdillahi

With all the things going on in my life, the last thing I need is that overwhelming feeling of not being at my best potential. When you major in a field that requires internships and “hands on” experience, and the only hands on experience you’ve had so far is reporting for a required class, it’s easy to think things like “I'm not good enough,” “I'm never going to amount to anything,” and “Oh my God! How did she get an internship and I didn’t?” I can speak from experience, trust me.

I’m at an awkward stage in my life. I feel like I can take on the world, that I am an adult and its time to get my act right. Yet, at the same time, I feel like I’m not prepared for anything and sometimes I’m perfectly fine with the idea of living at my parents house forever. I am literally torn. It’s gets unbearable when I am told to add an internship to class work, two jobs, and bills, bills, and more bills. I can feel my house of cards tumbling down.

The start of the internship search began, and I already felt defeated. Cleaning up my resume, changing up my cover letter, spending hours of applying to any place I could find. I felt exhausted, and that was only the beginning. After applying to any internship I could find, the waiting process began, which is almost always the worst part of anything. After not receiving a call back, defeated couldn’t begin to describe how I felt.

I was frustrated, I felt lost. I didn’t understand how can I get hands on experience if no one is willing to give it to me? After talking to some of my friends who understood how I was feeling, I realized it isn’t just me. In the journalism industry, plenty of doors will close before one opens, and you have to be prepared for the rejection. I realized that I have plenty of resources around me to help with my internship problem. For example, contact your schools internship coordinator or talk to an advisor.

Also, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, so dig up some contacts and start mingling. And, always remember, if you don’t get the spring internship you wanted, their is always summer, and the fall. I had to realize that if I don’t succeed, I can always try again.


Photography by GMO Photo Editor Billy Montgomery

Hiba Abdillahi

Hiba Abdillahi

Hiba Abdillahi is a student at Columbia College Chicago, majoring in broadcast journalism. She aspires to be an international correspondent.

Hiba can be contacted at