Persevering During the Application Process – Melinda Phommalinh

This week Melinda writes about her experience applying for internships and research opportunities and the importance of not getting discouraged by rejection letters.

Internships are amazing in so many different ways. It helps you experience what the real world job scene is like and it also helps you make connections by opening doors into future possibilities. I highly encourage everyone and anyone to do at least one internship before they graduate college because it really offers a lot of experience so you don’t go into your career blind, having no idea what to expect.

Bristol_logo_NEWI have applied to at least 10 different internship and research opportunities. One by one, I got the rejection letters. Though it may be difficult at times, it is important to never be discouraged. I think the best advice I can give someone who is looking for an internship is to take initiative into their own hands. Even if there are no applications to fill out, start researching the company’s website and make a few phone calls and send a few emails. It never hurts to reach out to those who may be willing to help or know someone who may be open to taking on an intern. That is actually the way that I got this internship through Bristol Hospital. There were no actual application forms to fill out. Instead, I made a few phone calls, told people about what degree I am pursuing as well as what I hope to accomplish in the future, and I eventually got forwarded to my supervisor who agreed to take me on as a student and teach me as much as she could during the summer.

There are definitely high and low points of an internship. A low point may be when you feel discouraged because you don’t understand every technical term or their scope of practice is accelerated compared to what you have been taught in the classroom. My best advice is to take it all in, ask as many questions as you can, and in your free time, research everything you don’t understand so you can grasp the basic background of the topic. There are many high points of an internship, such as making great connections that open many doors for you, as well as learning about a topic that you never thought you would be interested in.

As far as the work environment, it is very different from a normal classroom setting. Though it varies from internship to internship, overall, the best attitude is to maintain a professional one. Dress professionally, speak professionally, and act professionally. It may be unusual at first, but it is practice for life after graduation when you have to start applying for jobs or preparing for interviews for graduate school. Overall, the opportunity of an internship by far is outweighed by its positive outcomes than its negative outcomes. It may even present a job opportunity after graduation.

Be sure to check back next Thursday morning to read more about Melinda’s internship experience!

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