Internship Interruptus: It’s Not You…

Are you the victim of an internship break-up?

It’s not unusual for employers to hire interns well in advance, while not entirely certain of the company’s financial future. Especially in these economic times, a handful of companies will unexpectedly rescind their internship offers to deserving candidates simply due to budget concerns. And this just may happen to you as we approach summer internship season.

This can be a heartbreaking experience for intern candidates, especially since most are very excited for the opportunity – and have planned their summer around the commitment.

Despite your internship breakup, you have plenty of options and lots of time…

1. Look elsewhere, now. As a student who has dealt with this situation, I found that the key is to keep looking and to not give up. If you’ve been developing a professional network, ask your connections to keep you in mind when they see internships appear. Exhaust the resources in your career center and on YouTern. There may be an even better internship on the horizon for you!

2.  Seek a part-time job. If earning money is an absolute necessity, and another paid internship is not readily available, sometimes it is best to take a part-time job to offset living expenses. Perhaps you can even fit Option 3 into your schedule if time allows…

3. Ask if the internship can be unpaid. Depending on the company or the organization, you still may be able to salvage your internship – at no expense to the company. Just ensure that you’re learning and receiving a great experience to compensate for the change in the internship.

4.  Ask for a referral. Many times, the company that has cancelled your internship opportunity will be willing to help you find a new internship within their network. Ask, and you may be surprised how willing they are to help.

Most important… remember: just because the company couldn’t afford you now, doesn’t  mean that you didn’t have something to offer.

Don’t give up on finding your dream internship, and don’t bring your past internship break-ups into the interview room. Prospective companies do not want to hear that they may be a “rebound” option.

Stay positive and work hard to be the best candidate for the new internship you will find!

The author, Diane Kulseth, is a student at the University of St. Thomas with a proven drive to always stay on the top of innovation. Diane is involved with developing social media strategy and researching social media channels for various clients as well as search engine optimization (SEO) content strategy for internal projects.

This entry was posted in Internships and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.