While sitting on the 5th floor of the PCL, an open collaborative space, I quickly reflect on the main points I need to ask my senior mentor, and I hope the conversation reduces my stress.
“How do I find the best business internships? I want to intern directly under a CEO or work for Mercedes or Hilton.” I say.
“Go on LinkedIn, Visit career fairs, directly contact the companies, book an appointment with career coaches, speak with graduate students who have done internships, speak with teachers who can provide insights, perform intensive research online, she responds.
There are also so many websites that you can dedicate yourself to researching for internships. Go on businessinsider.com, internships.com, USAJobs.gov, GoAbroad.com, Experience.com, Idealist.org, Mediabistro.com, hercampus.com, and glassdoor.com.
“I had never thought about these options before, so I better catch up. I better straighten up my time management skills in regards to internships. At this point, I feel bombarded with massive information.
“You may want to research the business schools you are interested in like Stanford and UT before applying for the internships.” my mentor continues.
“I read online that schools want a student to demonstrate leadership ability, creativity, and problem-solving.
“If you are going to be the leader of a company, you will have to acquire the experience to collaborate on a team. Are you a leader in your community? Do you have any leadership positions? Are you actively involved in clubs? Have you had any prior work experience?”
There was a moment of silence and reflection, where my mind was immersed with overwhelming thoughts. Then, she continued talking. “To make the most out of your time, first look up the type of work you are interested in, then match that to the company. Do not research the company first.”
“That is a new approach to researching, and I now think I will have less sleep. I certainly would have to wake up at 5am on a Saturday to research internships.” I anxiously state, as my mind races with many thoughts.
“As a Psychology major, I say Nooooo. PEOPLE NEED THEIR SLEEP.”
Is my mentor really making things easier for me by providing me with more information or really just giving me more stress that I have to cope with every day when I have less sleep?
“I will be sleeping at 8pm, so I should be fine. Applying to internships is valuable to me. There is an opportunity cost to everything. I can choose to work more on internships or sleep more. I choose to work more on internships.
“I also decided to apply to one internship per week this semester, which will most likely be fine,” I say.
“That works. If you can try to apply to more than one internship per week, that would help too.”.
The conversation turned out to be unexpectedly worse for me. I consider applying to more than 1 internship per week means more pressure. I lastly sigh and with a nerve-racking look, I tell the mentor, “I certainly have a lot to accomplish.”
My mentor acknowledges this. After conversing, we leave the PCL.
A mentor should make a mentee less stressful, but the mentor made me more stressful. What I now have on my mind, even when I choose to have less sleep, is internships, only internships.