We all want a lot of things. We get some things, but not others. It all comes down to lots of effort and sometimes, a dash of luck.
In my second year, I applied for the Co-op program to gain work experience and figure out what I liked. So many people told me that I probably wouldn’t find something that year because the economy wasn’t good and I was also “too young” to be competitive in a talent pool where there were older and more experienced students vying for summer jobs. These people weren’t putting me down in any way, they were simply stating the obvious: the odds just weren’t in my favour. I was completely aware of my circumstances, but it didn’t deter me from my goal of getting my first “adult” job by May 2016 because I wanted it, and I was going to get it!
I sought guidance from so many great individuals in my network and I have probably vetted my resume too many times to count. The feedback and encouragement that I have received from my friends, family, and mentors kept me motivated. Though honestly, I just wanted to prove everyone who said that I wouldn’t get it wrong.
So I did just that.
Instead of the typical 4-month summer job, I was actually selected for an 8-month internship with an Oil & Gas company. This was also during the recession in 2016. When I asked my manager how I came to be selected, I was told that my resume was the determining factor. It turned out that all of those hours dedicated to reworking my resume finally paid off!
This opportunity already fulfilled my goals, but I wanted to take it even further and get an extension because I knew there weren’t many second year students who could get 12 months of work experience. I knew that this was my chance to differentiate myself from other students, and I seized the opportunity. I worked hard, but I also worked smart in order to add value to my team. Sure enough, I fulfilled my second goal and I got my extension. As of today, I have been working in the same organization for nearly 2 years… but, that’s a story for another time!
The Least You Need To Know
- Develop your goals early on and commit to them
- Reflect on your progress on a frequent and consistent basis
- Regardless of what others say, you are responsible for the end result
Getting The Internship Tips
- Use action verbs and emphasize results and metrics on your resume
- Ask at least 5 people to revise your resume and give you feedback (Check out Resume Rescue)
- Practice interviews are your best friend
- Do your research on the organization you are interviewing with
- Be confident and smile lots!