As a college Freshman, I find myself perplexed and near-desperate for an internship opportunity this summer. I have applied to countless — both paid and unpaid — but most of them require applicants to have intense background knowledge of the field. In addition, they often discourage students who aren’t rising Juniors or Seniors from applying for these positions.
In frustration, I still continue to seek internships and organizations that are willing to take Freshman and rising Sophomores.
The process is cumbersome, time-consuming, and a stressful addition to my schedule as I juggle work, seven classes, and planning for next year as I prepare to take on several leadership roles within clubs and organizations at the university. It is absolutely disheartening as I receive email after email that I did not meet their “requirements.”
Yes, I am a Freshman, but I have done three internships in the past two years and have extensive experience through volunteer work and a diverse array of office jobs in several fields. I have a 4.0 GPA, do volunteering through several organizations on campus, and have been selected to head several clubs on-campus next semester.
This may not be your typical classification of experience, but I am absolutely positive that these traits speak volumes about who I am as a student and as a worker in terms of commitment, responsibility, and dedication.
There are Juniors and Seniors whose level of experience I may very well meet, so why not give me a chance?
College Freshman and Sophomores also need and want to gain the experience, they also need and want to earn money over the summer while doing meaningful work and gaining experience in their field.
Corporations, companies, and even local governments should seek to recruit more underclassmen and open up more opportunities to them. It is hard to gain experience where everywhere you turn you are not being considered or you aren’t “eligible” enough.Internship and work culture in America needs to shift. Time and time again, we see that companies and organizations insist that they look at applications “holistically” — but the matter-of-the-fact and the stringent requirements that they seek to be met tell us otherwise.