Prepare to Launch: Advice from Campus Philly Interns

A common conversation I have encountered recently has been about how I got my internship—which is quickly followed by, “but you’re only a freshman.” I think most people think I woke up one morning, applied for the first position I saw, and then instantly got it. I wish!  I hold a long list of sleepless nights, tiresome jobs, unpaid positions, and overflowing my plate to ensure I stand out compared to the next person. But with ever sweat and tear, I hold an experience like no other, and some of my favorites include:

  • Lobbying on Capitol Hill for US support with girl’s educational rights.
  • Advocating for inclusion and acceptance as a speaker at a TEDx Talk.
  • Becoming one of the youngest hourly managers at Mission BBQ.
  • Landing an internship as the Editorial Intern at Campus Philly.
Fellow Campus Philly intern, Katie (right), and I pose for a photo following my TEDx talk!

So how did I get where I am? The first thing that comes to mind– and I instantly spit out– is that you have to start somewhere. This is true with most aspects of life, if you look at people like Stephen Spielberg, he did not just pick up a camera and direct a masterpiece, it took years of perfecting his craft and different experiences to get him where he is today. This concept is the same for everyone. I started my freshman year of high school, but there isn’t a specific time, you just have to put yourself out there and see what happens.

What I did my freshman year has no correlation to what I am doing today, other than teaching me essential skills for the workforce. I learned to be a team player, empathetic, open to the ideas of others, and how to think under pressure. Guess where I learned all of this? JV Field Hockey and Lacrosse. Two sports that I loved that evolved into more.

I can list all of my positions–leadership, work, or volunteer– but that doesn’t matter because I didn’t labor in these positions to boost my resume, but because I loved and was passionate about what I was doing.  You will excel when you have a reason for your doings because it will be enjoying and fulfilling. When you are trying to figure out what to apply for, make sure you are applying for the right reasons or else you may be miserable and not able to work at your fullest potential.

With my fellow Campus Philly interns, Haley and Dan, and supervisor, Brynn!

Rewind to last semester when I was searching for all types of jobs and internships. Through the magical powers of Google search, I landed on Campus Philly’s Launch Portal. This career site is customizable– list your interests, upload your resume, etc– and full of job and internship opportunities in the Philadelphia region. I spent hours on the site scrolling through all the gigs and bookmarking my favorites until I was content with my list and ready to apply. That’s how I landed my internship here!

Back to the resume thing, I know there is much anxiety surrounding the creation of them. I spent months perfecting mine and got great tips and feedback from my university’s career center. If you’re feeling self conscious about your resume, make an appointment at your school’s career center!

In the end, landing that dream job or internship comes down to a couple things: determination, willingness, and persistence—oh, and the Campus Philly Launch Portal! And remember how I said you have to start somewhere? Start on March 27-31 during Campus Philly’s Online Job & Internship Week!