The Diary of a Successful Intern

Remember a while back when Sam from Forever Twenty Somethings and Erika swapped places for an edition of Freaky Friday here on TwentyTweets? Well, we’re doing it again! All week, Forever Twenty Somethings has been featuring “Alternatives to the 9-5.” Make sure you check out my story about seasonal employment on her blog today! Sam shared her post-grad story with us, and we loved it so much, we’re featuring it here on TwentyTweets. Her message? NEVER give up. Read on…

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After I graduated college, I moved back home with my parents and 3 younger brothers. I had no job, no interviews set up, and no money saved. Since I went to a great school and had tons of internships, extra curricular activities, and office related part-time jobs on my resume, I was convinced that I would get a job and start making money ASAP. I wasn’t worried at all. I mean who wouldn’t want to hire me (thought process sound familiar anyone?)…

Adjusting to life after college was super easy at first. I didn’t feel broke, despite my lack of savings, so I figured I could get by without any source of income during my job search. I had just gotten all this graduation money so I was, like, pretty much rich (or so I thought). I wasn’t paying rent. I wasn’t paying for the gym. I wasn’t paying for anything except clothes and alcohol (and I didn’t have anything to do except shop and drink – a match made in heaven). Therefore, I knew I could wait it out until the perfect job came along.

Well… The perfect job never came along.

When I started to run out of money, I got a call from the health care company that I had worked for previously asking if I could fill in for someone over the next couple of weeks. Perfect timing, right? Of course I exclaimed ‘YES‘ and was happy to finally have an income to feed my shopping addiction. They even let me continue working part-time after I was done filling in for someone. They said I could stay until I got a job…

… The problem was that I wasn’t getting a job. A real job. You know, one in the television industry… or something, anything related to my video production major. I knew it wasn’t my fault. There were pretty much no openings (I live in Boston… what did I expect). And when there were openings, I got the interviews (usually the 2nd one too)… Just not the job.

Eventually, I decided that I was going to have to go back to the doom of being an intern. I actually enjoyed being an intern in college, which is why I had four internships. But post-college interning? No thanks. However, I knew that getting experience in my desired field would be much better than sitting on the couch watching Pretty Little Liars marathons. So… I got an internship with a well-known production company who told me the internship ‘would definitely lead to a job after.’ Well, it never did. I was the youngest out of five interns and after a month of spending over three hours commuting each day, I knew it wasn’t going to become paid (probably ever).

So what did I do? I quit. Well, I didn’t quit… I just told them I got a job somewhere else. And that wasn’t a lie. I got another internship at a small, start-up company that did online video production. It was actually pretty cool. However, they also told me ‘the internship will hopefully lead to a job’ and you can guess what happened a few months later… Nothing. I mean I loved the internship. I was getting great experience and I was introduced to tweeting and blogging (I guess things worked out in the end because look at me now)… but I was NOT introduced to money and that needed to change.

Seven months after graduation, I was offered a job for a technology company in their video production department. I could finally say goodbye to my days of interning! Little did I know, though, that I would be saying hello to days of boredom. Although every day was monotonous and boring, I got by. I did my best at work, saved a lot of money by living at home, and job searched every day during off hours. The downtime at my job even led me to start Forever Twenty Somethings.

Soon enough, it was time to say goodbye to my first post-college job and say hello to my second… A job at a television production company! And I didn’t even have to move for it. Well, I actually did move… just not to NYC or LA… I moved 20 minutes from my parent’s house (big deal, I know), and thankfully had a decent amount of money saved up from living at home to make the ‘big‘ move.

For the past eight months, I have been working morning, day, and night at my current job and despite the crazy hours, I love it. And don’t worry, I didn’t give up blogging. Forever Twenty Somethings has gone from being a personal blog to a well-known online magazine. I now have twelve contributing writers and many other ‘guest writers’ (like the writers here at TwentyTweets!) I am constantly writing, thinking up ideas, editing other peoples’ articles, and doing any other busy work for the site. No, I don’t get paid for this, but it is an amazing hobby to have and has given me a ton of professional experience (aka looks great on the resume). In the future, I do hope to make a profit from it all. In fact, I am in the process of launching a whole new version of the site with advertisements and all. But for now, I’m just enjoying doing what I love (money or no money included).

Advice to graduating seniors:

  • Expect the worst & hope for the best. You might not get every job that you interview for, but each interview is experience for the next.
  • Network! You never know who will be able to help you in the future.
  • Know that everyone is in a different situation. While your friend may have landed a job six months before graduation, she might have known someone… or she might just be in a completely different industry than you.
  • When searching, you may have to settle for a job slightly related to what you want to do – but not quite there yet. You can’t be picky. Everyone has to start somewhere.
  • And if your job doesn’t involve something you want to do, do it on your own. I want to write, so I started a blog. Take what you’re passionate about and make it happen.
  • Take a post-college internship (don’t be embarrassed, the economy sucks)… Move somewhere new and exciting if you can. Take risks, but make sure you can handle them financially first.
  • You might not like your first job, but believe me – it will only lead you to something that you will eventually love. You’re young! And your life is beginning now.

Share your post-grad story with us! @forever20tweets or @20sTweet!

~Sam

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One Response to The Diary of a Successful Intern

  1. Pingback: Alternatives to the 9-5: Smokey-the-Bear-Style Seasonal Employment « Forever Twenty Somethings

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