It is that time of your college life. You knew this was going to happen, but youhardly ever thought of it and time just moved too quickly... It is time for you to enter the world of internships: that limbo-like dimension where you are neither a student nor a professional, yet you somehow identify with both species. However, before starting this new phase you must first go through a long and anxiety filled process where you desperately try to find that internship that suits your tastes and abilities. So, let me tell you a bit about my own experience, just so you can give yourself an idea of how it is like.
My first approach to the process of finding an internship started in a rather unconventional way. A bunch of people in my same situation decided to apply to this big multinational that had several tests and interviews as a way of finding those suitable candidates for the job. I thought to myself “why not? I have always been curious about those challenges...” Well, let’s just say that first (and only) exam on that corporation was highly educational. What next? Was I going to let that failure stop me from finding the internship of my dreams? Of course not!
This next phase is the one I have learned from the most. The central bank of our country (Banco de la República) always hires a big battalion of students as interns every semester, but then again, you first have to pass an exam and several interviews. For me, the exam was a reminder of how much we have learned here at the university, and how much of this knowledge I have forgotten... After that, we had to wait about a month before getting summoned for interviews. This is where it gets exiting. Interviews can be very tricky, given that you can never be ready for the questions the interviewers are planning to ask; you can only hope for the best, and read a few current economic news, just in case. Of all the interviews I have had, I can say that the most frightening ones have one question in common: “Where do you see yourself in ten years?” Given that “a mirror” is not a viable answer, I found myself thinking hard and fast before deciding what to say. The truth is, I don ́t know where am I going to be in three, five, or ten years. However, I do hope I’m going to be helping people, fighting world hunger, closing inequality gaps, or simply taking one day at a time, as I’m trying to do right now. And that is ok. Our generation has the idea that we must have our life together at a really young age, but really, not knowing what the future holds is normal.
The final phase of this process, is, in my opinion the toughest one. This, is the time where you have to make decisions, and if you are like me, then this tends to be maddening and very stressful. I have applied to several internships, and they all have something unique to offer to my professional and academic formation. Furthermore, the people I have had the chance to meet during this application processes make the decision even harder, for I feel I can learn a lot from all of them. In a nutshell, internships (and what comes before them) are helpful processes that can give you more insight about your major and yourself. So, I encourage you to take the step and apply for one, because you can learn a great deal about your likes and dislikes, and your abilities and weaknesses.