When Your “Dream” Internship Isn’t Really a Dream

By: Lauren Haag, Account Executive for Barranquero Café


We have all been there. We’ve seen the Facebook posts from our friends announcing that they secured an internship in New York City for the summer. The pressure of not having an internship starts to take over and we frantically start applying to jobs that we have never heard of, in unfamiliar places.

During my spring semester, I fell victim to the type of social and academic pressure that comes with not having an internship like the rest of my friends and peers. I applied to more than 20 internships and received rejection letter after rejection letter.

At the beginning of the summer, I was offered to manage social media accounts for a retail store in the Greater Philadelphia area. I was pleasantly surprised and filled with excitement because I have grown alongside social media and have seen the impact it has on a business.

My time with this company prepared me for future opportunities by allowing me to have a face-to-face client experience. This skill is invaluable and has helped me with my current position as an account executive with Happy Valley Communications in addition to another internship on campus.

However, expecting an internship to be a “dream” is an unrealistic reality. In essence, an internship is a learning experience and with that, I learned that managing social media accounts full time is not my ideal career.

I may have left my internship not learning as much as I wanted or benefiting from fancy perks, but I did learn something very important: everything happens for a reason. This experience has made me more driven than ever to pursue a career that I am passionate about.

If you happen to be in the same situation that I was, don’t get discouraged. If your internship or even your first job isn’t what you expected—it’s all part of the process to get you where you want to be as a professional!

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