When I signed up for the first internship meet-and-greet of the semester, I was all set to make a good impression. I had a killer resume and samples of my writing all printed out and gathered together into packets for easy, on-the-spot distribution. I had my hair down and wore a comfortable business-casual outfit. I even made my way over to the Rose room in the Castle 20 minutes early. I came to play!
This spring, Arcadia is offering a series of internship based campus events. In addition to supplying career counselors to help students go over their resumes and practice the always-daunting interview, Arcadia opens its doors to business employers looking for talented students in two internship speed-meeting events during the spring. I attended the first on February 3.
Now, I’m no business major, but I figure any networking is an opportunity to improve schmoozing skills. I had eagerly signed up for the first event and scanned the companies that would be sending representatives. Who knows. Maybe I’d even find a summer internship by the end of the night!
But once the crudité was gobbled up and the representatives started to arrive, I began to realize I was in the wrong place. Seated around me at the table were a handful of other Arcadia students also dressed to impress. I discovered I was an English/Creative Writing major surrounded on all sides by business majors with concentrations in everything from actuarial science to financial accounting.
The company representatives each stepped up to the podium and announced the positions they hoped to fill. Marketing intern. International sales intern. Media and business intern.
What was an English major to do?
I felt deflated. Now what? No one here was looking for anything in my skill set. I thought to myself.
But I stuck it out, practiced my smile and shook hands with company reps just like everyone else. And then, as I arrived at the second to last table, something amazing happened.
A representative for a server company mentioned how closely his company worked with websites such as WordPress.com. Suddenly my ears perked up. The position was heavily based in web design and IT and I could practically feel the business majors around me sigh from disinterest. I’m no digital pro myself, but for the past year, I have been running my own blog on a WordPress site. I told him how much I’d love to find out more how things work behind the scenes of a company like WordPress. I even explained to him that I’m a blogger and told him how much I love writing my posts on the WordPress platform. We exchanged business cards right then and there. I couldn’t have been more thrilled!
In the days after the internship event, I followed up with the company representative and learned more about what his company does to facilitate a site like WordPress. Who would have thought I’d come out of the night having gained access to information that strikes so close to home.
I might not have landed an internship that night, but I gained invaluable experience about networking. I came to play for real!