What to Do if You’re A Senior Who Can’t Apply to Jobs Yet

I’m a senior, graduating in a month, and I haven’t started looking for jobs yet. In fact, I can’t start looking for jobs yet. The field I want to work in doesn’t hire on a strict timeline, like some of the business majors out there may be used to. Instead, I have to graduate and be in New York for a company to even review my application. In the magazine publishing industry, national titles hire within two weeks of a position becoming available.

Unfortunately, when I tell someone new that I’m a senior, they only have one question for me: what comes next?

Here are my tips for answering the dreaded question of what you’re doing after graduation, when in fact, you can’t start looking for a job yet:

1. Assess your situation: Have you had strong past internship experience? Or are you just starting out in the field you want to work in? If you don’t have much access to the industry, you might want to consider applying to paid internships for the summer.

2. Don’t settle: On the other hand, if you’ve already had the experience you need to establish connections in your field, resist the urge to apply to internships. While it’s tempting to know what you’re doing over the summer, you won’t be free to look for jobs until the fall. I made the hard decision to stop applying for internships because I have connections now that may not be as current a few months down the road.

3. Make a plan: As I said earlier, the industry I want to work in is completely in NY. So, my plan is to go to New York and start having informational interviews to find positions to apply to.

4. Know (kinda) what you’re doing:  I’ve boiled down a simple response for when people ask me what I’m doing after graduation. “I’m going to move back to NY to look for a job at a magazine,” is my typical answer.

5. Stop worrying: Honestly, I don’t hate that I work in an industry where I can’t start applying until after graduation. It gives me more free time to enjoy my last month at BU.

6. Make new connections: Know of someone with a position you’d love to have in the future? Whether there’s a job opportunity there or not, reach out for an informational opportunity. Who knows, it can lead to something down the road as well as helpful tips to use now.

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This post originally appeared on the BU CCD-ERC Student Ambassador Tumblr.

Dealing with Rejection During Your Internship Search

Since I work at my school’s career center and have strong past internship experience, many of my underclassmen friends come to me with everything from resume questions to disappointment when they don’t receive a job. In these cases, I always say the same thing: want me to write you a list of all the positions I’ve been rejected from?

When I tell my friends this, they think I’m crazy. I’ve interned at Seventeen Magazine, so I must not know anything about the struggle of the application process, right? Wrong. Actually, I ultimately got my dream internship in an extremely competitive industry through hard work and determination, which can only mean one thing: a whole LOT of rejection.

Here are my tips for how to deal with rejection during your internship search:

1. Don’t Take it Personally: Don’t put yourself down just because you didn’t get the job! Who knows who you were up against. In reality, there are too many unknowns for us to compare ourselves to others. Thousands of qualified people may have applied for the same job as you. It’s hard to know exactly what an employer was looking for.

2. Consider Whether the Position Was Really Right for You: Usually, the employer knows if you’d be a good fit for their company better than you do. If you applied for an entertainment writing job when you’re really into fashion (examples from my life), the person looking over your application can usually tell. You need to show passion in an application. And if you aren’t passionate about a position, it probably wasn’t for you anyway.

3. Don’t Assume the Unknown: When we get rejected from positions, we often react by making assumptions. For example, it’s easy to assume an intern was chosen because she had a connection to the company. But why waste your time being petty? Move on to the next application instead! Basically, don’t focus on others, focus on what you can approve for next time.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Feedback: You’d be surprised how many employers are willing to give feedback on why you didn’t get a position. So email them back, and say you understand their decision and hope to work with them in the future. Then add a sentence or too asking if there’s any way you could improve your application. They’ll likely be impressed by your determination!

5. Do Keep Applying Everywhere: Just because you were rejected from one position (or 100), don’t get discouraged. How will you know if you can get a position if you don’t apply? Take a risk, and send in those hard applications, even if you think there’s a chance of rejection. You may be a better fit for a different company that has just as competitive as a hiring process as one you were rejected from.

Still feeling down? You can always tweet @shinnersss for that list of positions I’ve been rejected from…

This post originally appeared on the BU CCD-ERC Student Ambassador Tumblr.

My First Masthead!

Although it’s been 2 months since I completed my internship at Seventeen Magazine (how does time go so quickly?!), I basically had the best surprise ever yesterday. I was in Shaw’s to grab some groceries with a friend when I decided to check the magazine rack for Seventeen’s April issue. Lea Michele had her cover shoot while I was working at the mag, so I was excited to see how it came out. However, when I flipped open the issue, I was surprised to see my name along with talented magazine editors in the masthead.

Every journalist dreams of their first national magazine masthead and this is mine. I finally had that walk into a grocery store to see my name in a magazine moment and I couldn’t be happier!

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