As graduation quickly approached I found myself scrambling to find a job. Much too late in my time at Boston University I visited my Career Center in April of my senior year…for the first time. Graduating with a marketing degree and very little marketing experience I, with the encouragement of my career advisor, decided to apply for both full-time jobs and internships. After going on a few interviews I secured an unpaid (yikes!) marketing
internship doing search engine marketing, a topic I knew little about and that was just starting to gain traction in the online advertising world. After about six weeks at the internship, the lack of financial support it provided meant I was on the job search again. This time I visited a staffing agency and landed a temp-to-perm placement as an administrative assistant at a company that built parking structures. Outside of answering phones and processing paperwork, my first week on the job included me standing on top of a two story parking garage for three hours counting the number of cars that drove in and out of the building. Not necessarily was I was expecting, nor a position that really interested me, but I had to pay the bills.
As yet another opportunity presented itself, in the form of moving across the county to San Francisco, I, once again, found myself on the job hunt. This time I was entering a job market full of rising start-ups in the early 2000’s so my unpaid internship in search engine marketing finally paid off – in the form of a paid full-time position! My weeks as an admin at the parking structure company weren’t a total loss. I was able to put aside some money for my move and by connecting with staffing agencies once I arrived in SF I worked a few temp positions before starting my full-time job. By counting cars I learned what I didn’t want to do and was able to turn my last-minute internship into a career that lasted seven years, before shifting gears into higher education. Even though I never had an internship while I was a student, I was able to get one post-graduation and turn that into a career where I enhanced my customer service skills by working with clients and became a pro at using Microsoft Excel – two skills that have helped me in all of my subsequent positions. My moral here is that it’s never too late to get an internship, even if that means hustling doing something you don’t love until that internship helps lead you into a full-time job.
Senior Associate Director of Career Development and Assessment