“Am I… better than anyone?”
I watch those Instagram reels that use this sound no less than 15 times a day. Of course, it’s fun and all, us having this vivid thought when we do something “extraordinary” like applying sunscreen twice a day (which I don’t do) or staying hydrated (which I fail quite badly). It’s just a laugh, an exaggeration of self-confidence to the point that it’s quite absurd. This is not me telling you to start thinking like this when finding an internship, but it’s more about finding your strengths in the smallest things possible.
Internship hunting, for every 2nd and 3rd year IBCoM student, is a stressful time to say the least. Some may label it as their worst university experience without exaggeration, and I can’t even bring myself to disagree. Finding an internship in the middle of the pandemic while living in a country with 6-hour time difference to the Netherlands was an arduous process: 50+ applications sent out, interviews nearly every week for 2 months, going to sleep at 5am and forcing myself to go on LinkedIn everyday for jobs updates while calming my pounding-like-crazy heart, I can’t be happier how things worked out at the end. I have learned a lot about myself, and probably one of the most surprising things is that even though I was nearly 2-month late to our supposed start date, the faith I have for myself, remains intact.
I was mentally prepared that peer pressure was going to take a toll on me, and it did. Countless announcement posts on LinkedIn, people texting in the group chat about internship plans and contracts, friends asking about others’ internships while we were in breakout-rooms, they were there and they were real. They caused delays and hesitation, they logged me out of social platforms and normal socializing, they asked “What about you?” and I would shake my head in utter desperation.
It’s bizarre even to me how it worked out, but I do have something that I hope it can help you in the future, not only in IBCoM internship, but even further than that. Things like this, normally they would go through different stages. There will be times when 15 people change their job status on LinkedIn, but sometimes you will find none. There will be times when reading job descriptions gives you tremendous self-doubt, but there will be times when you find those extremely fascinating. Hurry up, those are your chances! Take a deep breath when those moments come, savor them and remember them. If you give them a significant piece of mind, it can help calm you down when other things seem too overwhelming.
They study IBCoM, and they have an internship. I study IBCoM, and I have enough confidence to find an internship. They study IBCoM, and they intern for a big company. I study IBCoM, and today I found a new company that I really like. They study IBCoM, and I see their projects on LinkedIn. I study IBCoM, and I think my CV has nice color and my motivation letter sounds like me. They study IBCoM, they are so cool, they have everything done and organized. I study IBCoM, I am cool because I just sent out applications for some jobs I saved 2 days ago. I am nowhere near dismissing others’ achievements, but I do want to show you that while comparing yourself to others is unavoidable, you can twist it a bit and compare unrelated things. Moreover, when you pair that with a ridiculous self-confidence praise, not “Am I better than anyone?” but “Aren’t I super cool?”, it turns the attention to you and you only, and it will give you that peace of mind.
Author: Bao Thu Nguyen
Editor: Gwendolyne Cheung
Illustrator: Hanh Tran