4 Things I Wish Google Told Me About Applying for an Internship

A few years ago I sat wide-eyed at my computer eagerly skimming through google results for “How to Make a CV”, “How to Write a Resume” and “What’s the Difference between a CV and a Resume?”. I knew nothing about internships other than the fact that I supposedly needed one. As a law student that still didn’t know if I liked law, an internship meant not only a notch on my (at the time, nonexistent) resume, but also the valuable opportunity to figure out if I was riding my indifferent-but-interested bike down the right path.

Since then, I’ve had three different internships at two different law firms and, while that certainly doesn’t make me an “expert intern” (thankfully, because that doesn’t sound like an appealing job title), I do think I’ve learnt a few things that I would have been happy to have casually read during the weeks leading up to my first job.

  1. Applying is not as easy as it should be

This one is for the gals like me who tried a “How to Apply for an Internship”-esque Google search and quickly realised that a lot of the answers were not exactly relevant. Living in a small, Caribbean island, I get this a lot when I turn to trusty google for (life, love, work) advice and I’d imagine that the same applies to those coming from small towns. Advice like, “check the company’s website for information on their internship scheme” is just not applicable. I’m yet to find a local firm that has information about internships on their website (although it would be embraced with open arms!). Something as simple as finding the email address to send your CV to can end up being a similar venture to cracking the DaVinci Code. My advice: always assume that a company takes on interns. Don’t send an e-mail unless your CV is attached – no one has the time to respond saying, “Yes we take on interns, can you send your CV?”. And if your mum’s boss’s bank teller knows the lady that does the photocopying, contact her and ask her, with all the cherries on top, to help you get in touch with whoever it is that deals with applications.

2. Don’t be afraid to make phone calls

I hate calling people. I’m not sure how common this phobia is and therefore this point might be here just for my benefit. But I say it all the time, I would gladly send 6 emails, two texts and a raven before I pick up the phone. I can almost get away with this as the world seems to be moving further and further away from telephone communication. However, it’s no secret that you can usually achieve more in a thirty second phone call than you can in four emails back and forth. When it comes to finding out who to send your CV to (as discussed above), checking on whether its been received and inquiring as to when you should expect to hear back from them, the phone call will always be the most effective tool. If you are a fellow member of the Phone Phobia Club then maybe try this embarrassing thing I do where I write down my opening sentence and bullet points of what I want to achieve during the call before dialling.

3. Follow Up

Ok, this one Google told me. But I didn’t want to listen. I remember saying, “But I don’t want to be annoying!” when my family urged me to make a call asking about the status of my application when a couple months had passed without being contacted by a firm. When I eventually made a call to HR, it turned out that they had sent me an email offering me a placement a month back that had went straight to my junk box. If I hadn’t made that call, I would have assumed that they weren’t interested in me and they would have assumed that I rudely ignored their offer.

4. Interview Prep is Overrated

Before my first intern-interview I probably read twenty articles and drove my mother absolutely mad begging her to help me decide what my “biggest weakness” was (I think we settled on “indecisiveness”). When I was actually in the interview, all the questions I was asked were ones I didn’t need to think twice about. Being an intern and not a potential employee, they mainly centred around the courses I was taking at school, my areas of interest and points on my resume. Of course this won’t be the same at every company, but I found that even the “hard” questions were so much easier to answer when I wasn’t thinking about what Google told me the right answer was.

It goes without saying that applying for the internship is “just the beginning”. However, in some cases, it might just be the hardest part. Get past the pleasantries and procedures of the application process and I promise that the intern experience will be well worth it (if not for you, at least for your CV).

Insta Issues and Halloween Horrors

Halloween month is over, happy November! 
Sushi Halloween Costume

Although my Halloween celebrations turned out to be rather unsuccessful, my costume (self-praisingly) did not. After three weeks of a little bit of work here and there and a subconscious desire to eat it, I finally got to strut my California Roll stuff (all around the house).

Mine is a tear-jerking tale that began last week when an unexpected work call left me without a Shrimp Nigiri date for our intended Halloween party and ended this Saturday when some bad chicken followed by a surplus of signs left me in costume, in character… and in a mild state of depression when we ended up not leaving the house.

My dilemma was a modern version of the classic ‘if a tree falls’ query: if you spend three weeks making a Halloween costume and then no one ever sees it, did you really make it? 

In this fast-paced, technologically-driven, social media-lovin’, sushi-craving world, there was one unprecedented question on my mind:

Can I still post a picture of my costume on Instagram?

Opportunities to wear a sushi costume, as you can imagine, are few and far between. A brainstorming session on possible upcoming occasions where this attire would be suitable resulted in little success and the picture I had just taken looked up at me, begging to be filtered.

This picture of our pre-Halloween night swiftly became a picture of us chillin’ at home dressed like our fav foods. Would it still be normal to show the world what I could have done tonight?

If I wanted to take this to a whole new, unrelated, totally far-fetched and not the same, level – it is almost (not at all) like posting a picture of you in your wedding dress after you Maggie Carpenter-ed it outta there on the big day.

However, I definitely posted it. Stay at home or go out on the town – it’s my costume and I can wear it, bake in it, take pictures in it, swim in it, wear it to uni and, sure as hell, Instagram it!

Bougainvillea And now that October is over and November is here, I find it difficult to be upset that I didn’t celebrate one holiday when my very favourite one is quickly sneaking up on us. Down here, the leaves don’t turn brown or orange and the temperatures don’t drop by the dozen but the air is crisp and the breeze has more of the cool ocean in it than at any other time. I’m happy to have two new sushi-shaped tables and a whole lot of pretty things around me.

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Until next time,

Taylor

 

Something that Scares Me

Eleanor Roosevelt said:

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

(No, this mantra was not coined by your over-active Facebook friends in search of thought-provoking statuses. I was surprised too.)

If you’ve seen this quote, and you’re like me, it’s made you reflect upon your relatively sheltered life. I definitely don’t do one scary thing a day, I’m not even sure if I do one a month. Every time I see it I ponder my day:

Breakfast wasn’t that scary, cereal’s easy… I guess it was sort of scary driving to school, I hear that can go wrong some times… That episode of Drugs Inc. was semi-alarming… 

However, there is nothing that I purposely do in order to be petrified and until I started seeing this quote on every “Words To Live By” Pinterest board I thought that was a normal way to live your life. But! Lo and behold! When Eleanor looked me in the face last night as I was browsing the cyber space I felt her pat me on the back…

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I love the beach. But the beach at night, not gonna lie, scares the bajeebers out of me.  It’s just one of those things that doesn’t feel natural. Quickly: 3 words that come into your head when you hear the word “beach”? Sand, sea, SUN. Emphasis on the sun. But last night when my boyfriend came home from the gym and suggested the whole scaling of the neighbour’s wall and taking a quick dip in the sea I went for it. We didn’t last long as I can guarantee I wasn’t the playful beach babe he was looking for – more like a paranoid squealing mess – but it happened, I was scared, the end.

I’m not sure when next I’ll do something that scares me but, in light of my new-found thrill-seeking nature, here is a short list of things that scare me that maybe I should try to do soon:

  • Failing school
  • Contracting a deathly illness
  • Really large fires

Until next time,

Taylor

1200th Time’s a Charm…

I’d say maybe every six months I find myself here again.

Maybe not “here” here — but somewhere in cyber space. Typing my heart out to an unknown (and usually nonexistent) audience, welcoming them to the blog I’m about to start (really this time, I promise) and ending it with a side note that I have no idea what it will be about but hopefully it’ll “just come to me”. Three months later I remember that I started it, find it, delete it, hope no one I know ever read it.

Perhaps I have deep issues rooted somewhere down in my psyche that prevent me from keeping promises to myself. Perhaps it started somewhere around the first dozen Neopets I forgot to feed even after all the Neo-points I invested in them. Perhaps I am just idea-less and looking for an excuse. Perhaps perhaps.

So this time – no promises. I’ll be straight up with you:

I’d like to start a blog. I’d like it to be about the fun things I do, dinners I eat, books I read and shenanigans I come up with to keep myself busy on the little Caribbean island I call home whilst my friends are away and my poor boyfriend is stuck putting up with me all day. I’d like to post lovely things and I’d like to do so frequently. I’d like to think I can do this.

Maybe the absence of formality and lack of promises will bring me back here soon. Fingers crossed.

sea

Until next time?

Taylor