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Don’t Let Rejection Get You Down

By: Alex Paun

If I had to pick the most important thing I’ve learned so far in college, it would be that it’s okay to not succeed at first, but you’d be foolish not to keep trying.

Flash back to spring of 2017. I had just changed my major from accounting to advertising. I didn’t have any experience in the field, but I was beyond eager to get started. My bright-eyed, bushy-tailed optimism followed me into the summer internship application season. I applied to several companies in Lincoln and a few in other cities, and I heard back from around half of them.

Out all the interviews, there was one local company that left a lasting impression on me. The people, the culture and their brand all drew me in. I walked out of my hour-long interview with my mind made up that I had to work there one day.

I made it to the second round of interviews before I got cut.

People get accepted and rejected from jobs all the time, so I kept applying and forgot about it.

I ended up landing an internship that summer that bled into the course of the next school year, but all the while, that little company stuck in the back of my mind. About a year later, they were looking for another intern. I spent the next two weeks wondering whether or not I should apply. If I applied and got rejected, it would be pretty embarrassing. But if I didn’t apply, I knew I would regret it.

The day the application was due, my boyfriend convinced me to shoot my shot. I spent the drive back from my spring break trip writing my cover letter and revising it until I couldn’t see straight. Exactly one minute before the application closed, I hit send.

The next day, I woke up to an email asking to set up an interview. I could bore you with the hiring process, but you know how it goes. Spoiler alert: I got the job, and my internship turned out to be everything I thought it would be. That summer, I finally figured out what I wanted to do within the world of advertising and I got to experience it surrounded by an incredible group of people.

From this experience, I learned the importance of perseverance, and the benefit of taking risks. Had I not reapplied, I would have missed out on an experience invaluable to my career. With graduation creeping up around the corner, I know that I’ll take this lesson with me when applying to full-time jobs, and for many years down the road.


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