Personal Reflection On Internships: November 8th 2020

Right now it’s recruiting season. For many people in the CS industry, myself included, it’s a time of stress, anxiety, jealousy, and fear.

What if I don’t get a big internship this summer?”

I didn’t get an interview for any of the companies I wanted but my friends did. Does this mean I suck? Should I quit and give up?”

I’m so excited I got this internship offer, but another person I know got a more prestigious one. I don’t feel as happy anymore.”

The above statements are things that I’ve heard or told myself these past few months.

The reason I’m writing this post is to acknowledge something that I’m experiencing. Thinking about how others perceive me. Wondering about how my internship will impact my image. Narrowly focusing on a magical end result.

For many students, these are feelings that the internship hunt brings along.

To be honest, I don’t know how to solve this problem. I don’t know how to overcome getting caught up with my image, instead of what I actually want to be doing.

Speaking to a friend today, he told me that even when you get your big” internship it won’t be enough. There will always be something bigger to chase. Something more exclusive. Something better paying. Something with more perks.

I’m writing this to remind myself. There isn’t going to be a point where I will be satisfied with my career life if I think this way. If I obsess over an image, I’m going to keep chasing until I burn out.

The feel-good answer to my dilemma is that the valuable part is the process. That the experiences I will reminisce about are the challenges that I’ve overcome. Not the outcomes. It’s hard to think about it this way right now, because I have this perfect future in mind.

With internships what is my goal? Why am I even doing them in the first place? Thinking about these two things: I want to find out what problems I care about and the things I enjoy doing. I want to find what my strengths are and how I can use them to the best of my abilities. Right now, I should use my time to experiment.

November 8, 2020

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