So far, we’ve tried to keep this blog positive, featuring mostly testimonials of our students and pictures of events on the campus. But as we said goodbye at the end of April, looking forward to barging in to the real world, the tough part happened – internships. Sure, the first month of an internship tends to be difficult for everyone. You must get used to the new routine, since you wake up early every day, you‘ll be happy just to get through the day and go home, eat and sleep. Repeat. But after a weeks, you’ll likely to feel a shift. You’ll remember all the names of your colleagues, you’ll be taken more seriously and you won’t feel out of place and useless anymore. So yes, it’s normal and sooner or later, it’ll probably pass. However, one of our students had an unfortunate experience and decided to leave after four weeks. Why? Let’s find out!
“I was so happy to find my last internship (stage de fin d’études) relatively soon! It allowed me to focus on my classes and final exams. I felt bad for those still looking and wasting so much time preparing for new interviews every week without reaching any tangible results. I didn’t have any doubt and felt optimistic about my future prospects, feeling like this was a good step toward my career goals.
One of the amazing things about getting your degree in digital marketing is the vast selection of job opportunities, ranging from creative to analytical. The problem is when you don’t have enough work experience and/or you’re not able to make an accurate assessment of your personality and your capabilities. Do I want to become CRM manager? Traffic manager? Media trader? How could I know? Due to my limited work experience in digital marketing, I made my choices based more on feelings and hopes that this kind of work would be something I’d enjoy rather than on actual proof of my skills. Eventually, I felt confident about the choice I made.
Failed internship, failed interview
I was working in a digital agency as a junior account manager (assistant chef de projet). Unfortunately, my project (the only one I was hired for) was cancelled by a client ten days after my arrival. Everyone was disappointed and worried about the future of the project and wondering if deliverables sent up to that day were just a waste of resources. I’m fully aware of the fact that this wasn’t predictable in any way by the agency. However, an unfortunate consequence for me was that I had nothing to do. Apart from spending a few hours on an internal project, there was literally nothing. Remember the usual inconveniences happening during the first weeks of an internship mentioned in the introduction? Imagine how it’s working out if you have nothing to do. You do feel out of place, you do feel useless and as you work with no one, the integration into the new team gets harder. All those feelings compiled, I was in a very bad mood. And not only did I learn basically nothing but I also changed my mind about my career path. I realized that the work done by my bosses wasn’t appealing for me anymore and I was no longer interested in this kind of job. The poor choice of internship was entirely on me though and I can’t blame anyone else for making it.
While browsing on LinkedIn and feeling anxious about my future, I came across a few offers that seemed to line up perfectly with my profile so I sent out my resume without getting my hopes high. Surprisingly, I got a call the next day and scheduled an interview for next week. I was so pumped, thinking that this could be a last chance to do something I’d truly enjoy. Over the weekend, I kept reviewing my options. Do I quit my job before the interview? In that case, I put myself in danger of having no job whatsoever. Do I wait to be sure of having another internship? In that case, I’d have to lie to my current boss to go to the interview. Do I resign before the end of the month, risking not to be paid? Do I call SKEMA first? To make things easier, I decided to go with full transparency and quit my job on Monday. (By the way, I applied the same strategy during my following interviews and talked openly about the reasons I left. All recruiters told me I’d made a good call). So, I prepared my speech, stressing out about the consequences. Will they let me go? Will they humiliate me? Will they refuse me to pay? It seems melodramatic now, but I was genuinely freaked out the whole weekend. Finally, I took my courage on Monday and pulled out my little speech. Everyone was surprised and maybe a little disappointed but they appreciated my honesty and they truly couldn’t have been more understanding. Then, I called SKEMA to explain the unusual circumstances, insisting that I’d already spoken to the manager and he’d agreed to let me go. Paperwork was done quickly, I left two days later with my paycheck and everyone wished me the best of luck in my future internship. No hard feelings.
I got my interview on the last day of my internship and despite my high expectations, it was a total fail. My fantasy that I would find another job on the last day of the previous one didn’t work out. But I accepted it as a „punishment“ for breaking my internship contract. It would have been too easy.
10 applications, 2 offers
So I got back in the game that I was so relieved to leave by the end of March – begging for an internship. I had to start all over again, now of course with a pile of companies that had already refused me. At one point, I even felt like I was running out of decent companies in Paris! Which, of course, turned out to be entirely false. To make it short, here is the summary of the June round of my internship hunt – 10 applications, 6 job interviews and 2 offers!
Here’s a good news! As pointed out during my last interviews, companies were struggling to find suitable candidates at this time of year as the best ones had already found internships a long time ago. Thanks to the low competition, it was my time to shine! And it can be yours too…
I accepted a very challenging internship in a field that is totally new to me. And if I’m wrong again? Or just not good enough? At least I‘ve tried. At least I’ve learnt something new. When is the time to try and fail if not now? This is a very important internship and I can’t allow myself to stay put during 6 months without acquiring new skills. This internship can be decisive for the rest of my career.
Actually, I got lucky. If my project hadn’t been cancelled, I would have never left even if I wasn’t entirely satisfied. Think about it, how often does a project get canceled? That must be destiny 🙂 I truly believe that the offer I finally accepted is the best one out of the 33 I applied for since February. Wish me luck.”