Student working

July 9, 2019, by Katie Watson

Applications – Why You Shouldn’t Give Up

By Katie Watson, second year BA (Hons) History, student blogger

Applying for graduate jobs, placements and internships is one very long process. It is tiring and often frustrating to put in all that time and effort only to receive a rejection email. Playing the long game is hard work and at times it seems easier to give up – I almost did. However, I didn’t and now this summer I am working as a marketing intern for SentiSum, a start-up company that has developed amazing software that analyses customer conversations online to aid businesses in their development. So, feel like giving up still? I hope my story can convince you that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

When I wrote my first blog post last year I set myself a goal: get an internship for summer. After that I worked so hard investing my time gaining digital skills, attending insight days and working on my CV. It was exhausting.

I got a lot of rejection emails. ‘Unfortunately due to a large amount of applications we will not be proceeding with your application.’ The phrase that featured in every response I got. It sucked. I kept telling myself that it wasn’t the right job for me. I would find the job that was the best fit for me eventually. Everyone gets rejected, right? But that didn’t help, I just felt like giving up. Maybe it was not my time? Or maybe I’m too inexperienced? So I stopped searching for my amazing summer internship in marketing that I had originally planned.


I received a message on LinkedIn about an internship I had applied for through LinkedIn itself. They were interested in my application because of the volunteering I did at the University of Nottingham’s Digital Transformation Hub. I freaked out.

I calmed myself down. I had been here before and I was certain that a psychometric test was going to pop up and the next message would be a rejection. But I stuck with it and continued the process of a questionnaire, a phone interview, and then a challenge. It was when I landed a face to face interview that I realised this start-up company were really invested in me.

Did my months of preparation and focus pay off?

You can bet it did! I landed the internship. A paid summer marketing internship for a company I felt passionate about. It wasn’t just something on my wish list anymore. I felt that feeling when you move clothes from your wish list into your basket on ASOS because you got paid. Only way better. I can’t believe I almost gave up on myself.

So do you still feel like giving up? Please don’t. This experience has made me realise that the only thing that guarantees rejection is not putting yourself out there. I used to think people were trying to make me feel better about being rejected with the cliche ‘everything happens for a reason’. Now I look at the internships from big businesses that rejected me and I realised maybe this summer I am exactly where I am meant to be. So don’t give up, if you put in hard work then you will get the results you want, even if it takes a bit of time.

Are you struggling with applications? We can help! Visit our website for lots of tips, or book an appointment with one of our Careers team. We’re still open over the Summer.

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