I got an internship at Google but trust me I struggled

“Wow, you were at Google this summer? That’s amazing!! How was your experience?” This is a question I am asked on a daily basis. I generally just say “it was great,” referring to the actual internship. The application process though was a different story. It was painful, stressful, and long.

Generally, you will meet a lot of second years who were successful in their internship searches, and you will hear about their incredible summer stories, but what we sometimes forget to mention is the struggle we faced to get our internships.

Before coming to Booth, I was a consultant and I thought I was pretty successful; I mean I already had the job that most people wanted, right? So when the recruiting process started, I didn’t put in  much effort. I submitted my application to all the big tech companies, corporate rotational programs, and corporate strategy roles and got  rejections from every single firm. Those who didn’t reject my application rejected me after my interviews.  I can’t remember exact numbers (or maybe I’m trying to forget) but I guess I had at least 5 rejections pre-interview and 3 rejections post interview. For an overachieving MBA, taking rejection wasn’t easy. While my friends were getting jobs, I was wondering what had just happened.

I finally got an offer from a multi-national conglomerate in late February, but I realized after getting the offer that I didn’t actually want it.You may be wondering: if you didn’t want the job, then why did you even apply!? I still wonder the same thing but, trust me, desperation does things to people.

I collected the grains of self-esteem I had left and decided to continue recruiting off-campus. I admit, it wasn’t very pleasant as it is very time consuming, but it also presents many more opportunities that are not posted on GTS. I got to meet cool startups and luxury retailers, but there were many ups and downs. For three months, I tried to avoid the question ‘oh, so what are you doing for the summer?’, I skipped many TNDCs, and forgot to submit assignments. When I came back from Spring Break my luck changed. I got an email from Google about interviews. Within two weeks, I had an offer from Google.

Here are some suggestions from my experience on how to land the offer you want:

  1. Narrow down your search. Applying to every industry in every city is generally not the best strategy.

  2. Be humble and work hard to get the offer (resume reviews, interview prep, network, etc.). I skipped most TNDC’s in winter and spring to work on applications, reached out to alumni, created and maintained profiles on Glassdoor, Doostang, LinkedIn Premium, JobFox, Indeed, and prepped for at least 2-3 interviews per week.

  3. But don’t forget that recruiting is a black box and you don’t have control over it

  4. Remember, everything is going to be fine. I got my internship offer in May and found  second year recruiting much easier. A lot people who don’t get their favorite internship end up getting an amazing full-time offer.

  5. Leverage the many resources that Career Services has for off-campus recruiting

To read more about my attitude last year, read the article I wrote about recruiting here: http://goo.gl/147KaJ.

<My 2014 recruiting timeline>