Just Do It: Applying for Internships

By Sonam Rikha ‘24

Clarification: This post is not sponsored by Nike or Shia Labeouf, though if you are a Nike representative looking to collaborate please contact me at…

“Just do it!” an overly dramatic and visibly angry Shia Labeouf screamed through my screen. While this phrase was definitely not coined by the outdated celebrity, his uncomfortable “motivational” video has garnered the phrase a lot of attention. Even though this three-word Nike marketing slogan has become a meme, I’ve been embracing the motto the past couple of months.

Being locked up inside your home while constantly receiving notifications about the number of lives lost in the pandemic, human rights abuses around the world, or the never-ending update messages from your iPhone can be everything but inspirational. So, when winter break arrived and the LinkedIn posts about internships started to pop up, I felt dejected. Finding out that I was stuck with another semester of zoom university and witnessing the slow attempt to contain the spread of coronavirus in the US made it easier for me to escape into the world of Netflix than face reality. Searching for a summer job or internship was the last thing on my mind.

laptop shows a guide to writing cover lettersCarelessly scrolling through my Instagram feed, I once again stumbled across the infamous words: Just Do It. Hours later, I received an email from Pomona’s Career Development Office (CDO) with their Sneak Peek of the Week Newsletter, comprised of a list of open job opportunities and workshops for Pomona students. As I stared at the email, I told myself that these two events were not just a coincidence. It was a sign from the universe telling me to get my act together. I impulsively threw away my phone, the beholder of all my procrastination, and quickly registered for an appointment with Chelsea at the CDO to start searching and working on applications for internships.

List of appointments with Chelsea over break
My appointments with Chelsea over break

As a first-year with very little work experience, the idea of applying to competitive internships at popular companies and organizations was daunting, but the screaming slogan of one man seemed to ring through my head. I mean the worst that could happen from applying is getting a “No.” So, I decided to “just do it” and became the CDO’s number one fan. I spent the majority of my winter break on calls with Chelsea going over my cover letters and résumés and figuring out the best ways I could tailor my credentials for each internship. Before coming to Pomona College, I barely knew anything about cover letters or how to write an effective one. By the end of winter break, I felt as if I could run the CDO all by myself.

Although I can’t rave about the success of gaining an internship or provide any closure to readers yet (since I just recently submitted my applications), I’ve learned so many skills from the CDO and am proud that I put myself out there in a sea of candidates. So, to all of my readers who are hesitant to apply to a job, internship, or program, I have three words for you: just do it.