At the start of any new year, it is important to look back and reflect on the many things you forgot to do in the year prior. Then, it is important to spend twenty days procrastinating and then, do them. That is why today, Jan. 20, 2017, I present to you what will undoubtedly be the day’s largest news item: my eulogy to the three internships I failed to score in 2016. Each one was unique and holds a special place in my heart. While these potential job offerings may have passed, they will live on for eternity in a folder on my desktop titled, “Please, God, find me a job.”
These internships, varied in nature, span from the public sector to the private sector. And by that I mean some of them were meant to make me look good publicly — to LinkedIn connections, potential employers, and the occasional odd local newspaper you trick into writing about you — and some were meant to make me look good to other people I met on a more personal basis. After all, it is important to maintain balance in the ongoing conquest for narcissistic fulfillment. I joke — though, a great first step to such a conquest of personal gratification is referring to oneself in third person, for example:
“Alex does not know how this is going to play out.”
“Alex appreciates your time and will follow up in text.”
“Alex recently re-watched ‘When Harry Met Sally’ and has been crying in his bathroom. Please advise.”
But I digress. Let us return to the matter at hand: where did my job opportunities go, and how can I now work for no money?
In Memoriam: Deceased Internship Opportunity 1
Press Office Intern for Unnamed Democratic Congressman
Location: Washington, D.C.
As with all of the beloved internship offerings that passed away this past year, this one progressed to the interview phase. And it was from the interview phase that I learned so much. First, trying to sound like a Kennedy will not help you score a job with a Democratic politician. More importantly, trying to sound like John F. Kennedy’s little-known mother, Rose Kennedy, may be a feat of impressive research, but the accent may be lost on the interviewer. I know what you are thinking, “How could that not have worked?!” Well, some things you can only learn from trial and error. And my error here may help you avoid some — otherwise unforeseeable — mistakes.
In Memoriam: Deceased Internship Opportunity 2
Intern for the Web Development Team of an Unnamed Tech Company
Location: Palo Alto, Calif.
See, this is one I could have foreseen. My web development skills are somewhat diminished. As a teenager, I played the Internet’s foremost online sledding-based computer game, “Line Rider.” In my interview with the company’s Human Resources coordinator, Met — I still hold that his name, while trendy, is not actually a name — promptly pointed out to me that my hours perfecting two-dimensional line-riding trajectories and paths do not, in fact, constitute a coding skill. Even when I managed to write the word “Kip Nipplington” entirely using one singular rideable line, it was in vain. I left with a free kale smoothie and little else.
In Memoriam: Deceased Internship Opportunity 3
Research Intern for the Broadcast News Division at Unnamed Local News Company
Location: San Francisco, Calif.
Creative writing can only take you so far. As it turns out, the news industry has no sense of whimsy nor creative liberty. At my interview, I was asked to present three news items, regarding which I had prepared a collection of pertinent notes for the broadcast team. Here are some of the comments I received:
“No basis in fact.”
“Fails to differentiate opinion from sheer data reporting.”
“Almost exactly the plot for the film Precious, shot by shot.”
I imagine that you’re both scared and confused at this point. “I could not have anticipated any of these outcomes!” you may be screaming to yourself. But there is no need to worry: that is exactly why I am here.
Welcome to the “High-Functioning Failure,” and my job, one that I actually got, is to look out for you.
Alex Mitchell is a junior in the College. HIGH-FUNCTIONING FAILURE appears every other Friday.