As a senior at Emerson College, I am highly aware of the struggle that is finding an internship in your field of study. You shoot off countless cover letters, resumes, and applications, just hoping that you will be selected for at least an interview. And then there’s the question of paid or unpaid. Do you even bother with the latter? Can you live off a paycheck of the two or three day work week should you accept the unpaid avenue?
Frankly, the process is a test in sanity itself.
Then I turned to my social media. If I’m being honest, I was just letting of some steam. One day, I posted this tweet:
Nine days later, I happened to be chatting with a freelance editor. She must have checked out my profile, seen my tweet, and passed it along, because next thing I knew I was receiving a response from Rebecca Heyman of Rebecca Faith Editorial to email her about a possible internship position. Before long, I was being interviewed and hired for my dream internship…and all because of a tweet!
Ever since high school, I’ve seen countless articles tackling the stances of how important (or unimportant!) social media is to build a writer’s platform. I never once took a step back and thought about what impact it could have on a student’s possibilities. Would I have found an internship without that tweet? Yes, I’m sure it would eventually have happened. Would it have been the editorial internship I was yearning for? Most likely not! The highest I was hoping for at that point was a social media internship or a content researcher for non-literary companies. Though these are valuable internships, they weren’t exactly what I was crossing my fingers for.
So, is social media for everyone? No. I believe many can succeed without it, because they have the skills and know-how to flourish in other avenues. However, can it help you reach areas that would otherwise be lost? I give you a resounding YES! As someone who was an avid Twitter-avoider and who only joined at the insistence of my boyfriend, I am fully behind the social media presence. After all, when used wisely, what harm could it do? Network away! Perhaps this shows the beginning of a new age for the internship hunt.