One lesson I learned the hard way after I got my first bachelor’s degree was that I needed to have experience to get my first job–which makes no sense how that can even happen, except getting it through an internship. I also learned that it is imperative that you secure your job within a year of graduating (while you still have your school email) otherwise companies overlook you even more. Therefore in the OSU post-bacc program I tried applying for internships and whined about my troubles in not finding one to my counselors and friends for the duration of the program. I even delayed my graduation so that I might not leave the program without an internship under my belt.
My counselors, friends, and boyfriend’s mom (who has a 30+ year career as a software engineer) reassured me that having the degree is all that mattered, and that an internship was optional, but my memories of struggling to find work after I finished college the first time were still fresh in my mind, so I stressed over it constantly. I mulled over why I wasn’t getting any call backs from companies and concluded that the reason was mostly because of one big thing: I live in Silicon Valley.
Living in the Bay Area is a double edged sword–on the one hand there’s a ton of opportunity, but on the other there’s a high cost of living, a fast-paced ‘career-proactive’ energy, and most importantly, proximity to a lot of prestigious colleges concentrated in a small area. Why give an internship to someone who is technically in college in another state (even though I’m studying remotely within the area) when there’s plenty of students in more prestigious colleges locally that want one? If I could go back I would’ve just saved all the stress I built up and graduated a little earlier. They say after you get your degree, the name of your school only gets you an interview. Once you are in the interview room everyone there is equal so your chances for landing work are much better then.