Post-Internship Plan: The Job Search

Posted on Saturday, Apr 21, 2018

After one week as an intern in Washington D.C., I began planning what my next step would be. Think that I’m acting too ambitious? The reality is landing a job, especially a first job out of college, is hard. Even with “D.C.” intern on your resume, you are still competing with hundreds if not thousands of recent graduates just like yourself who are trying to begin their careers.  Fortunately my job had an entire week of down time when most of my supervisors were out hosting a conference. This gave me the head start that I needed to take action and begin job searching.

The benefits of working in D.C. are that chances are someone knows someone that you are trying to work for. I have been fortunate that my intern office has regional offices across the country and staff members are flying into D.C. on a weekly basis for various reasons. These regional folks coupled with the staff that I work with on a daily basis have helped me with contacts, resumes, cover letters, and interview advice.

Flash forward and it has been 10 weeks since I started the job hunt. I quickly realized that I wanted a job in a specific geographic area (not in D.C.) which has made the job hunt harder as I am limiting my scope. I have applied for around 30 jobs and most I have never heard back from. I have sent around 15 LinkedIn messages to various Aggies and some complete strangers asking to talk with them on the phone about their organization and how I can get a start there. I have had three interviews and have two more lined up next week. And this has all taken place within 10 weeks.

So, for all those recent Aggie graduates who are thinking about partaking in this internship, it has been eye opening, challenging, and stimulating. Still, keep in mind the length of time it takes from applying to jobs and actually coming in for your first day of work. Warning: Failure to take this advice seriously could result in you crashing at your parents’ house for a couple of months!

Martha Todd
The Wilderness Society
Washington, D.C. | spring 2018