Is Interning Hard?

Is interning hard?

Nope. Interning itself isn’t hard. What’s difficult is juggling internships with a healthy social life, family life, and acads. That’s the insanely hard part.

If you do nothing but intern, it isn’t hard at all. When you add it to your existing plate, it asks for a lot of sacrifice and depending on your priorities, you’ll probably have to give at least one thing else up.

In my case, it was social life for 1 sem, and the hope of graduating with a 3.anything for the rest of my college life. (I graduated with a very solid 2.85, congratulations to me. ?)

The real question I think is “Was it worth it all the difficulty you experienced?” Any my answer is: YES. For many many many reasons, most of which I’ve already covered in a lot of my past posts. So, I’ll give yet another reason today why interning now is incredibly important, even if juggling it in with everything else is difficult.

Everything you do in college has a butterfly effect on your future. Your systems and actions and choices today compound the opportunities for the you of tomorrow. If you do nothing today, you’ll have to work 5x harder time tomorrow.

College is only what you make of it. So if you choose to intern every summer at companies that are progressively more prestigious, difficult, and in line with your future career path, by the time you graduate, you’ve got a lot of solid experience from your 3+ internships.

This gives you plenty of content and ammo to talk about in interviews, along with a resume that gets you in the top 5 final candidates pile.

Regardless of your course, you’ll be viewed as a competitive candidate in the field of your choice as a fresh grad. And if you’re thinking that it’s not worth giving up your summers for, then consider that the quality and quantity of job offers you’ll get after college with your standout resume will make every single college party that you missed worth it.

(If it helps I only went to 1 college party my whole time there because I don’t like spending a ton of money to drink. I also don’t like shouting in small, dark, loud spaces. Where everyone is sweaty and kinda crazy. And the alcohol is overpriced. Most of my drinking sessions in college were in someone’s house with their aircon on full blast, and the alcohol came from S&R. #financiallysoundwalwal)

Related: How to Find an Internship that Fits Your Academic Schedule

I also think that we’ve reached the point where internships are no longer optional; they’re necessary to be a competitive applicant to your dream companies. Having high grades isn’t a guarantee that you’ll get in the pile. Having just org work on your resume isn’t a sure thing either.

I’m living proof that having solid internship experience means having a shot, regardless of your course or your poor grades, even at the most competitive companies. As I write this, I’m currently living my best life with my fun, demanding job. (That you can find out about on my LinkedIn because I’m not quite sure if I can disclose where I work here in a blog post.)

It’s definitely hard starting out, but when you think about it, everything worthwhile in life is hard to get. The initial difficulty goes away. Eventually. Hopefully. (Sometimes, if you’re miserable, it never does. Then, you have to go away.)

I don’t advocate interning for weak and lazy people, especially those who balk at the thought of hard work ahead of them. You’re going to go crazy. Don’t attempt unless you’re ready to figure out uncomfortable stuff about yourself and your current life.

(If you’re weak but hard working or strong but lazy, you’ll make it out alive but completely wounded at everything you had to go through. Trust me. I am strong but lazy. It’s not a good combination. I’m not cut out for a lot of stuff.)

So, the conclusion to this is: interning is hard when you aren’t making it your first priority, but don’t use this as a reason to forget everything else in your life. Choose your priorities, and stick by them.

Or better yet, get outside opinions and influences that you trust on whether you’re prioritizing and sacrificing the right things for future you’s sake. Everything in life is hard, interning and doing 4 other things at the same time is harder, I have total belief in all of you reading this. Good luck!

Related: Why Intern Now?


In case you have no idea where you are, welcome to The Border Collective, where any question you’ve got on internships, resumes, or careers in the PH can and will be answered. I’m Justine, founder and writer of all things here.

Internship FAQ is a slot for me to share things I’ve learned over the course of my internships (and probably early work years), so that you guys don’t have to trial and error this stuff like I did.

It’s my way of giving back because I wish that when I was a freshman, a resource like TBC existed to help guide not to waste my time on things that don’t work here in the Philippines. I sincerely hope that what I write helps you reach your dreams a little faster.

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If there’s something you want to ask but never knew where to send them to, drop them in The Border Collective’s Google Form or ask.fm. Being a kid myself, I’ve probably gone through the same situations. And at the very least, I can tell you what NOT to do.

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About Justine

And if you want to know more about me, or about TBC, read my bio! You can also reach me at justine@thebordercollective.com Or connect with me over Twitter, IG, and LinkedIn, @justineltchua there.

Hope you read something useful, til the next time I write something, bye~


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Most of my advice is very different from other career “experts”, since I actually tried and tested it myself. And because, you know, I’m a Chinese girl in the Philippines who tried out for almost every multinational here, while building contacts up in the startup world.

So, expect it to be very contextualized for Asians, women, and // or millennials // Gen Z-ers.

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