by Nick Sia
I recently just finished my internship at Edenspiekermann Amsterdam as a UX Design Intern. Dare I say it was the best internship experience I’ve had. I was placed in great projects and working with fantastic people. Also, living in an amazing city called Amsterdam is a huge bonus.
Before getting this internship, I’d actually applied to Edenspiekermann two years ago. Little did I know that I was still a very young and inexperienced designer. Not being in design school definitely gave me a little bit of disadvantage in terms of hard skills, but I didn’t stop there. Two years went by, I self-learned design from trial and errors, then I hit the jackpot (I guess?). I think we rarely talk about what does it mean to fail and I want to share my experience of failing.
Applying for a job is a very stressful and tiring process, well at least to me. From starting your résumé, designing and developing your portfolio, to writing a thoughtful application. It’s quite a process. Often, all these things won’t guarantee your dream job or company. Then, when you fail to get that cool job you want, what’s next? Well, quick answer, it’s not the end of the world buddy.
Most of us who have experienced (or experiencing) intern job hunting have probably encountered some rejections (well at least for me). It’s hard to not feel down. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. As a normal human being, feeling down is very normal and very humane. But most importantly don’t take too long. Don’t let it affect your self-worth and future growth. So many trial and error but I’ve managed to overcome this feeling fairly quicker near the end of my university life and I want to share the few things I did. I’m not here to share a message of “learn from your failure” because we all know that. I want to share something more tangible than that. So, when you get that rejection:
1. Think of it as a culture unfit
2. Think of it as you’re not ready and maybe you will in the future
3. Think of it as you’ll find a better opportunity
4. Be a great support to your fellow peers who are looking for an internship
5. Doubting your skills and self-worth is normal. Don’t feel like you cannot feel this. But most importantly move on fast.
6. Look back where you came from (you’re probably far away from your starting point)
7. Maybe you shouldn’t compare yourself to others. Hmm..hard eh? Maybe a little is fine. We’ll do it anyway.
8. Don’t forget to ask for feedback!
9. Reflect and evaluate what you did. Be humble!
To conclude, (again) it’s not the end of the world. We can feel down but use it as a reminder. Move on fast and think it as a practice for your next big gig. Sometimes when you get rejected, it doesn’t always mean you’re not qualified, it might be because they’re looking for a candidate that has different expertise than yours. It’s just not the right time.
When I got rejected the first time to multiple positions I wanted at Edenspiekermann, I did some of the things I mentioned above, and it helped. I didn’t stop there, I worked hard to improve my craft and learn more on what I need to do to become a better designer. I can assure you that it definitely paid off.
It’s indeed easy to say but not easy to do. Trust me, I struggled too. I didn’t do all these things all at once. I pick and choose which ones are necessary for the situation. Looking back, if I got the job the first time I applied to Edenspiekermann, I’m 100% sure I would struggle very much. So, yes, those 2 years are very necessary for me to develop my skills as a designer and a person.
Do you think Edenspiekermann might be a good fit for you? Have a look at our jobs page!