Nowadays, internships are incredibly competitive, and that means that we don’t always get the internship we want. While it can be incredibly disappointing to be rejected from your dream internship, there’s always a silver lining. Here are five reasons why it might be good for you (in the long run) to be rejected from your dream internship.

1. You’re forced to find alternatives.

Your dream internship was probably so high up in your internship rankings because it had everything you were looking for. Internships are meant to give people a taste of the real world and what it’s like to work in a particular field. However, it might actually be good for you to find an internship that is slightly different. Moving on from your dream internship and finding a similar, but slightly different, position could mean learning more and getting different experiences and skills to put on your resume.

So don’t let yourself get too discouraged. A fallback internship is (much) better than no internship at all. Look for an alternative with the idea that you’re going to enjoy it just as much as the internship you were rejected from. This will push you to get the most out of the situation.

2. Your comfort zone is taken away.

Working outside of your comfort zone builds character. While it stinks to be rejected from your dream internship, it presents you with an opportunity to find something outside of what you might usually be interested in. This forces you to think outside the box and learn more about another subject or workplace. This kind of education is just as valuable as the education you would have gotten at that internship.

3. You’re pushed to improve.

Sometimes, the person in charge of intern hiring will provide feedback as to why you were not offered the position. But even if you’re not explicitly told why you were not chosen to be an intern, you can still reflect on your credentials and skills. You should never let an opportunity for self-improvement pass you by.

Take a good look at how competitive you are academically (if you’re still in school), your skills, your past experience, your interview skills. Anything that you think might have contributed to you getting rejected is something that you should work on. That way, you come out of the experience having learned something about yourself and about the job market.

4. You’re kept in check.

We see it with children all the time: tell them yes too many times, and they start acting out. The same principle applies to adults. Those who aren’t told no tend to get big egos. Sure, it’s always nice when things go your way, but getting rejected from your dream internship might be the reality check you need. This pushes you to stay humble and to continue working hard and improving your professional skills.

It also prepares you for getting a job in the real world. Internships are practice for a job in the future, and we all know that the job market is even more competitive than the internship circuit. Getting rejected gives you a much-needed reality check and gives you the emotional skill set you’ll need to deal with rejection down the road.

5. You want it more.

Getting rejected from your dream internship can push you to do better next time the opportunity comes around. You should want to do well, and rejection only heightens your resolve to get the internship next time it’s offered. Use this motivation to put in the work and push yourself to be the kind of intern that an organization would be interested in hiring next time around.

Featured photo credit: Just Joe via flickr.com

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