Students Face Pressure from Internship Anxiety


Courtesy of Anna Callahan/Villanovan Photography

Students struggle to find internship opportunities as summer fast approaches.

Lauryn Hayes, Staff Writer

As the end of the school year approaches, anxieties around summer internships arise. Pursuing our academic interests outside of the classroom is what follows our undergraduate experience at Villanova.

It can be quite difficult to repress the urge to find an internship as we hear everyone on campus talking about their summer plans at big-name companies. Such conversations are a motivating yet exhausting form of peer pressure.

Applying for multiple internships and receiving rejection after rejection can be quite discouraging, especially after seeing new peers announce their summer plans each time we open LinkedIn.

I remember during the spring semester of my freshman year, I began to apply for internships for any company, small or large, using LinkedIn, Handshake, company websites and more. In the end, I did not get an internship that was specifically tailored to my career interest, but I was grateful nonetheless.

From my summer 2021 work experience, I learned to value the professional opportunities we do have, regardless of where they come from.

Many students, though, continue to feel the pressure of finding an internship all over campus. Some tend to think it is easier for students to get one depending on their major. 

“Pressure is campus-wide, but VSB students have more ease in finding them,” Zenaida De La Cruz, a sophomore double major in criminology and sociology, said. 

Scrolling through my LinkedIn, it can definitely appear this way. Since February, the majority of my LinkedIn has been filled with announcements by VSB students who have secured summer internships. I understand why CLAS, engineering or nursing students may feel business students are at an advantage, then, in finding summer opportunities.

One way to remedy this common misconception is through the use of Villanova’s Career Center. Located in Garey Hall, the Career Center has many online resources for undergraduates, graduates and alumni.

Throughout the year, it hosts both in–– person and virtual events with companies from many different fields that students and alumni can attend to learn more about and become familiar with members of their hiring teams.

The staff at the Career Center are experts who review and improve resumes, conduct mock interviews, provide professional clothing for interviews and more. If you have not already familiarized yourself with our Career Center, do so as soon as possible.

Another issue that arises during the internship search regards the nature of unpaid compared to paid opportunities. Unfortunately, students often have to make the difficult decision to choose between experience and compensation.

We all would like to receive compensation for dedicating our summer to these companies, but many offer little or no pay. Often, we frequently refrain from applying for unpaid internships. 

To alleviate some of the burden of this difficult decision, the Career Center has an application for students to apply for funding if working at low-paying or unpaid internships. While the deadline for this application has already passed, it is an important resource to keep in mind for the future.

However, there are further funding opportunities the Career Center offers for internships still accepting applications, so definitely familiarize yourself with them if you have not already.

The pressure and never-ending search for internships are difficult to navigate on top of all our other responsibilities. While internship anxiety is hard to forget, remember, we have time. Work, travel or do other things you love if an internship isn’t suitable or available for you––there is always next year.