Really? An Internship Already?
BU students reflect on the evergrowing stressful expectations of internships.
By: Daisy Levine
It’s only two months into the fall semester, and BU students are already stressing about their summer internships eight months away from now. In a high-demand job market, young people are entering the workforce with much more under their belt than scooping ice cream.
For Brett Abrams (COM ‘25), his internship at The Harold and Carole Pump Foundation consumed his summer going into his junior year. But if he had a choice, he said, he wouldn’t be doing it.
“I feel like it’s a social pressure,” he said. “It’s very competitive.”
That pressure, he said, comes from his classmates and parents concerned with his future post-graduation.
Emily Wrywa (COM ‘26) made the unpopular decision to abstain from an internship search following her year as an editor for The Daily Free Press.
“That experience was awesome, but took a big toll on me in terms of burnout,” she said. “I knew that it wasn’t super realistic for me to be seeking a big-shot internship.”
Wrywa instead spent her summer at the job she’s held since high school, lifeguarding at home in New Jersey. Taking on a summer job is a common occurrence for first- and second-year students, but for most, it isn’t a choice. Historically, freshmen and sophomores have a much slimmer chance of receiving summer internship offers even when they do take the time to apply.
Last year, Brady Willis’ (COM ‘25) dream internship’s applications closed before its deadline after filling up too quickly.
“I think it’s a big thing to get internships younger now over a college job,” he said. “There was one I was so dedicated to applying to in New York, and I got my resume ready, and then they closed a week early unexpectedly.”
Consequently, Willis ended up taking the “unconventional” route with a typical summer job, but he still had to watch many of his friends go on to more glamorous opportunities. After being told he qualified to graduate in three years on only his second day of his first semester, he took the deal to get ahead. He didn’t realize his lost year would, in turn, make him feel behind his older classmates.
“The weird thing about graduating early is it makes me think a lot about my career, but it also makes me think a lot about the fact that I won’t have as much time in college as my peers will,” he said. “I have to do more professionally, but, at the same time, I also feel like I have to cram in all the social, collegiate aspects of my life in a shorter amount of time.”
Many students worry about traveling to new locations for their summer internships, where they may not know anyone in their new city. Given the social influence at BU, Wrywa is hesitant about her decision to study in Paris this summer.
“I saw the [Paramount internship] application open up, and I freaked out,” she said. “I called my best friend, and I was like, ‘I need you to talk me into going abroad.’”
“This summer makes me a bit nervous,” Wrywa said. “But it’s something that I know that I really want to do for me.”
Ultimately, internships are foundational stepping stones for all college students to acclimate to possible future careers, but students often put too much weight on them. They aren’t a make-or-break experience for your future career; every experience, whether lifeguarding at your local beach or scooping ice cream, makes you a well-rounded individual.