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Candy Land, Here I Come – A Lesson in Tenacity

If my summer internship search has taught me anything, it would be to push for what you want, don’t always take rejection at face value, and a little bit of professionalism can go a long way. I went from having my internship application declined to scheduling an interview with the same company all in the course of a day, and it all stems from not taking “no” for an answer.


My spring semester began with an independent internship search. I basically just spent hours online scouring the web for any prospective corporate wellness positions. I managed to map out four solid potential internships, and after a month or so of resume and cover letter purgatory, I was finally ready to apply.

I prioritized my applications based on their due date. A wellness internship position for what we will call “Candy Land Corporate,” was last on my list because it had no specific deadline listed. However, Candy Land’s low priority in no way reflected my interest in the position; it was actually my top choice, so I wanted to take the extra time to hone my application materials.

Finally, in mid-march, I had worked up the confidence to send in my Candy Land application. Hitting ‘send’ on something so important is just as much of an adrenaline rush as jumping out of a plane – there’s nothing more you can do but hope that your ‘chute works…and only an hour after submitting my materials, I realized that I didn’t have a parachute at all. I received an email saying that the application deadline for summer internships had been two weeks prior, sorry, maybe next year.

I was devastated. I really felt like I would be a good fit for Candy Land and now I’d missed the opportunity to work with them. But instead of sulking and feeling sorry for myself, I wrote back and begged Candy Land to give me another chance, but you know, in a professional sort of way.


That same day, the Candy Land internship coordinator emailed me back, this time actually apologizing to me for not having a due date listed online. She also acknowledged my interest in the company and asked if I could send over my resume for review. To be honest, I couldn’t believe that I managed to get Candy Land’s attention even after applying two weeks late, but I jumped at the opportunity.

One week and two interviews later, I was offered the summer internship position. I am thrilled to be involved with such an amazing company, and I have my tenacity and professionalism to thank for it. Companies want to see that you are interested in them; they don’t want to feel like just another place you applied to. My persistence was a great, albeit unorthodox, way to highlight my interest.

Being able to recognize an opportunity and seizing it is something you can’t learn in school, and I can’t stress enough how thankful I am to have taken a chance by not accepting defeat. If you want something bad enough, do anything it takes to make it happen, and when applying for a dream job or internship, follow my lead, not necessarily by turning in everything two weeks late, but you get the idea.



“Sseanean MacLennan is a junior in the fitness specialist degree program with a minor in nutrition. She is the event and social media correspondent for IU Kinesiology Club, a UTA for the P215 physiology labs, and a monitor at the Briscoe Fitness and Wellness Center. She hopes to one day own her own wellness center to help people live full, happy, and healthy lives.”



Categories: Career Advice

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IUSPH Career Services

Job opportunities for Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington majors are diverse and expanding as the emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle grows around the world. Career Services experts in each of our academic departments will provide one-on-one counseling and career building opportunities throughout your academic career, from choosing the right major to developing a strategy to find a job. They can assist you with:

•career counseling
•job placement
•volunteer opportunities
•resume and cover letter preparation
•interview skills
•graduate school preparation

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