The Nguyen Weekly
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The Nguyen Weekly

How I Landed a Dream Internship Without an Interview

And what it taught me about life.

Me knowing that internship was on lock… all smiles.

As a senior in college with no prior internship experience, I wasn’t sure how I was going to make actual money and avoid becoming a real-life 40-year-old virgin.

I was studying computer science, but I knew that I hated sitting behind a computer screen for extended periods of time. I knew from the get-go that my interests were in project management or consulting because I loved talking to people.

My nerdy engineer parents told me that it’d be impossible to get a project management job before working as an engineer for a few years. But like Rosa Parks on a Montgomery bus, I thought differently.

Off I went, a man in a suit, to the fall career fair. I had no idea who to talk to, but I did have a clear idea of what I wanted out of my trip — a spring internship as a project manager.

I spoke to a few companies, who mostly told me that there were software engineer internships available in the summer, but nothing in the spring. Then, I approached my future employer’s booth.

Instead of asking about what jobs were available like I previously been doing, this time I simply asked, “Do you have any project management internships for the spring semester?” knowing damn well that it was an extremely specific request.

To my surprise, they responded, “Yes, here’s our senior project manager who can tell you more about it.” Lo and behold, a few months later, I was a proud, paid project manager intern.

As you read from the title, I was never interviewed for the role. But if that wasn’t enough, I later learned that I was the first PM intern in the company’s history and that they had created the position out of thin air, just for me.

When the world sees your passion and determination, nobody will stand in your way.

Who knows where I’d be right now if I had let fear guide me, urging me to cast a wide net and apply to every job in the eastern United States.

Don’t let anyone, even your parents, tell you what you can and can’t do. Be clear about what you want and create your own opportunities.

Fortune favors the brave.



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An Nguyen

An Nguyen

TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year 2006