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#NotMyPresident

It has been almost one week since Mr. Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. In the days since his inauguration, we as a nation have witnessed, among other things:

  • An immediate removal of the Climate change, Immigration, Healthcare, and Civil rights pages from the official White House website
  • An immediate prohibition against several government agencies, disallowing them from speaking to the press or using social media, with the exception of communication with the press that has already been vetted and approved by the White House (Leslie Knope wants you to support our scientists and National Parks by following these alternative branches on Twitter!)
  • An executive order approving progress on the DAPL and Keystone XL
  • A ban on immigrants from many countries, especially targeting those with predominantly Muslim communities, as well as working to defund sanctuary cities and those that do not aid in the deportation of current undocumented citizens
  • An order to proceed with building the border wall between the United States and Mexico, which will be funded by taxpayer money, to be reimbursed by Mexico at a later date (Since this statement was issued, Mexico’s President cancelled a meeting with Mr. Trump, while Mr. Trump has claimed a 20% increase on imports from Mexico)
  • An investigation into voter fraud
  • A series of lies regarding the rise of violence and murder in Philadelphia
  • A press conference held for the purpose of chastising the media for their purported lies regarding the crowd size of Donald Trump’s inauguration (See: alternative facts)
  • A reinstatement of a global gag rule – which hasn’t existed since the Reagan era – which defunds NGOs which are involved in abortions
  • An abhorrent selection of candidates for Cabinet
  • A plan to reinstate torture (i.e. waterboarding)
  • A vote to make the Hyde Amendment permanent law

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This list could go on, and we are only on day six of four years. In these six days, we have also seen a rising dissent among the American people, and the world, for the policies that Trump has already put in place and seems to be gearing up to put in place. Granted, one can’t fault him for actually following through on his campaign promises – a reason, I am sure, many voted for him. In a previous article, I spoke on the American people’s lack of enthusiasm for another empty promise candidate to take the Oval Office. However, Trump’s promises should never have been made, let alone acted upon. To ban government agencies from speaking to the media or using social networking is a direct violation of our 1st Amendment right. Imagine how different these last six days would have been if those same people who would defend their 2nd Amendment would also, with the same fire and passion, defend the 1st Amendment right to free speech and press. To order that any organization with ties to abortion will be defunded and left out to dry is to perpetuate a problem, not find a solution. Building a bigger wall between the U.S. and Mexico borders and forcing Mexico to pay will only hurt relations with the country, not dissuade immigrants from trying to enter our country. The laws and orders that Mr. Trump and his administration are so hastily enacting require time and research, and a valid insight as to the advantages and repercussions of passing such legislation. To simply say that expanding a wall will quell illegal immigration, or voting to prevent taxpayer money from funding abortions will lower the abortion rate, is a preposterous and dangerous assumption.

Twenty five years ago, I was born in India. However, for twenty five years I have lived in the United States, and have been blessed and fortunate enough to never feel that I am less than any other person who was born here; less because I am a woman, less because I am not white, less because I am a naturalized citizen, less because I may not have the social or monetary status as so many others have. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many of those who live in this country, and the Trump administration is only working to fuel this feeling of dread and hopelessness. Before I go any further, it is imperative that I state: I do not want Donald Trump to fail. I truly believe that if he fails, we as a country fail. However, I will not sit idly by while a hypocritical, sexist, misogynistic predator and his mum followers lead our country into disarray. I choose not to believe that all those who voted for Mr. Trump share all his ideals, but I also choose to respectfully disagree with them that he should hold the highest power that can be held in this country. I cannot believe that he has earned my respect simply because he was elected. Had Hillary Clinton been elected, should I believe that she would receive the same respect from those that claim Mr. Trump deserves mine? Should I believe that those same men that have never, and could never, bear a child are allowed to decide what I must do with my body? Should I believe that those that spit in the face of the sanctity of marriage are allowed to decide who is and isn’t allowed to get married? Should I believe that those who have never gotten to know the very people they claim are terrorists or illegal immigrants are allowed to mandate who is and isn’t allowed to come to this country? Should I believe that those who claim they want to “make our country great again” truly care about their country by damaging relations with foreign alliances and wasting taxpayer money, while for years we have citizens who do not have clean drinking water? Respect is earned, never given. So, Mr. Trump, prove to me that you deserve my respect. Those who follow you and support you, prove to me that you deserve my respect. The United States is one of the greatest countries for so many reasons, but if the last six days prove anything, it is that our greatness is a mirage. The gates for hypocrisy and intolerance have been opened, but in the process so have the gates for love and justice. For every person who supports Donald Trump’s claim that global warming is a hoax and believes he has a right to stop the spread of this knowledge and scientific facts, there stands a horde ready to defend our planet and support our National Parks and scientists. For every person who supports Donald Trump’s beliefs that we are a staunchly pro-life country and abortion should be outlawed, there stands a horde ready to promote sex education and preventative measures and support women in their own personal decisions. For every person who supports Donald Trump’s beliefs that all Muslims or immigrants are threats to our nation, there stands a horde ready to defend those who are labeled as less than simply for following a different religion or being born a different color. For every person who supports Donald Trump’s beliefs that his position in office will not affect women, the LGBTQ community, or POC, there stands a horde ready to march and make their voices heard. I choose to believe that the greatness of our country is not a mirage, but an ever-changing testament to our steps in science, technology, politics, arts, education, and acceptance. These are the things that make America great. For every act, piece of legislation, or law that tells us we cannot, a thousand voices will shout out “Yes we can!” Of course, we still have a long way to go. I firmly believe in equality and justice for all, though I do not believe it comes with the price of violence and attacking a child simply because you do not have the same beliefs as his or her parents. But I do believe in peaceful protests and making your voice heard. The Women’s March was just the beginning, Mr. Trump. Even there, we have a long way to go. To claim you march for equality, but so blatantly disregard those that have a different viewpoint from yours and disallow them from marching is proof enough. Those who claim that “we have it much better here and shouldn’t whine” or that “we should suffer under Sharia law and then we’ll have something to complain about” need to understand that because one person or one group of people is suffering, it does not diminish the suffering of another person or group of people. Those who claim protests will accomplish nothing should remember that protests are what shaped our history. 

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If we are to get through these next four years, we need to fight together for what’s right, and remind those that tell us “No” because we have different beliefs or opinions or because we aren’t showing enough respect to the administration that is showing us none in the first place, that this country was founded on different beliefs and protests. Our differences are what makes this country thrive, and we should all take a moment to step into each other’s shoes; simply because you are not suffering the same way another person is, doesn’t mean you should condemn that person to suffer. We should not admonish those who are in a position of power and have a platform (actors, actresses, musicians, artists, athletes, etc.) because they raise their voices and stand for what they believe in. Together, we must fight for a woman’s right to decide what she can and cannot do with her body; together, we must fight for the rights of our LGBTQ community to not be discriminated against simply because of how they identify or who they love; together, we must fight for violence against minorities or those of different religions to end; together, we must fight for our scientists and researchers to be allowed to work and to publish their work, and for media outlets and reporters to do their jobs, without fear and without being bullied; together, we must fight for true equality between men and women in areas such as, but not limited to, promoting STEM education, maternal and paternal leave, pay, and protection and resources for survivors of assault of any kind; together, we must fight for the stigma against mental health to end, and for access to proper mental healthcare; together, we must fight for violence by and against our police forces to end; together, we must fight for quality education for all; together, we must fight to make sure that our country and our planet is protected from greed and big business; together, we must fight to ensure nobody feels unsafe in their home, fearing that they could be ripped from their beds or beaten in the streets at any moment simply because of who they are or what they look like; together, we must fight to protect each other from what is to come if this country is truly divided. Together, we must understand that we all have different opinions, but that we must respect each other’s opinions and respect each other. No name calling, no fighting, no bullying – only respect. And the greatest part about the United States? I believe we can come together and accomplish all of these things and so much more.

#Election2016

I have had a headache for the last few days now. Like so many of my family and friends, my emotions have ranged from disbelief, to anger, to fear, to sadness, to hope. Like so many across the country and the world, I could not believe my eyes when I saw that Donald J. Trump was our newest President-elect, and the 45th President of the United States of America.

I can see how he may have appealed to the voters. This country has been on the brink of a political revolution; people are tired of seeing the same self-interest politicians running and winning office. The fact that he did not win the popular vote but did win the electoral vote and thus the coveted position as President should be an indicator as to why a political revolution has been brewing in our country. Donald Trump pandered to peoples’ thoughts and desires – he is not a career politician, bought by Wall Street and large corporations; he preyed played on peoples’ fears and hopes; he spoke directly to the people on the issues at hand, honestly and candidly and with no fear of repercussion, even if he didn’t have a plan to elaborate on. But that was enough, that was all he needed, and as an American woman it should come as no surprise to me then that a man with no background in politics or political credibility, with no plan of action, and clearly with no filter, was deemed more qualified to earn the title of Commander-in-Chief against a woman who has spent the better part of her life in law and politics. Of course, by no means am I saying that the DNC did the American people any favors by selecting Hillary Rodham Clinton as their nominee; her closet is a graveyard. Surely, if they absolutely had to select a female nominee, there were better options. Perhaps Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Duckworth, or maybe even Condoleezza Rice, considering the movie equivalent of 2016 would be Alice falling down the rabbit hole, where everything gets turned on its head. However, in this particular election, I never once found a reason to believe that she would damage this country more than he would. She is a seasoned politician, with a solid plan of action for the issues at hand. She has dedicated her adult life to fighting terrorism and working to empower women and children. She has a deep understanding of the way this country works. Alas, this was not enough for her to win the presidency; however, as far as women go, while Clinton may have lost, women certainly didn’t. Furthermore, the media outlets and so-called “pundits” never did the American people any favors, either, by constantly projecting her success while disregarding Trump and his campaign, and worst of all, by not accounting for and reporting on the quiet majority that was in favor of Trump.

One of our greatest privileges as American citizens is the right to vote, and the people have voted: Donald J. Trump. Since his election became finalized however, we have not been the United States of America. Not united. Protests have begun all over the country, and the hashtag #NotMyPresident has been trending. Flags are being burned in cities and campuses across the nation. To those who are participating in these events, I implore you: please, stop. Ranting on social media and declaring this isn’t the country you want to live in will do nothing, and rioting in the streets, destroying infrastructure, violence against those whose opinions you don’t agree with, and burning the flag is disgraceful.

Donald J. Trump will be our next President, but how we react to this is what will either allow this nation to continue to strive for greatness, or completely tear it apart. Like so many, I am appalled that a man whose entire presidential campaign was rooted in racism, sexism, xenophobia, fear mongering, and bigotry is now our President-elect. However, I have to believe that not all those who voted for him share those views, but simply want to change our political landscape with new, fresh ideas regarding issues such as the economy, education, and gun control. And while I may not agree with all of those views, part of what makes America such a great nation, entrenched in rich culture and history, is the differences of opinion which we all have. We are blessed to live in a country where we can voice those opinions and have the ability to vote. To bully and lay blame on those who did not vote your way (white people, people of color, lesbians or gays, third-party voters, etc.) makes you just as bad as him. To diminish the value of those who voted for him, to paint them all as racists or ignorant or uneducated, makes you just as bad as him. I am not saying that those who think exactly like him are correct; in fact, in recent days we have seen the negative effect Trump’s America can have, and I am just as scared and distraught as so many other Americans are. But remember: just as you voted for your candidate with conviction and determination, so did they.

We can accept this election – we must accept this election – and pick ourselves up, dust off our shoulders, and work together to ensure that his racist, sexist, bigoted, xenophobic views do not take precedence these next four years. We must be kind to one another. Our children will certainly not learn from him to be accepting and compassionate to others. We must come together and join our neighbors, friends, families, and citizens across the country to peacefully and firmly allow our voices to be heard and demand a change in the political landscape as a nation, not as fractured, violent mobs. It breaks my heart to know that across the country, parents have to explain to their children that they should not bully or belittle others, knowing that the very person leading our country has done just that. It breaks my heart to know that across the country, parents have to explain to their children how much more dangerous this country – their home – can be now because of their skin color or their beliefs, knowing that the very person leading our country is what has led to so many families living in fear. It breaks my heart to know that across the country, women and men of all races and orientation have even more to lose by reporting sexual assault, knowing that the very person leading our country can be blamed for the same crime and still be elected to the highest and most important political office. Now, more than ever, we cannot be divided and let hate win. We must stand together. We must stand together and ensure his vile rhetoric can never take precedence and become a reality. We must stand together, and make sure that the rights for those of a certain race, gender, or sexual orientation we have worked so long and so hard for aren’t taken away. We must stand together and prove to ourselves that our differences (be they religion, race, opinions, sexual orientation, gender, etc.) are important and that we can love and respect each other regardless. We must stand together and not let our friends and families live in their own country in fear. We must stand together, and encourage every young girl or person of color or member of the LGBTQ community or disabled person to pursue their dreams and help them demand equality and let their voices be heard.

I am an Indian, and I am a Hindu, and I am a woman, and I am an American, and I believe in the goodness of the people of this country, because America is already a great country. Most importantly, I truly believe that we can come together and continue to make America great over these next four years. 

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My 2016 New Year’s Resolution

Hi there friends! I know it’s been a quick minute since I last posted anything, and I could probably come up with a million excuses – but let’s be honest. I was really just being lazy. Which is exactly what this post is going to resolve! 

I have been lucky enough these past two months to be able to see one of my best friends a whopping three times! I know that may not sound like much, but for two girls who used to watch the Ohio State vs. Michigan game together every year until she moved to Cincinnati (I’m slowly turning her into a Buckeye) and celebrate touchdowns (mostly Ohio State’s) with touchdown truffles (do yourself a favor and buy chocolate truffles from Costco – thank me later), seeing her so many times in a year is a huge deal. The last time we were together was just a few days ago over Christmas, and I slowly had the realization that this year was coming to a close…quickly. As we watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt. 2 and gossiped, she mentioned something about her friends who had been dating for ten years and how they were high school sweethearts who had started dating at around 17 years old. And that was when I had my pre-quarter life crisis.

I suppose it came at a convenient time though, what with it being New Year’s and all. Now typically, I’m not one for resolutions. Every year it seems as if everyone has the same idea: lose weight, be a kinder person, learn something new, travel the world…and then three months in we realize that we are probably not going to accomplish any of these things this year. We become complacent. The way I see it, why make a resolution which can be summarized as “New Year, New Me” when we could – and should – be working on small resolutions every day, striving to be a better person no matter what. Sure, we can say we’ll go to the gym more or donate to charity or take up a hobby, but then we realize we have a whole year to accomplish all these things so we procrastinate and procrastinate, and lo and behold, it’s December 31st again and we’ve basically done diddly squat. So this year, after much deliberation – and heavy breathing at the thought of turning 25 – I’ve decided I am going to make a resolution: “New Year, Better Me”. 

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I love the person I am, but I know there’s room for improvement. I’d like to think I’m a pretty decent employee, friend, sister, and daughter. However, I’m determined to make this the year that I really start to become the best version of myself that I can be in this moment. I’m going to be a better adventurer, and actually plan the trips I want to take this year. I’m going to be a better chef, and actually try my hand at those hundreds of recipes I’ve pinned on Pinterest. I’m going to be a better extrovert, and actually make plans, dress up, go out, and meet new people. I’m going to be better at doing the little things that can make my day brighter, and actually make my bed and keep my room clean and eat three meals a day. I’m going to be a better social media maven, and actually be more relevantly active on Twitter, LinkedIn, and, of course, WordPress. But most importantly, I’m going to be better at self-love: working less hours; going to the gym more; having more dance parties in my bedroom or car or bathroom; creating more #squadgoal moments with my friends; using a memory jar to remember all the good moments that this year will bring; doing and buying the things that make me happy; and most importantly, not letting anyone, especially myself, bring me down. As Tom Haverford would say, “Treat yo’self!”. I’m going to laugh more and smile more and love more. I’m going to strive to exercise more patience, and think more before I speak or act. This is my resolution: to work as hard as I possibly can every damn day to be the happiest, best version of myself I can possibly be this year. I’m going to take it one day at a time, but boy am I going to be a better me. 

Prepping Your Shipment for Ocean Transit

Over the years, the movement of freight via all modes of transportation has significantly increased. Between 1993 and 2010, the United States freight transportation system saw a 1.9% annual increase in the movement of freight. With advances in technology, larger and faster vessels have significantly increased the amount of ocean freight.  According to the U.S. DOT, “world container traffic more than tripled in volume between 1995 and 2009, from 137 million TEUs to 432 million TEUs, growing at an average annual rate of about 9 percent”.

Just as with land and air freight, there are many intricacies to shipping freight via ocean.  And while it may seem overly complicated, the process can be simplified. Below is a simple list that will help alleviate the stress of moving ocean shipments.

Documentation

Shippers should always ensure all paperwork is correct, on-hand and accounted for.  While standard documentation such as a commercial invoice, packing list, and a certificate of origin may be needed, there are some documents that specifically come into play for ocean freight.

A dock receipt is a document issued by the carrier to acknowledge that goods have been received for shipment. Dock receipts transfer the accountability for the safe custody of the cargo from the shipper to the carrier, and serves as the basis for preparing the bill of lading.

The ocean bill of lading (B/L) acts as a receipt for the cargo and a contract for transportation between a shipper and the ocean carrier. When arranging an ocean shipment there are choices as to what type of ocean B/L will be issued. The options are an express release B/L or an original ocean B/L.

An original ocean B/L is used when the shipper wants to tightly control the release of the freight. When an original B/L is chosen, the shipper receives the original B/L when the goods are laden on board.  The shipper chooses exactly when to release and send the docs to the consignee, usually upon receipt of payment.  To release the goods the shipper sends the original B/L to the consignee via courier, as the freight will not be released until the original B/L is presented.  This option allows the shipper to tightly control the release of the freight, and it usually takes longer than an express release B/L.

The Express Release Bill of Lading provides the quicker option of the two and is used when the shipper wants to release their hold on the cargo immediately. In this case, only electronic copies are provided and the freight is released to the consignee whenever it becomes available.

When arranging the transportation of the goods, be as specific as possible about the weights and dimensions of the pieces being moved. This will ensure that the dock receipts and B/L are correct and the driver and port know what to expect when the freight arrives.

Packaging

Always ensure freight that is packaged in wood is ISPM 15 certified. ISMP 15 rules state that any international freight packaged in wood (crates, skids, pallets, etc.) must be heat-treated and fumigated to kill potential insects and fungus prior to entering or traveling through a foreign country. In order for the material to be loaded on the vessel, freight must be stamped, allowing customs to easily identify that the wood packaging is per regulation and may enter the country.

Containers

It is important to know the different container types that may be utilized for ocean transport. If the container will be stuffed on-site, make sure the provider knows whether the container will be a live load or drop. A live load is when the container is brought to the shipper’s location and stuffed while the driver waits (there may be an hourly charge for extra loading time).  A drop is when the driver drops off the container to be loaded and then returns to collect it once loading is complete.  It is important to take the type of load into consideration when determining cost and transit time.

Like the words “truck” and “airplane”, the term ocean container can relate to a broad range of types. Similarly, different container types may accommodate different freight, weights and dimensions. The most common container types are:

  • 20’ and 40’standard
  • 40’high cube:  container has an extra foot of space in height
  • 20’and 40’open top: there is no top on the container
  • 20’and 40’ flat rack: there are no sides or top
  • Reefer: refrigerated container

Communication

Communication is paramount to successful ocean moves. Always know the important dates and keep contact names and numbers close. Make sure that all involved parties are aware of when the freight will be ready for collection, when containers will be dropped off at the shipping location, full booking details, and appointment times to deliver freight to the port. Make sure that all documents and applicable information is handed off to all appropriate parties, including forwarders, brokers and consignee. It is important to keep contact information of those involved with the shipment, including a contact from the shipping location, port, freight forwarder, and vessel.

While there are many different processes and things to take into consideration when moving ocean freight, as long as the above steps and information are followed, it will help maintain a strategy to ensure smooth sailing.

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Happy Fourth Thursday of November!

Once again, it has been a long time between posts, and for this I apologize. But lets face it: this working girl can’t hang. Yes, it’s true! After what felt like an eternity of job hunting, I finally found a job! It’s a great gig with a great company; I mean, how many companies buy each of their employees a pie for Thanksgiving?! I’m definitely not complaining: pie and the holidays, two of my favorite things! In my opinion, something changes when the clock strikes midnight on October 31st. The air becomes cooler, the people become happier, and the lights glow a little warmer and brighter. That’s when you know: holiday is upon us.

I love everything about the holidays: the decorations, the music, the movies, the clothes. I’m an even bigger fan of the holidays now that I can actually celebrate them! The biggest downside to having a big girl 8:30am – 5pm (most days) job is that I’m always tired. And by tired I mean I come home and by 7pm I’m ready for bed. The nice thing, however, about finally leaving the retail life behind is that I actually get to spend the holidays with my family. For the first time in four years, I get to have a proper Thanksgiving dinner with all my family and not have to worry about what time I have to eat so that I can shower and be at work with enough time to make a quick coffee run beforehand. My happiness of celebrating with my family is short-lived though, as the thought of many of my friends having to miss Thanksgiving dinner and time with their family and friends sticks in the back of my mind.

Growing up, Thanksgiving was always about celebrating the people and moments in our lives, and being able to cherish the time we have had together. It was a time of stealing bites from the pan and watching football games and putting up Christmas decorations. Unfortunately, it seems that now Thanksgiving is about how quickly we can finish our meals so that we can make it to the stores in time, all to take advantage of sales that, believe it or not, have probably been unchanged since the beginning of the week.

I get it. Some big ticket items, such as electronics or appliances, are actually cheaper on Black Friday. I can understand stores opening at midnight, or even 11pm on Thanksgiving, to allow consumers to take advantage of these discounted prices. However, it is absolutely appalling to me that stores now not only open on Thanksgiving day, but many require that their employees work on Black Friday (i.e.: Brown Thursday) or be terminated. How did we as a society decide that it was okay to be thankful for all the people and memories we have in our lives, only to storm the store gates earlier and earlier each year, demanding that they be opened so we can find things to be thankful for the next year?

I will never, ever be okay with the concept of a store opening before 11pm on Thanksgiving day, and will definitely never be okay with an entity forcing a person to choose between their job and spending time with their loved ones. I understand that there are many who don’t celebrate Thanksgiving and would much rather be at work making money. Still, I don’t think the idea that a person has at least three days of the year guaranteed off (Christmas and New Years are holidays too!) is a horrible one. Cherish the time you have with your family, because who knows when society will see fit to do away with Christmas and New Years as holidays as well. 

For those of my friends who choose to partake in Brown Thursday and Black Friday shopping, I ask that you remember this: those people who are working – who you are yelling at and swearing at and complaining to – are missing the opportunity to be with their family and friends in order to cater to your needs. Before you complain about the long lines or the item that is out of stock or the Christmas music, remember that the employees have to deal with those complaints a hundred times over. Believe it or not, store employees do not control the prices of the products. They do not control what inventory is and is not in the storage room. They do not control the incessant, looping holidy music. They do not control the number of special door-buster items that are provided. What they do control to the best of their ability, however, is their temper when a customer is unruly. They control their line when it gets out of hand, in order to best serve the next customer. They control their emotions, when children and adults alike tear at the store like a caged animal that has been freed. And most importantly, they control their caffeine intake so as to stay awake for the six, eight, ten, or twelve (or even longer) hour shift they have to work.

These employees go to work, some as early as Thanksgiving morning, knowing that while others are enjoying a nice meal and wonderful company, they are missing out. With a smile on their face, they watch the hordes come into their stores, earlier and earlier each year, tearing apart fixtures and tables, all to get that sweater that will in all honestly most likely be cheaper the next week. So please, before you go Brown Thursday or Black Friday shopping, hug your loved ones a little tighter and think about all the people and places and memories,good and bad, that you have experienced in the last year, and realize that it’s those things, not the clothes or games or things, that have made our lives special. But if you must go shopping, then do it with a smile. Spread some happiness and joy, and realize that you didn’t draw the short straw. Most importantly, go with the realization that eventually, we will simply be wishing each other a “Happy Fourth Thursday of November!”, and appreciate the memories of a true Thanksgiving while you can.

Why I Believe in Internships

Hello friends, sorry for such a delay between posts! You know how things get when you’re graduating from college and applying for jobs. Yes! For those who don’t know, I graduated from college! I know it may sound cliché, but college was the greatest, hardest, most fun five years of my life. Indeed, I was one of those super seniors, but every moment was worth it. There were memories and friendships made, tears of joy and even tears of frustration, but there isn’t a thing I would change about my collegiate career.

Now, however, the tears of frustration stem from something that every post-grad has to suffer through: job hunting. If you’re one of those lucky few who managed to turn their college internship and/or job into a full-time career, or find a job shortly after graduating, I applaud you, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t envious of you. However, not all of us can be so fortunate when it comes to landing a job, which brings me to my point: I am a firm believer in internships.

Among my friend and classmates, the concept of internships is a very black and white topic, with friends either agreeing with me that internships are a pivotal part of one’s collegiate career or disagreeing and condemning them as a waste of time. And while I do agree that unpaid internships can be the bane of a student’s college-experience, it is a burden I believe all college students should bear. As someone who has been job searching – unsuccessfully, I might add – for about two months now, I have come to realize one very important commonality among most of the jobs I have looked at: “entry-level” no longer means entry-level. In an ever-competitive work environment, managers are looking to hire employees who have at least one to two years experience in the field they are hoping to pursue a career in. Now, understand that I am not trying to group all employers together; however, most employers aren’t going to hire an employee who has absolutely zero experience. In fact, according to an article by Mashable, while holding a higher-education degree is an important factor when looking for candidates, many employers look more-so to see if the candidate has the skill-set relevant to the job. 

Now, I understand that some students cannot afford to go to college, work an unpaid internship, and work a job to support themselves. Some internships are paid, but even then, the time it takes to work multiple jobs and go to school can be strenuous and simply not feasible for some students. I am also not saying that an internship is necessary for everyone; for example, students taking over a family business, starting their own business, or attending a vocational or trade school. However, I am saying that internships are a crucial necessity for many students who hope to move up in their career path. For those who are still in school, college or university advisors are a great place to start in your internship search. Take advantage of your professor’s knowledge and contacts, and ask them if they have connections who are looking to hire an intern. Many colleges and university degrees often require internships, so be sure to make the most use of that credit! And, of course, search your college or university website and even Google to find companies that your school may work closely with or companies which tend to hire many of your school’s graduates. It’s also important to remember to choose an internship that is relevant to you and your career interests as internships are a great way to get your foot in the door to your future career path, and if you’re lucky, turn into full-time careers. So go, find your internship; I wish you nothing but success!