The year 2020 was like no other. I will never forget March 16, 2020, when the state of Pennsylvania began to shut down and implement changes that have seemed to last forever. Governor Tom Wolf requested that dine-in facilities be closed indefinitely and instituted a stay at home order, with the exception for essential workers. Not only did this have a negative effect on everyone, but as a server at a local restaurant and this order meant I was out of a job. I was hoping that this crisis would just last a few weeks, but with the weeks to come I realized we may not go back to “normalcy” for a long time. I had to find something to occupy myself with all my free time.
At the time I only had five semesters left to complete and no internships completed. I kept putting off my internships because I wanted to keep working to make money, but as soon as I was no longer able to work, I decided now is the time to search for an internship. I had no idea where to look and no idea where to start. I first thought to myself “what are my passions”? “What type of career do I want to pursue so that I enjoy what I do for the majority of my life”? Esports and podcasts have been a big part of my life and a company called Preediction did both. The only problem was this company was based out in San Francisco.
I decided to ask my parents specifically my mother about how she landed her internships since she had multiple ones back when she was in college. She went on an hour rant, but one thing that stuck with me is she kept repeating one word over and over again, network. The best way to land an internship opportunity is just to get your name out there. A few hours later that night I decided to hop on Twitter and send a direct message to the company Preediction about possible internship opportunities. Two hours later did I receive a message back asking if we could talk on a zoom call later that week.
“If your summer internship goal was to improve your industry network and learn more about your area of specialization, look into online networking to meet like-minded people and create space for potential opportunities. Many industries already populate specific online networks, such as scientist groups on Twitter or active web developer forums. These networks will become more important as social distancing measures continue.” according to an article posted on indeed.com.
Later that week I was in an interview with Aron Glatzer, the founder of Preediction and he offered me an internship for the spring and summer semester of 2020. I could not believe how just a few days earlier I had no job, no social interaction with others, and nothing on my resume to help me with pursuing my career after college. All of that changed within just a few days and I could not wait to get started. None of this would have ever been possible if it was not for me listening to that advice from my mom, I still never forget that word she kept repeating to me over and over again, network, network, network.
Written By: Eric Hitch