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Intern Diaries: Scams to Start-ups: A Job Seeker's Journey

January 17, 2013

Ashley Ching attended the University of California, San Diego where she received a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology.  She started as an intern for Delta Project Management, and has now moved up to be part of the team.

Ashley Ching headshotBy Ashley Ching

I slammed my alarm clock and dragged myself out of bed. It was 10am on yet another Monday, and I still had no reason to get up.
Elementary school, middle school, high school, college. What was it all for? Where were the jobs?

I plopped myself in front of the computer and decided to begin my search. Craigslist was my first stop. With a degree in social science, I customized a handful of resumes. New York City, Seattle, and other metropolitan areas would be bombarded with the five applications I sent daily. I’d make sure the job market would validate my existence.

“Finally, I started seeing results. E-mails flooded my inbox. Voice mails flooded my cell phone. Employers wanted me!”

I refreshed my Facebook again and again, waiting for a response from my dream company. Finally, I started seeing results. E-mails flooded my inbox. Voice mails flooded my cell phone. Employers wanted me!

I had my choice of three promising opportunities, but I knew what I wanted. It was the marketing campaign against childhood obesity, located conveniently in San Francisco. My employee parking spot was practically ready.

The career and location seemed perfect until a knot of doubt began to develop in my mind. How credible was this job, really? I raced to and flew my fingers across the keyboard. The website reviewed companies from employees’ perspectives and revealed what I had most feared. This so-called dream job was a scheme. A door-to-door. A scam. I was inconsolable for days.

“Wait, are you actually crying?” my friend asked. “You didn’t lose a boyfriend, you lost a job. It’s just work.” He was right. Forget answering to a boss. I would be my own. I started my own business and offered piano lessons, tutoring and even life coaching. Business was good, but by the end of the school year, it began to slow down. I began to wonder what I would do with my time, when suddenly, a single thought entered my mind. It would completely revolutionize my job search as I knew it. Internships.

“I took the time to explore all the options on, and I checked the boxes for Paid and Telecommuting.”

Sure, I had slaved in a thankless, unpaid internship before, but this time would be different. I took the time to explore all the options on and I checked the boxes for “Paid” and “Telecommuting.” What could be better than sitting in my pajamas making bank? I responded to at least a dozen opportunities, when one e-mail showed up in my inbox.

The biopharmaceutical consulting company, Delta Project Management, had expressed an interest, and I would be their first interviewee on Monday morning. “How was your day?” two principals asked. “Excellent,” I gushed. “Recently I visited my local park and recruited seven new piano students.” I began my shameless tirade of just how I could prove value to their company.

A week later, Delta called with outstanding news. Officially, thankfully, luckily, an employer had called me their own! In four months I would grow from a paid intern to a member of personnel. The job search was a long journey, but finally, I had reached its destination.

Ashley, thanks for taking the time to share this with us! Students, start searching for an internship now!

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