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Beating the odds to intern at AT&T

May 10, 2011

David Qaoud (@DavidQaoud on Twitter) is a marketing and advertising student at Northwest Missouri State University who is on track to graduate in December.

David Qaoud, AT&T intern
By David Qaoud

Starting on May 23, I’ll be doing a marketing internship with AT&T (currently No. 12 on the Fortune 500 list) in downtown St. Louis, Missouri for 10 weeks. In particular, I’ll be working with second- and third-line managers on different pricing projects. The internship is expected to be demanding and grueling, but also beneficial. Over 500 potential candidates applied for the 20 internship positions available. I was one of the 20 that was selected. Let me share my story.

The search was a painstaking process. After all, you’re competing with millions of college students all over the country looking for the same position as you are. I felt especially up against the odds because I attend a Division II college, but this just made me more determined.

If you google “internships,” a myriad of entries pops up and one can feel overwhelmed and stressed quickly. On one hand, all of my professors kept drilling into me that I needed an internship. On the other hand, I didn’t know where to start.

After hours of getting nowhere on my own, I decided to connect with the career services office at my university. These people were absolutely instrumental, and I can honestly say that without them (specifically Rosalie Weathermon) I would have never landed my internship. Rosalie quickly introduced me to INROADS, a non-profit organization designed to help minority students get internships. I met all of the qualifications (many college students don’t) and proceeded forward with the process. They quickly got in contact with AT&T and learned that AT&T was very impressed with my resume. They scheduled me for an interview. I was beyond ecstatic.

The process from there was smooth. The interview went well, and AT&T told me I was in the running for a position. That was optimistic news, but then again, there were over 500 students going for the position. How optimistic could I be? I didn’t want to get too excited for something I had a low chance of getting. My mindset: Hope for the best and expect the worst. I was waiting for the day that AT&T would contact me … that day didn’t come soon.

How optimistic could I be? I didn’t want to get too excited for something I had a low chance of getting.

After weeks of waiting in suspense, I received the call from AT&T notifying me that I was selected as one of the interns. Months of hard work and staying persistent paid off. I quickly accepted the offer and was beyond thrilled. “I landed an internship with one of the best companies in the world!”, I thought to myself.

I was extremely excited, but was also especially humbled and grateful after noticing most of my friends who had been competing for internships were denied. I was the only Division II student selected. What an amazing opportunity I have ahead of me, and one that I plan on taking full advantage of.

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