“No” doesn’t mean “Never.” Sometimes, it just means “Later…”

This is my first semester of senior year and I have finally landed my first internship, at Harmelin Media in Bala Cynwyd, PA!

Now, if I have learned one thing about the arduous process of getting someone to hire you, it’s that you should never take no for an answer. If you want to work somewhere, and you get rejected, do not give up. I know it’s been said a million times before, but let me explain…

I have been searching for internships since the fall of my sophomore year. It has not been an easy experience. I attended workshops, had my resume critiqued, started a LinkedIn, met with professors, and went on a few unsuccessful interviews.

My second professional interview ever was last May at Harmelin Media. It was my first time applying with the company. Like every advertising student, I took Media Planning I. I discovered that, eventually, I would love to be a media buyer and planner. I loved planning out which publications would reach a target market and playing with CPMs to get the best value for the budget. So, naturally, someone suggested I take a look at Harmelin Media for an internship.

During the interview, I learned so much more about what Harmelin does. I learned about how media buyers specialize in different markets all across the nation and how they have to be aware of events in those markets and how they might affect a media buy. The whole company is divided into teams that work on different accounts. It sounded all wonderful!

And, luckily, I felt this interview went great. I walked out happy with my performance and was desperately hoping to get in invitation to intern here. I made sure I promptly followed up via e-mail, crossed my fingers, and hoped for the best.

Unfortunately, that invitation didn’t come. I got the dreaded e-mail that said, “Thank you for coming in but…” I was so upset. During the interview, I realized Harmelin was where I wanted to be and I didn’t get in!

So, I kept focusing. Clearly, there was someone out there who was just a little bit more impressive than I was. I knew I would reapply for the next internship cycle because I was sure that Harmelin had the internship for me. At the advice of Professor Freeman, I built my own website just to strengthen my personal brand a little bit more. I built up my resume. I perfected my elevator pitch. I had Jay Sterin critique my LinkedIn.

And by November, I was ready.

I sent in my resume and had Jay contact one of his colleagues here. (When professors tell you to work your network, they’re right!) A few days later, I got an e-mail asking me to come in for an interview. I was thrilled! I finally had my second chance!

I ironed my blazer, polished up my shoes, prepared my padfolio, and drove over to Harmelin.

This time, I had my interview with the head of a different team. She happened to be a Temple alumna so we chatted about the progress on Morgan Hall and how I work in the student center game room. This time, I thought it went really well but I was cautious, as I thought it went really well last time too.

I followed up with a handwritten thank you and I hoped for the best. (Again, when professors tell you to go the hand-written route, do it. Invest in some nice stationary and write ‘em out.)

This time, I got the internship! It has been a delight helping out here. I’ve been doing everything from reports on media products to sitting in on vendor meetings. Interning at Harmelin has been everything I had hoped that it would be and I am looking forward to learning more from them every time I come in.

So, what’s the moral of the story?

Just because you didn’t get a job the first time, reapplication shows that you’re invested in a company and really want to be there. Accept the rejection, make yourself the best candidate you can be, and try again. I’m proof that it “no” doesn’t mean “never.” In this case, it just meant, “later.”


  1. I love that you sent a hand-written thank you! I don’t recall ever getting that advice but I think I am definitely going to do that when applying for entry-level jobs. There’s something about snail mail that just says anything better and more sincerely than an e-mail!

  2. I never thought of it that way, but now I’m kind of excited to improve my portfolio and reapply to places I really want to work. Glad I saw this!

  3. Keep in mind that “no” also sometimes means “try harder” or “try a different approach” when it comes to landing internships. In my internship search I have definitely come across multiple agencies where I had to call and speak to 3 or 4 different people before I could get anywhere. Sometimes hiring managers want you to show them that you are genuinely interested and really want to gain something from the position before they let you know everything they have to offer.

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