Khristopher Brooks, a reporter with the Democrat and Chronicle, reveals 30 internship rejection letters he received, while in college.
This proves to any college student that not only must you keep trying but don’t limit yourself to just the local internships. Go worldwide! Remember, go hard or chose a different path. It’s that simple.
Being from Detroit of course, the hometown paper is a top choice
The only thing I could never understand is how can they expect you to have experience in a position that you have never held before. As I read over all 30 of his rejection letter, I could only think, You mean to tell me there are college kids out there getting chosen for internships that have experience in journalism in the second year of college. Have you been doing this since the age of 12 or something?
When you are determined to do something, you have to follow through and never give up. Brooks was determined to get a paid internship. Finding a paid internship is probably the hardest. I am currently in this same situation and I can attest to this.
In 2015, we have more resources to be able to accept unpaid resources. There is AirBNB, an app for cheap couch surfing on stranger’s couch. It may even be easier to find an internship within 2-hour driving distance or a state where you know you have family members or friends.
Looking over these letters reminded me of the “American Next Top Model” or “American Idol” judging panel. When the cast off exclaims, “I’m going make it. I’m going keep going” They walk off the stage and maybe we hear from them again or maybe they become an internet viral star.
In this case Brooks says, “Old age will catch up to me, of course. But until that happens, my goal is to spend every waking breath making those letter writers realize beyond the shadow of a doubt that I was the best mistake they ever made”
After they tell Khris no, in these letters, some give the long excuse and others keep it short and sweet. You can’t forget the “Best wishes” in the end. He even saved the emails and default postcards.
After 30 rejections, Khris Brooks ends up getting 4 internships, with Observer & Eccentric Newspapers, The Lansing State Journal, The Morning Sun in Mt Pleasant (the only unpaid one) and The Associated Press Kentucky. He was a Chips Quinn Scholar, which was tied in with the AP internship.
This is when he knew this wouldn’t be the last time he would have to do this. After graduating in 2006 from Central Michigan University, he worked at various papers from Tennessee to Nebraska. In 2009, he decided to go back to school for a masters degree. Here we go again. 10 Applications $50-$80 each, more rejection letters but more acceptance letters this time. He ultimately was accepted to New York University.
More internship applications!! Exciting right? This time, it was easier and he was prepared for the good news and the bad news. He received and accepted one at NYTimes.com and The Huffington Post. I wasn’t long after that, I received a job offer in Florida after going semi-viral.
Why he keeps rejection letters:
“I didn’t go to an Ivy League or a top tier university. So in order to get a reporting job out of college, I knew I had to apply for and land as much internship as possible. I applied for practically any newspaper that would entertain me. Weeks after weeks, I would receive these rejection letters. They came from different people, from different states and at different times, but to me, they all said the same thing.
You’re not good enough for us.
I kept all those letters, every single one. I read them sometimes and they motivate me. Nothing fuels me better than wanting to prove these people wrong.”–Khristopher J. Brooks
It’s stuff like this that made me want to keep trying. Those of you that read my blog know my struggles. It’s nothing like remembering all the “No’s” and keep striving for the “Yes”.
So for my fellow students and even people trying to start a business. DON’T STOP!!
Disclosure: I love me some Khris lol Original post