As the end of the semester quickly approaches, thousands of college students face an often daunting challenge: finding an ideal internship for the summer.
For San Francisco State University sophomore Lan Paje, receiving a position required some creativity. And Snapchat.
“In total, I applied to around 10 organizations,” Paje told USA TODAY College in an email. “Since I was studying two different fields [computer science and journalism], I created two resumes, and applied for front-end software engineering and editorial positions.”
One of the companies Paje applied to was The Points Guy (TPG), a small company owned by the publicly traded Bankrate. Paje saw that the company’s owner, Brian Kelly, also ran the Snapchat page for TPG.
Paje initially applied through TPG’s jobs portal, but received no response after several weeks. That’s when he decided to get creative.
“I knew I had to get my resume in the hands of a decision maker, so I decided to find a way to contact Brian Kelly,” Paje said. “I realized that he actually personally ran the TPG Snapchat account during his various travels, so I decided to screenshot my resume and send it to him via Snapchat’s chat feature.”
And, to his surprise, Kelly responded, giving him his personal email. Days later, Paje interviewed for a position, and received a formal offer in less than a week — even though the company had already filled its summer positions.
“It turns out that they had already decided on their intern candidates for the summer, but they still decided to fortunately interview me,” said Paje. “After a few days of back and forth, I finally received an offer to join TPG in the summer.”
Paje will be working in TPG’s New York office this summer in the editorial division.
This experience, according to Paje, has given him a tremendous amount of insight and wisdom regarding the job search process.
“[It is important to] focus on a small subset of companies that you’re passionate about,” Paje said. “I’ve heard stories of friends who have haphazardly applied to over 30 companies and never received an interview offer.” Quality is better than quantity, he said.
Alexander Smith is a member of the USA TODAY College contributor network.