Victoria Bell

Apply for positions you’re unqualified for

May 5, 2022

I have always had big dreams about what I want to do with my career, dreams that have only increased since starting college.

However, big dreams often require us to take risks to make them come true.

With summer jobs and internships right around the corner, everyone should apply for positions they may be under- or unqualified for.

Especially as a woman, I feel it’s important to encourage myself to take these risks.

Women are less aggressive than men when applying for jobs, according to a March 2019 ABC News article.

The article cites Hewlett Packard’s 2014 study, concluding that women employees only apply for promotions when they meet 100% of the requirements while men apply for these promotions meeting only 60% of the qualifications, according to the article.

Data from LinkedIn supports this, finding that women apply for 20% fewer jobs than men, according to the article.

My biggest dream is to be a writer for National Geographic. Coming into college, I had no journalism experience and no clue how to start.

When I began looking for internships and jobs before the fall semester, I found a position as a multimedia communications intern with the Gund Institute for Environment, a UVM organization that works to create real-world environmental change, according to its website.

I knew nothing about multimedia and very little about communications, but I knew this internship was at the intersection of environment and media: the exact place I wanted to be.

So I applied, interviewed, waited and got the position.

During my interview, my employers told me they were impressed with my willingness to learn. While I doubt I was the most qualified candidate, my eagerness in my interview caught their attention enough to land me the internship.

I am so glad I jumped at the opportunity to apply for this position as it taught me many skills that will help me in all of my future media endeavors.

I had a similar experience last summer, thinking I would never be chosen for a job working at Glacier National Park.

I applied and waited, not expecting to hear anything back. I was a college student with no knowledge of natural science who couldn’t even point to Montana on a map.

However, within a few weeks I was called for an interview and received a job offer on the spot.

Had I not taken this leap, I would never have gotten to spend a summer in a gorgeous national park, meeting new people and having unforgettable experiences.

At no point in time did I feel confident or qualified enough for either of these positions, but I took the leap and applied anyway, a choice that changed my life both times.

Even if I hadn’t gotten the interviews or offers, I would have at least gotten more experience applying to jobs and building skills such as organizing my resume and searching for relevant positions.

This summer, everyone with a dream internship or job should apply for it, even if they don’t think they’re qualified. Anything can happen, and the only way to find out is to try.

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