As the end of the semester approaches quickly, thousands of students face an often daunting challenge: finding an ideal summer internship.
For the sophomore of the San Francisco State University, Lan Paje, receiving a position required creativity. And Snapchat.
"In total, I applied for about 10 organizations," Paje told USA TODAY College in an email. "Since I was studying in two different fields [computer science and journalism] I have created two resumes, and have applied for front-end software engineering and editorial positions."
One of the companies to which Paje was addressing was The Guy Points (TPG), a small company owned by the publicly traded Bankrate. Paje saw that the business owner, Brian Kelly, also released the Snapchat page for TPG.
Paje first applied through the TPG Job Portal, but received no response after several weeks. It's at that moment that he decided to become creative.
"I knew that I had to hand over 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 personally ran the TPG Snapchat account on his various trips, so I decided to capture my resume and send it via Snapchat's chat feature. "
And, to his surprise, Kelly responded, giving him his personal email. A few days later, Paje had an interview for a position and received an official offer in less than a week – even though the company had already held its summer positions.
"It turned out that they had already decided on their trainee candidates for the summer, but they still decided to interview me happily," Paje said. "After a few days back and forth, I finally got an offer to join TPG this summer."
Paje will be working at the TPG office in New York this summer in the editorial division.
This experience, according to Paje, gave him tremendous insight and wisdom regarding the job search process.
"[It is important to] focus on a small subset of companies that you are passionate about," Paje said. "I've heard stories of friends who have applied randomly to more than 30 companies and have never received an interview offer." Quality is better than quantity, he said.
Alexander Smith is a member of the contributors network of the USA TODAY College.