Student Stories

Thrown Into Traffic

This is a guest post by Apollonia (Nia) Maldonato for InternMatch’s Student Stories. If you’re interested in getting involved with Student Stories, learn more here.

Coming from a relatively small town with only two public high schools, both holding over 1,000 students, career training was not on the guidance counselors’ to do list.

When I arrived at University, I was in for a rude awakening –– half of the freshmen had already had internships! I felt like I was already behind on my career development as a freshman.

The summer following my freshman year, I made sure that I had an internship lined up. Preferably, I would’ve worked in New York City. Unfortunately, the majority of internships in the communications industry offer little to no pay and living in NYC on an income of zero was utterly unrealistic.

So I ended up back in my home town, the place that had originally  failed to prepare me for what I was in for, living in my parents’ house. I was fortunate enough to land an internship with a local radio station. I won’t lie, the internship came with its fair share of perks including free food and concert tickets. However, I would have traded those perks for a regular pay check.

I have never known what it feels like to be financially stable, so since my internship was not paid, returning to my high school job at the doughnut shop was a must. That summer was when I first realized what it meant to be an adult. I was burning the candle at both ends and the return to school in the fall came as sweet relief to the hectic lifestyle of the summer, balancing a job, a life, and an internship.

This stress was not all bad though. I now know that I am capable of more than I had previously thought and it was an essential practice session for similar situations that I know will arise when I graduate and immerse myself in the real world.

This is far from a unique issue, I just hope that this post can help others overcome the stress and exhaustion that a work life balance can cause in knowing that, in the end, you will grow from it and it will benefit you.

I was not aware of it then, but now I know that it is part of the journey of being a young, ambitious [aspiring] professional. Consider the feeling of exhaustion a triumph and remember that every now and then it is okay to take a day off. We are only human.

About the Author:

My name is Apollonia (Nia) Maldonato, I am a junior at Syracuse University studying Communications. My home town is in NEPA and as a result of that hectic summer, I am passionate about yoga, I play soccer when I get the chance, and I am a coffee addict. I love TV and in the future, I hope to write/produce television shows. Connect with me on Linkedin or follow me on Twitter! My email is



Previous post

No internship? No worries. Leverage what you do have!

Next post

5 tips for commuting art students