How I Got a Job With No Internship & a History Degree

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First, let me get this out of the way. There’s nothing wrong with pursuing a history degree, or any type of degree that may be seen as…less than practical. Do I regret choosing this as my major? Hmm, maybe a little.

It does definitely restrict your job prospects, like, a lot. But, doing a degree about a topic that I love made college a lot more enjoyable. I would have despised doing an economics or finance program. And I suck at math. I’d probably be richer, though.

There’s pros and cons. 

Disclaimer over. Let’s get to the point. Towards the middle of my third year of school, the pandemic hit. I’d messed around for my first two summers in college, traveling and experiencing and whatnot, and was planning to get some work experience before I began my fourth and final year.

The world had other plans. Unprecedented plans.

Panic time.

How was I meant to get a job with no internship, and no work experience except for cleaning dishes at a retirement home during high school? That job sucked, by the way.

Luckily, my boyfriend was in the same boat. We’d both f*@ked around and found it. So, we began brainstorming ways to create experience for ourselves. Something that would help us develop real, applicable skills that could be utilized at a wide variety of jobs.

Selling dog beds. Perfect.

Kidding, but not really. We decided on creating a Shopify store. In order to be successful at this, we had to learn marketing, social media, customer support, finance, web design – the list goes on. Our first product was actually dog beds, which flopped. We pivoted to dog toys, which also flopped.

Enough with the dogs. We completely overhauled our website, and began selling K-Pop merchandise, cute water bottles and phone accessories, and clothing. This stuck.

We ended up making well over $20,000 in three months. The money was awesome, duh, but something even better came of this experience.

I was hired at a massive Silicon Valley tech startup.

I added this Shopify store to my resume, included key statistics and areas that I owned, and linked to our store. Within a week, I got an interview. Within a month, I got a job offer.

Now, I did have other things on my resume too. I graduated from one of the top universities in the world, I was a member of a student club. I did have a little bit of experience with volunteer work as well.

However, I can say with 100% certainty that if I didn’t have this Shopify store on my resume, I would not have gotten an interview.

It doesn’t matter whether your primary motivation is to make money, learn new skills, or pad your resume. Tremendous value can come from a side hustle. Even while still in school, or while working a full time job, finding a fulfilling project and sticking to it will open up doors for you. 


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Head Writer and Editor for GradSimple. She also translates all of Ricky's incoherent raccoon ramblings into readable content (newsletter subscribers know what's up).

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