How to Deal with Rejection and Grow  

Have you ever been disappointed by the way your internship or job search had gone? It already is such an intricate process for students with the ideal outcome of getting the position but typically results in not hearing back or outright rejection. It can be overwhelming to take the next steps in becoming career ready by preparing to embark on the journey that is internship and job hunting. Whatever level of preparedness you have, the results and outcomes may not be what you expected. These negative experiences happen all the time for people and it’s easy to lose sight when you see a success post on LinkedIn. It’s upsetting especially since the application and interview processes are time-consuming, rigorous, and overall, a vulnerable experience. This article is meant to acknowledge the many people who’ve had difficult journeys and give validity to their frustration. More importantly, it is meant to support students by providing advice on how to grow from rejection and to improve for the next time! 

You may have opened your emails and received the dreaded email from the internship or job you pursued. It is important to understand that is it perfectly normal to feel disappointed and angry. However, as time goes on, it is critical to be able to take rejection and learn how to take it as a lesson. Firstly, in many interviews, it is a common question! A recruiter will ask directly about a time you’ve dealt with rejection. Not only will learning how to deal with rejection help you in your life, but it can help you professionally nail the question during an interview!  

Tips On Taking Rejection 

  1. Ask recruiters or the hiring team that rejected you for feedback about what went wrong. This shows you want to receive constructive criticism and specifically work to improve an area or skill. 
  1. Reflect on the experience and from that feedback and identify goals to target for next time. 
  1. Understand that rejection is normal and is to be expected for everyone at some point. 
  1. Remember to not take rejection as a personal attack but rather as an opportunity to become stronger and learn! Sometimes it teaches us the most because it means there are things to work on. 
  1. Reach out to alumni in the companies that you hope to be a part of to consult their knowledge and expertise! This is a great way to make connections and learn from others through informational interviews. 
  1. Consult the UConn Center for Career Development website at to learn more and get advice from professional staff! 

Go to for a one-stop website that holds services, resources, and events for UConn students to utilize on their career journey. The UConn Center for Career Development is located on the 2nd floor of Wilbur Cross in 202- stop by the front desk for more information!  

UConn Center for Career Development Services 

  1. Schedule a 30-minute career coaching appointment with a Career Coach. It is a great opportunity and a safe environment for whatever level of career readiness you are at. 
  1. Schedule an undergraduate resume critique through Handshake to work on how to improve your resume. Whether it’s help with formatting and bullet points or getting a second opinion, it’s a great tool to have. 
  1. Schedule a practice interview through Handshake with a professional staff member to go through the motions of an interview and get preparation for the real thing! 


How to Handle Internship Rejection | U-M LSA LSA Opportunity Hub (  

Six ways to turn a job rejection to your advantage ( 

By Emily Clifford
Emily Clifford