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How to Deal with Rejection During Placement Search

Aniela is a final year student in Marketing and Management, who completed a placement year with Warner Media in 2020/21. If you are interested in completing a placement between Stage 2 and Stage 3, you can find out more in the Business School UG Stage 2 Community 2021-22 on Canvas, or contact the NUBS Student Experience team.



Rejection is something you will probably encounter often during your placement search – I know I did, but don’t let it get you down.


My experience

A little summary: I started my placement search in early October 2019, applied to 13 companies, progressed to several online assessment stages, and went to four physical assessment centres. I ended up receiving a job offer from WarnerMedia in early March 2020, after five months of searching for a placement. Aside from being rejected for the other three roles I attended assessment centres for, I also received many rejection emails. They can be discouraging, but it is important to learn from your rejection and keep applying.


Tips for dealing with rejection

In my opinion, the best way to deal with rejection is firstly to learn from it. If you are rejected from progressing to further stages of the application process, ask the recruiters for feedback and work on improving yourself.


However, sometimes rejection doesn’t have anything to do with your abilities. I feel that I got rejected from one of the companies I attended an assessment centre for, not because of my lack of skills, but because I wouldn’t be a good fit for their team, in terms of my personality. I remember leaving the building and thinking that I wouldn’t want to work for my interviewer even though I felt that the interview itself went well and I would be able to do the job. I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t get that job. We are all different and it’s nothing to take personally. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t want to work with people I didn’t like, and they would rather hire someone they get along with.  We aren’t a good fit for all jobs, even if we do have the skills for them.


A week later I went to an assessment day at WarnerMedia. Throughout the day, I caught myself thinking several times that I would love to work there, which didn’t happen during the three previous assessment days I took part in. My interview went well, and I instantly liked my would-be managers. One manager later told me that they liked me too and thought I would be a good addition to the team. By being yourself during interviews and throughout the recruitment process you can authentically connect with your potential employers. I really enjoyed working at WarnerMedia, and with hindsight, it was the most exciting role out of all the roles I applied for. It was perfect for my abilities and the skills I wanted to develop and learn during my placement. I fit in with my team and connected with people I worked with.


Rejection is unavoidable during placement search. Sometimes you don’t know why you didn’t get the job, which can be frustrating. Other times, you are able to pinpoint exactly what went wrong yourself or by receiving feedback. However, not all rejection is bad – there might be better jobs waiting for you.  I hope you experience as little rejection as possible and get the internship you wish for.

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