When I first graduated university last year, I was very optimistic about my prospects- I even had a job interview lined up a week after my graduation ceremony for a position in a career direction I wanted to follow.

However, my first ‘proper’ job interview went disastrously; my taxi didn’t turn up, and the journey was chaotic due to roadworks and unforeseen heavy traffic, turning a 10-minute journey into almost an hour-long trip- of course, it was also pouring with torrential rain, and I had to call in a panic apologising, explaining I would be late- not a good start to the interview! Unsurprisingly, I did not get the job.

After that, I fell into a slump- I was rejected countless times from jobs and internships, or worst, never heard anything back, and spent almost every minute of the day writing cover letters, filling out applications and taking part in unpaid work experience. Once I was even stood up for a job interview!

It was mentally exhausting, and I soon fell into a depression- I wouldn’t allow myself any respite until I had a job.

My hobbies seemed meaningless and I felt like I didn’t deserve to be happy until I had a job.

There were countless headlines in the news describing millennials as ‘lazy’, ‘self-entitled’ and ‘arrogant’ and I began to worry that this was describing myself- and the reason I hadn’t got a job yet was because I simply wasn’t trying hard enough. Everyone on my university course were seemingly living amazing lives on Instagram with their new jobs while I was struggling to find a reason to get out of bed in the morning. The worst part of my unemployment was my birthday; my friends, who were all living together in Manchester while I was living with my parents, planned a surprise birthday party for me, and I was so miserable I couldn’t enjoy myself. I was paranoid that they were somehow embarrassed of me for not having a job, despite how supportive and kind they were.

A few weeks after my birthday in November, I saw a paid internship advertised at a LGBT+ homelessness charity, The Albert Kennedy Trust, for a Communications Intern. The internship sounded perfect, and there was potential for it to lead into a full-time role- I was interested in journalism and social media, and was passionate about LGBT+ culture; I wrote my university dissertation on the representation of LGBT people in ‘60s cinema. I applied, expecting to get rejected again- but I managed to get an interview.

I remember being amazed that I left the interview wanting the position even more than I did before.

In retrospect I felt optimistic about the interview, but was so used to getting rejected that I figured there was no chance I they would hire me.

The next morning, I got a call saying I got the job. It was just 5 days before Christmas, and the phone call was the best Christmas present I could have asked for. I have now been at AKT for almost 3 months, and will soon be a full-time member of staff. There isn’t a day when I dread going into work, even when I was commuting for 2 hours a day, and it is honestly my dream job. I feel so privileged to be working for such an amazing charity, and feel proud of myself for the first time in almost a year.

AKT's Communications Intern post has been generously funded by eBay through AKT’s Investing in Futures (IF) programme.  Through generous support of key corporate partners, AKT is able to offer employment opportunities and experience through ethical internships.  Each post lasts 12 months and interns are paid the London living wage.  If you’d like to support this programme, please contact our Director of Fundraising, Carrie Reiners.