This week, we will look at the need for a backup plan during an internship or job search. The peak period for securing a summer internship in Singapore is March and April.

As we progress through April, it is understandable that the stress of finding an internship can build. One way to help manage the search and the associated stress is to have a backup plan.

We always recommend that students develop a primary and backup plan. The former focuses on their primary target and the latter locks on a secondary target that is more attainable.

Main Plan

It is essential to understand the probabilities of various options. For example, depending on location and year, Google hires less than 1% of applicants, with some estimates being as low as 0.2%.

In general, getting an internship or a job in top companies in top locations will be more challenging. This insight is not meant to be discouraging but to help you better plan your overall search strategy.

Yes, always focus your energy on getting the role that you want. After networking, applying, and interviewing, you will see if you are progressing toward your goal.

This will give you a sense of whether you should focus your energy on your primary or backup plans.

Backup Plan

Here, we would like to clarify for you. Switching to your backup plan is not giving up. A backup plan can be a stepping-stone role that gets you one step closer to your dream role.

As discussed in previous career tips, there are three focus areas to develop your career: location, industry, and role.

If you change two focus areas, your backup plan may only afford to retain one of the other. This gets you one step closer to your ultimate goal.

Please remember that a career is not a sprint but a marathon; sometimes, making incremental steps toward your goal is the next best option.

Plan to Progress

Having a well-formulated backup plan can also help relieve your stress. It gives you a way forward if you need to make traction in your job search.

You can put timelines on different phases of your search. For example, you can focus most of your energy on your primary plan until a specific date and switch to your backup if you need to make more progress.

Having these markers will give you structure that may help you manage the stress of the search.


To recap, focusing your energy on your main plan or primary target and developing a backup plan is essential.

Your backup plan can be a stepping-stone position that gets you closer to your target role. A well-formulated backup plan can also help you manage the stress of a job search.

Here is wishing all students the best during this internship hunting period.

Learn more about developing a winning résumé, building a solid network, and other insights on professional growth from our regular Career Tips series.