No Summer Internship?



By Stuart Esrock, Ph.D.

While it may be possible to do an internship or co-op this coming summer, it’s also possible that your opportunities may be limited due to the coronavirus outbreak. If you have problems finding a position, you can still engage in other activities that will advance your career and professional interests. 

Certainly inquire about internship and co-op opportunities since there’s no telling how long this situation may last.  If traditional opportunities are not available or employers you are contacting are hesitant, suggest the possibility of remote/virtual positions.  Many organizations have already moved full-time employees and interns to online work formats.

In the event you can’t find an internship or co-op for the summer, here are some other things you can do to improve your employability, and to keep your mind fresh and sharp:

  • Start your own project, business, or event.   Think about what you are interested in, what you can do to take advantage of that interest and advance a cause you believe in or a passion that you have.  It could be a blog, webpage, podcast, event, or any other of a myriad of possible strategies or activities.
  • Take part in your community.  Volunteer to assist seniors or a church/synagogue/mosque or an organization that you believe in.   You might do that work in-person, but you might also do that work on-line.  You’ll be developing the kinds of “soft skills” that employers most value and most important, you’ll be making a contribution to your community.
  • If you are thinking about grad school or law school or med school, start preparing for the standardized entry tests.  There are both free and for-pay programs available to you, many are online.
  • Become more expert in a topic or field for which you have an interest.  Read and conduct research.  Practice using and developing a particular skill set.   Write, edit, and write some more.
  • Work on your career development skills and toolsets.  Work to perfect your resume.  Practice job interviewing.  Write cover letters.  Create and/or improve your LinkedIn profile.  Seek out a mentor.  Network. 

 It’s easy in a situation like this to sit back and let the world bring you down. But if you seize the opportunity, you can make this a meaningful summer - just do it!