Planning and Pursuing Summer Internships Amidst Uncertainty

By Victoria Robertson on May 2, 2020

It’s a phrase we’ve heard time and again as we become more accustomed to stay-at-home orders: “This is a time of uncertainty.” The truth of that statement is that much of the planning done for the future is up in the air, including summer internships college students rely on for experience for their future careers.

As such, you may find yourself lost and confused in terms of what to do next when pursuing a summer internship. To help you navigate these strange times, here are six tips to help you in planning for and pursuing summer internships amidst uncertainty.

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1. Don’t Stop Applying

One of the biggest challenges in finding a summer internship is going to be exactly that: finding one. Given the financial instability, most organizations are currently facing, finding a summer internship (especially a paid one) is going to be a challenge. For this reason, you’ll need to be persistent in your search and familiarize yourself with all online application sites, such as LinkedIn, Monster, CareerBuilder, etc.

The more work you put into your application search and the more you get your name out there, the more likely you are to land a job that’s perfect for your needs.

2. Prepare for Virtual Interviews

Very few (if any) organizations are bringing individuals into the company for an interview, so more likely than not, you will be facing a virtual interview.

Virtual interviews typically require that you have a laptop with a camera and a video conferencing app (such as Skype or Zoom). You should ensure you have these prior to the interview and that you are familiar enough with them to appear professional.

In addition, you’ll want to read up on tips for virtual interviewing to ensure you are prepared and come across as an ideal candidate.

3. Prepare for Virtual Work

As most organizations aren’t bringing new hires into the office at the moment, you should also prepare for the possibility that you will be working virtually. This means that you’ll likely need to supply your own laptop and other supplies to complete your job and that you should also familiarize yourself with the organization’s virtual conferencing software.

Working from home can take some time to get used to, so you can also read up on some work from home tips to ensure you’re well prepared in advance.

4. Search for Online Resume Workshops

If you aren’t getting the response to your resume that you’d like and have a difficult time landing an interview, you may want to have your resume workshopped. While you can’t go into a campus workshop at the moment, there are still online resume building resources that you can utilize.

Even though you are only applying for an internship, many organizations look at this as if they are bringing on an employee, especially given the current state of the economy, as most organizations will only want to spend additional money on individuals that are qualified. So put in the work and ensure your resume shines!

5. Set Up a Designated Workspace

You should expect the inevitable, which is that the workforce should have a work from home setup available to them, should they need it. This means that you’ll need a quiet, isolated area in which you can focus on your daily tasks without distraction.

This could mean setting up a desk in your bedroom or clearing the kitchen table and setting it up as your workspace; no matter how you set it up, ensure you have this designated space and that it’s ready to work when you are!

6. Don’t Lose Hope

Last, but not least, don’t lose hope. Again, these are crazy times, and it’s likely going to be challenging to find a summer internship this summer. That being said, it’s not impossible, so don’t lose hope.

Make sure that you’re putting in the effort in every stage of your application process and don’t be too picky when it comes to the jobs presented to you. These are strange times, so the options are going to be limited. The truth is, any experience is helpful in bolstering your resume, so when it comes down to it, ensure you’re giving every opportunity the chance it deserves.

Time is certainly strange, and the “norm” is no longer recognizable. That being said, this isn’t to say that the experience you need in the form of internships won’t be available to you. In fact, many organizations are reforming in order to better accommodate the future workforce of their companies.

You may find that you’re doing far more research and applying than you had previously, but don’t give up the chase! The right opportunity is out there waiting for you, you just need to put in the work and find it!

Good luck!

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