Tag Archives: finding internships

Tips for Finding Summer Internships During the Pandemic

[Instructors: A PDF of the tip sheet can be found at the end of this post.]

Internships and summer jobs are one of the best ways to gain the valuable work experience employers seek, and, in many fields, these experiences are as necessary as a diploma. But how to land a coveted internship or position, especially during the ups and downs of the COVID-19 pandemic?

The tips below can help you locate both in-person and remote internships.

Be ready to act quickly. Prepare and polish your résumé and LinkedIn profile so that when you spot an opportunity, you can jump on it. 

Search globally, nationally, and locally. The upside of remote internships is that searchers need not limit themselves to local opportunities. When looking for positions, use search terms such as remote, virtual, or online as a starting place. The job posting site Handshake can be especially useful.

Take advantage of connections. Mine family and friends who work within an industry for connections that can lead to learning about internships and other opportunities.

Check with school career centers. Campus career centers have amped up their efforts to assist students during the pandemic by providing virtual job fairs and offering school-specific databases for internship postings.

Make use of online networking. Find connections and join social accounts on networks that have groups for people interested in specific fields. (Twitter, for example, has scientist and Web developer groups.) The point of online networking is to connect with like-minded individuals and to ultimately conduct informational interviews with seasoned experts in specific industries.

Consider beefing up skills to enhance qualifications. Taking professional development courses or learning a new skill while searching for internships is terrific preparation for a future career. However, before committing to programs that may add to student debt, consider looking for free remote courses from  Khan Academy, edX, Tableau, or Coursera.

Volunteer. Experience is experience whether it is paid or not. Idealist and VolunteerMatch list thousands of virtual and local volunteer opportunities.

Apply for an interim job. Many students need to work to help finance their educations, and taking an interim job not only offers income—it provides a way to improve work skills and job qualifications. Real work experience shows future employers resilience and the ability to adapt, qualities that boost anyone’s career.

Look for pandemic-related opportunities. Countless firms are desperate for workers, especially in industries negatively affected by the virus. Any organization that has been affected can provide a way in for young workers. Reach out to HR departments or recruiters and ask about projects, internships, or temporary roles that may be available. Volunteer to help in any way.

Flexibility is the key to finding a meaningful internship or job opportunity during the pandemic and beyond. While the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly eliminated many traditional internships, the door to making the most out of summer break is most assuredly not shut.

Finding Internship Tipsheet






Internships—A Must for All Students

by Janet Mizrahi

We’ve been hearing for some years now that internships have become as important to future employment as an education. In fact, a recent study concluded that a summer internship is actually more important than a business degree.

As we march toward summer, you may want to remind your students about why they should actively seek internships.

  • Test drive a career. Perhaps the most important reason to obtain at least one internship while in college is to test the waters about different careers. Whether students are interested in law or fashion, they can never really know if a particular job is right for them unless they are exposed to its day-to-day realities. They can also explore a specific industry to discover if it appeals to them. Finally, through internships, students can determine if they prefer working at small or large organizations.shutterstock_253848799_March2016
  • Obtain real-world experience. Employers today expect new hires to have experience. Research conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found that 95 percent of employers consider a candidate’s experience when hiring, and more and more these employers are specifically looking for students who have had internships.
  • Develop workplace skills and behavior. Many internships provide on-the-job training. But just the fact that students will interact on a professional level provides a reality check that they simply will not get from class work. Internships will also be a wake-up call to students who may have turned in one-too-many late papers, behavior that is unacceptable in the workplace.
  • Build a network. A huge percentage of jobs are obtained through professional contacts, and the best way for students to reach beyond their immediate network of family and friends is to develop a professional network while interning.

You can help students jump-start their internship search, too, by offering the following pointers.

  • Contact family and friends for “ins” to specific firms
  • Attend job or career fairs at your college
  • Visit the campus career center to learn about its resources
  • Search specific firms’ websites for internship or entry-level job opportunities
  • Research using the 2016 ten best websites for finding an internship listed by Forbes.com

Of course, before the search for an internship begins, students should prepare meticulous cover letters and résumés tailored to specific organizations or industries. That is one area you know you can help them with!

How do you discuss the workplace with your students? Start a discussion!