Nothing is normal right now. The internship hunt is no different.
Finding an Internship During a Pandemic Might Seem Intimidating ...
But Donʼt Worry! Here Are Some Tips to Help You Through It
You might have looked for internships at job fairs with employers waiting eagerly to speak to you. Maybe you found opportunities posted at local coffee shops or community spaces. Perhaps you secured your last internship through networking. All of that looks different now! In the changed world we live in, job fairs are virtual and networking happens on Zoom. But your dream internship is still out there! You just have to find it differently.
Take Advantage of Your Resources
If you are worried about finding an internship, the Wasserman Center for Career Development is here for all of your needs! They are putting together incredible virtual programming for students to access remotely. In addition to hosting anywhere between 10 to 15 virtual events per week, they host 30-minute career coaching appointments to meet with undergraduate students about professional interests. Once they have located internships, students can prepare for interviews on Big Interview, Wasserman’s virtual interviewing practice platform. All of these resources are available through Handshake, the Wasserman Centerʼs online database. Students can also use Handshake to search for internships and full-time or part-time jobs.
Speaking of Handshake ...
Handshake is the greatest digital resource students have access to while finding internships. There is no better time to acquaint yourself with all of its features. Explore the opportunities it offers across a wide range of industries all over the globe!
Cut Yourself Some Slack …
Finding an internship during a pandemic is less than ideal, but it is important to recognize how bizarre our lives are right now and consider your options accordingly. Remote work can be incredibly gratifying, but it is definitely not the same as an in-person experience. When the pandemic hit in March, I was interning for US senator Charles E. Schumerʼs office in New York City—during my first-year spring! It felt like an immense accomplishment, and it exposed me to the world of public service. Unfortunately, it was cut short, and the internships I have digitally held since have felt less glamourous. But thatʼs OK! Someday, we will be able to commute uptown and interact with colleagues again, but, for now, be kind to yourself as you look for your next professional development opportunity.
Try to Find the Flip Side ...
One of the positive aspects of interning during COVID-19 is the number of opportunities that are available remotely! You can work for any organization anywhere on the planet without ever pulling out your passport or hopping on a plane. Maybe that dream internship halfway across the world is more accessible now. Take this time to check out opportunities or experiences you might not have considered under traditional conditions. I’m currently learning the ins and outs of campaign finance by interning remotely for a congressional campaign in my home state of Illinois, an experience I’m enjoying greatly but likely wouldn’t be having outside of our current circumstances.
Youʼve Got This
Take a moment to remember all the resources you have available to you! There are people and programs here to support you in your professional journey. Good luck with the internship search!