The coronavirus pandemic has left very little unchanged, and internships are no exception. The results of a survey released by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) in May found that 22% of employers had revoked internship offers in light of COVID-19. Many companies continue to evaluate the situation and make ongoing changes and decisions about their internship programs.
If you’ve found your dream internship unexpectedly canceled—or are on an internship search that’s severely lost its mojo—keep the hope! Here are steps you can take to find new remote internships and other opportunities to build your resume during the global pandemic.
1.Take Advantage of Your School’s Resources
Chances are your college or university is thinking about how to help and has a variety of resources you can use. For example, many career centers have school-specific databases for internship postings, with information about who’s still hiring. (Even if your college’s career center doesn’t have a formal job posting system, a very popular one called Handshake is now available to all students with a .edu address. You can create a free account to check out more than 500 recent opportunities.) As another plus, you might be able to set up an appointment to meet virtually with an advisor on staff who can give you individualized advice for your situation.
2. Hone in on Remote Work Opportunities
In order to increase your chance of success, laser in on opportunities that are least likely to hit a corona roadblock. Companies that are already advertising an internship as remote are less likely to cancel it later on when they realize social distancing rules will be in effect longer than they had hoped. General job search sites have remote opportunities listed on websites such as Intern From Home, Jobspresso, and Symba.
3. Opt to Volunteer
Volunteering can be a great way to work for a company or organization, and there may be less competition than for internships. Admittedly, you have to be able to afford to not get paid, which understandably can be a limiting factor.
There are volunteer opportunities across industries and for a wide range of interests. Maybe you’d like to help with the copywriting on a documentary film or leverage your Spanish major while working for a human rights foundation. Or perhaps you want to give back to the community during this pandemic. Try searching on VolunteerMatch and Idealist, which have thousands of virtual and local volunteer opportunities listed.
The internship search may be more complex and challenging these days, but the good news is there are still opportunities out there. If you are persistent and flexible about the kinds of opportunities you’ll consider, you can gain valuable experience —even if it’s not exactly where or how you’d hoped. Keep at it, stay safe, and good luck!
Our award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help you if you have any questions about finding an internship during this time. We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise.