May 13, 2020 COVID-19 has changed many plans over the last few months and it will continue to do so through the Summer as the world readjusts to the pandemic. Unfortunately, many of the plans that have changed are related to summer jobs--whether those be co-ops, internships or part-time positions. If this has happened to you, we know it can be discouraging, but we have some suggestions to make the most of your summer and continue to propel your career forward, Pursue Skills Despite cancellations, students can still explore skills that they may have learned during their summer plans. If you planned on conducting research or working in an internship/co-op over the summer, look for research/work that you can complete remotely, whether it’s for the same company or for your own growth. There are multiple online opportunities and remote ways that you can connect with others and/or further your knowledge independently. The Salmon Library has a plethora of resources students can use to grow their knowledge and explore their interests. UDEMY is offering online skills based classes, such as “Adobe Photoshop CC: Your Complete Beginner to Advanced Class” at a discounted rate through May 14. You can also find many free tutorials on YouTube. Summer is a great time to develop professional skills and such classes will prepare you for future work experiences as well as expose you to programs you may have used during your summer position. You’ll also be able to add these skills to your resume, enhancing your marketability to employers. If you’re not sure which skills are in demand for your career path, search for a position on O*NET Online and read more about the Technology Skills needed in that occupation. Be Your Own Boss Think about what type of work you’d be doing in your position and look for ways to continue that project on your own. While your work may look different had you been working for a company, there are likely still aspects of that work that you can continue on your own. For example, if you planned to work in a marketing internship over the summer, spend some time developing your writing skills, web design skills, social media skills, etc. Do some research on marketing campaigns that have worked and haven’t worked and learn from those. At the end of the summer, you’ll have a project that you can show potential employers or talking points that you can use in an interview that can attest to the skills you would have gained in an internship. You can also enhance your collaboration and leadership skills by partnering with a classmate or friend. Think of someone in an organization that you’re in, a classmate, or even a friend from high school and look for a project that you can work together remotely on. This will help you build many of the transferable skills employers look for like communication, teamwork, time-management, and leadership to name a few. At the end of the summer you may even have a project that you can add to your resume or portfolio to show employers. Volunteer Volunteering is a great way to build on your skill sets and there are now many opportunities to do so remotely. UN Online Volunteering Service is a great resource for students interested in worldwide volunteerism. They provide a large variety of remote opportunities to give back to the global community, and allows students interested in global relations to explore international service work. Translators Without Borders is ideal for students who speak, read, and write more than one language fluently. Students can volunteer as translators through the organization to practice different languages through an extracurricular channel. Language skills have a great deal of value in an increasingly globalized world, and speaking a second or third language appeals to many employers. Read Reading has endless benefits and will help you learn as well as better your writing. Written communication is an essential tool no matter the industry you plan to pursue. Explore interests, read for fun, or get a head start on your Fall textbook reading. More employers are also asking about books and reading in interviews, so get immersed in a book now and the question won’t catch you off guard later. We know COVID-19 closures and cancellations are less than ideal, but use this extra free time to develop both old and new skills. This is an excellent time to discover and explore interests that have the potential to be lifelong passions, and potential career paths.