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What To Do With Your Summer if You’ve Just Lost an Internship

Willa Grace Hart

Posted on May 6, 2020 20:53

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The economic fallout of COVID-19 has led to unprecedented mass-cancellations of summer internship programs, leaving many college students with months of free time and few options for work. If you're one of those students, here are a few ideas about how to keep busy and be productive this summer, despite the setbacks.

I am one of the lucky few who haven't had their summer internship offer rescinded due to COVID-19. But in March, I was sure this wouldn’t be the case. My internship - an experimental creative writing position - is non-essential in every sense of the word.

And though I’m working in the healthcare industry, I knew the impending economic crash had the potential to seriously damage my company. So, in the weeks after my schoolwork moved online, when things were at their most uncertain, I started drawing up contingency plans.

Now, I offer them up to others who might find themselves in the position I almost landed in. Personally, I’m able to rely on my parents for financial support, so many of these ideas are focused on gaining experience and skills rather than a salary. Still, I hope they can help inspire others, even if they aren’t feasible for everyone.

1. Take online classes at my university/a local community college. This is an obvious one, which is why spring and summer classes have filled up at many schools at a record-breaking rate. Still, if you’re able, it’s worth trying to knock out a few requirements for your major while you have some time this summer.

2. Do remote volunteer work. Tons of places are looking for remote help, many of them affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. VolunteerMatch has a great section on their website dedicated to just these positions; it’s a great way to build your resume while giving back.

3. Look into fall/winter internships or graduate school applications. I personally am undecided regarding my goals after graduation, but was planning to do more research this summer. For others who know their plans, this could be an equally good opportunity to prepare for the GRE, write your admissions essays, or speak to college professors about recommendations.

4. Get fitter. When I was in high school, I ran varsity cross country. Though I’ve continued jogging occasionally since I came to college, it’s nothing like the running I used to do. Several months of free time offers plenty of opportunity to get healthier and stronger.

5. Pitch articles/stories to blogs/websites/etc. As an aspiring writer, I look for exposure more than anything. Though paid writing gigs are hard to come by in this economy, even writing for free can help expand a network and grow one’s audience.

6. Post writing/graphic design jobs on Fiverr. Last summer, I spent my free time learning Adobe Office Suite, including Photoshop. Now, I can make basic banner designs, icons, and logos. Offering designs on Fiverr will help me keep my skills sharp while making a few extra bucks to chip in to the grocery fund.

7. Read more books. For you, this might be doing puzzles, tackling a video game, or learning to paint. It’s whatever you’ve been wanting to do for fun but haven’t had the time for, because if quarantine has anything, it’s time in abundance.

Willa Grace Hart

Posted on May 6, 2020 20:53

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