As the coronavirus pandemic spread, summer internships, a seasonal rite of passage for millions of college students, looked iffy. Up to one in three stints was canceled, stoking student fears of diminished career prospects down the road.
With the economy partly reopening, some summer-gig watchers now expect a fresh crop of internships to pop up in July and August.
If you did have the plug pulled on an internship, detail it on your LinkedIn profile as “canceled,” then e-mail your connections to ask for leads.
“Networking in this environment is very, very, very important,” said Shawn VanDerziel, executive director of the National Association of Colleges and Employers. So is being flexible, perhaps by going for an internship that is not directly related to your major or intended career.
Having any internship on your résumé from summer 2000 could be a mark of distinction; employers are likely to see lots of blanks there. The grit you show in running one down could count as much as the actual experience.
Also scour career-services websites geared to college students.
Jeffrey Moss, is chief executive of Parker Dewey, which specializes in “micro internships” — short, paid stints in sales, marketing, technology and other fields, offering five to 40 hours of work from employers big and small. Moss said the number of micro internships has risen, even as traditional internships were canceled.
He expects more companies “to ramp things up over the summer. Companies that canceled in April are now seeing work that needs to be done in July and August.”
Exceptions include hospitality and travel — industries hit hardest by COVID-19.
Don’t overlook the big job banks. At USAjobs.com, the federal government’s clearinghouse of jobs, the Pathways paid-internship program for current students and recent graduates is still open (and can potentially lead to a permanent job in the civil service).
USAJobs also posts links to summer (and longer) internships for college students, including to the government’s Virtual Student Federal Service. That program takes applications through July 31 for projects at more than 40 federal agencies.
Selected interns generally work remotely in research, analysis, graphic design, software development and social media, among other fields, for 10 hours a week starting in September.