If you’re like me, you probably didn’t realize you needed a summer internship until it was too late. Or maybe you couldn’t take an unpaid internship and all the paid ones were already filled. Whatever the case for why you ended up without an internship this summer, I’m here to remind you that your career is not over.
Here are some ideas for this summer to set you up for success in your next job search.
Plan for Next Year
No better time to prepare for future you then today! Companies are starting to recruit earlier and earlier so use this time to get ahead of the game. First, create a spreadsheet with the companies and roles you’d like to apply for and their deadlines. Then add two different calendar invites - one for a week before the deadline, review the job description and make sure you are prepared, and one for the actual deadline.
Learn a New Skill
Using your spreadsheet from above, review each desired internships job description - what are they asking for? For example, most design internships will require proficiency in Adobe Creative Cloud, and for a finance internship Microsoft Excel is everything. Understand these requirements and become a self-taught expert on them by watching online educational videos, taking a course, and/or reading a book.
Make Time for Networking
Ha! You thought networking was reserved for interns?! It’s not - you can literally network anywhere and everywhere you go. This is easier if you’re in a metropolitan area, but if you’re not, you can opt for virtual conversations (Skype, Google Hangouts or Zoom?). Be proactive about who you’d like to meet and what your objectives for speaking and the other person will be receptive. Use our template for your outreach!
Exceed Goals at Your Part-time Job
Students undervalue their part-time service or retail experience because they think it’s not as fancy as the financial firm or big tech company your peers are at. Stop doing this immediately! Your part-time experience is just as valuable and credible as it shows how your work translates directly to company profit or sales. Practice your professionalism and career skills in your part-time role - it’s your springboard. If you need some ideas on how to spice up your part-time role, then you’ll definitely want to read our resume article.
You might not have landed an internship this summer, but because you’re reading this right now, I know you’ll make all the right moves to land one next year. Professional development and career exploration can be found anywhere,not just at summer internship. With creativity and hustle you can make this summer a career success!