Finding an Internship During/Post-COVID Lockdown
Article Written By Guest Blogger: Candice Zhang
As non-essential businesses and recreation centres open, more employment opportunities are starting to become available. However, as students, finding an internship position has never been more difficult. Due to the nature of the pandemic, many companies have closed their internship programs. Students who have previously received these opportunities are now finding themselves in the process of reapplying to new positions. Despite the economic shut down and mass lay-offs, obtaining the ideal internship position is still possible. We just need to be more creative and proactive in our job search.
For those of you who are in the midst of applying to internships, here are some tips that will hopefully, improve your chances!
Attend Virtual Events!
As school, education, and business practices altered from a traditional to virtual environment, networking opportunities have also taken a new approach. There are plenty of online job-networking events that you can join provided by your school. Start by speaking to your college’s internship department about your situation and ask them about potential opportunities or events. If no networking events are scheduled in the near future, create a LinkedIn account, and connect with professionals in your dream field. Send them a message and offer to help them with their passion projects. Although this experience may not be the process you hoped for, remember that any opportunity is a step towards your future goals.
Connect with past professors and instructors for references A lot of volunteer and job opportunities will ask for references during the application process. The best solution to this scenario is to reach out to some professors from your favourite courses and ask them if they can provide a reference for you. Make sure that you and the instructor have a good working relationship and can rely on each other. When emailing and asking for a reference, a good strategy is to start by introducing who you are, which class you were in, and what opportunities you want to obtain. Your reference must understand your situation and be prepared when the employer contacts them.
Volunteer everywhere and anywhere Volunteering is still a vital experience as it helps you prepare for a job opportunity. Throughout volunteering, you will be able to learn new skills, meet new people, and test the waters of your chosen industry. Before committing to an internship, make sure you hone the required technical and soft skills for your position. All of this can be learned through volunteering.
Brush up on Digital Media Skills. Since many industries are now trying to increase their online presence, being an expert in digital media can lead to a variety of opportunities. Companies are always looking for students who are tech-savvy and creative. Therefore, brushing up on social media marketing and content creation will for sure land you somewhere.
Keep on applying – and trying.
If you have tried all the steps above and are still struggling to find an internship, remember to not give up! The right opportunity will come soon, and a job offer will find its way to your inbox. After all, life is a learning process.
With that being said, there are plenty of ways to create your own opportunity. Companies and professionals are flexible these days and willing to teach you the ropes of the industry. The more you interact with others, the more connections you will gain. These connections will be important for future gigs. Whenever you are feeling stuck in the process, remind yourself to keep trying and learning. You will eventually obtain your goal and be prepared to tackle the workforce!