It is no secret that COVID-19 is drastically affecting different sectors of the global economy. Many companies have had to cancel their summer internship schemes for students and graduates in order to cope. This must be disappointing news for people who have worked hard to get through the application process, and even those who were planning to start applying. However, there are things you can do to make the most out of an unideal situation. These are my top recommendations for summer internship alternatives.
1. Virtual Internships
These really are the next-best things to summer internships! Offered by InsideSherpa, these virtual internships give you an insight into the kind of work that is done by various leading companies around the world, including White & Case, Latham & Watkins, JP Morgan, KPMG, and Accenture. These internships cover sectors as wide as law, technology, management consulting, accounting, and marketing. In addition to the skills and knowledge imparted, virtual internships can help you decide if a particular career path is really for you.
2. Freelancing/Remote Work
Not every job requires you to be physically present. In fact, COVID-19 has made many organisations move to remote working and it is likely that over time, more organisations will place a higher emphasis on freelancers or remote workers in order to cut costs. Jobs that are particularly conducive to this kind of work include content writing and editing, research, graphic design, web design, and social media marketing.
JUST: Access Ltd is currently looking for remote editors! You can apply via this link.
To view my portfolio as a freelance writer, editor, and graphic designer, click here.
3. Online Courses
Following on from the previous point, you can learn a new skill such as computer programming, graphic design, and even digital marketing through online courses. The possibilities really are limitless! By enroling in these courses, you can prove to prospective employers that you have an interest in your chosen sector. What is more, these courses can help you stand out in a post-COVID-19 world, where the emphasis on technology and digital skills is likely to be higher. You can get an amazing selection of online courses on these platforms: edx, Coursera, Harvard University, and Google.
If you want to know which courses I have recently enroled in, see 6 Things to Get You Through Lockdown.
Volunteering can be very rewarding, both in terms of the skills you acquire and the impact that you have on other people. You can volunteer for a cause that is close to your heart (such as women and children’s rights, access to justice, education) or for a private organisation. Many organisations, whether for-profit or non-profit, will happily take on volunteers to assist with their work (I once volunteered for JUST: Access Ltd and was offered a paid contract at the end of my volunteering period). Although this requires you working without earning (other than perhaps lunch and transportation costs), it can help you develop skills that will give you a competitive edge over other applicants, particularly if you apply for an entry-level position.
For tips on how to save and invest on a budget, click here.
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