What’s YOUR “Plan B”?
You may have started an internship search sometime during the end of spring semester or during summer. Some of you may have been surprised by how competitive it can be to secure a summer internship. For those of you who landed an internship–congrats! But if you haven’t found the right internship yet, don’t worry you can still use this summer to help yourself out in the long term.
Here are 4 things that you can do if you didn’t get the summer internship:
1). Do an honest assessment of yourself and develop skills necessary to gain an internship
The easiest and most efficient way to assess yourself is to review the job descriptions of the internships that you applied to. If you see that you are missing large chunks or important aspects of the skill sets from the description:
- Consider developing those skills over the summer either on your own or through classes.
- Think about how you can target your Fall semester class projects to increase your aptitude in those areas.
- Review some fall internships and determine if they would be better fits for you based on your skills and experience. Remember, that you can develop skills and apply to an internship that you missed out on for the following summer.
2). Do some career research
If you have a certain career path in mind or you are not quite sure which areas to focus on, use this time to do some additional research. Some things that you can do today are:
- Review the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) which can help you to gain an understanding of the demands of your desired occupation including: training/education needed, earnings, expected job prospects, and an overview of working conditions.
- Speak with professionals through informational interviews as ways to learn and connect with professionals in your field.
- Get insider info by researching blogs and utilizing social media to search for good sources of information on your industry and organizations of choice.
- Check out our “What can I do with my major” section of our web site.
3). Evaluate your marketing materials
- Have your resume and cover letter critiqued during our drop-in hours.
- Do a mock interview with a career counselor to gauge whether or not you are doing a good job of marketing yourself in an interview.
- Take the information you gained from your assessment and career research and incorporate what you learned into your application materials.
4). Develop transferable skills through part-time or volunteer work
Transferable skills are skills that you may have acquired over time through work, classes, and even activities. These skills are essential to any job that you are seeking and can assist you in your job search by highlighting these skills in your application materials. Some tips to maximize your volunteer or part-time opportunities would be to:
- Seek opportunities that are related to the particular cause or population that you would like to work with.
- Create your own opportunities by targeting specific employers to send an internship or volunteer proposal. Remember to be specific about how you would be able to help out the organization.
During this time of uncertainty it is important to stay positive and continue to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to continue to progress. While a summer internship will provide you with a great chance to develop in your field, there are many other ways to gain valuable experience.
The Career Center is here to help you! Stop by our office or visit our web site to get started on your internship path today.