Internship Search FAQ Spring/Summer 2020
The Center for Career Engagement recognizes that the global situation regarding the spread of the coronavirus will affect our students’ job and internship searches. The most important thing to remember is to be flexible and adaptable during this time of change and challenges.
With this in mind, we have compiled guidance and resources below to answer some questions you may have regarding your internship search for the summer of 2020:
- With everything changing so rapidly, should I even bother looking for an internship this summer?
Yes! A recent poll found that most employers are moving ahead with summer internship programs, though they are looking at how to change the experience from an in-person internship to a remote/virtual experience. We know that circumstances will likely continue to change as we learn more every day, but there are great internship opportunities posting every day. And, we know that employers are working to ensure that while internships may look a little different, they will still be meaningful and impactful experiences.
- What other opportunities can I consider for “back-up” plans?
Professional experience and opportunities come in a variety of forms:
- Strongly consider looking for remote internships. You will be working on projects from home but will continue to have regular contact with a supervisor and possibly other company/organization team members.
- Consider micro-internships, which are short-term projects you complete for employers. Through Gettysburg College’s partnership with Parker Dewey, these micro-internships are paid experiences that range from 20-40 hours to complete. You may also be able to make your own arrangements with businesses and organizations near home to complete similar projects remotely, based on the needs of the business. These project management experiences should be included on your resume.
- Part-time work or volunteering are also excellent experiences to include on your resume because you are building core, transferable skills and talents. Think about the skills you want to develop and what businesses or organizations could provide you with that opportunity.
- Local businesses, organizations, or contacts within your personal network may be open to creating a job shadowing or externship-type opportunity for you over the summer.
- Finally, consider investing time in online learning platforms that offer free courses to add to your knowledge and skills. LinkedIn Learning (free month trial), Coursera, edX, Future Learn, and FreeCodeCamp (with 450+ courses from Ivy League institutions) are some well-known platforms. Gettysburg College’s iGrad platform is an excellent resource for personal financial well-being and career information as well.
- Where should I be looking for internships?
The good news is that new internships are still being posted by employers every day! Take advantage of multiple sites to search for opportunities. Some general sites include Handshake, Internships.com, and Indeed.com. Consider niche job boards for your field/industry (ex., MediaBistro.com for media and marketing; Idealist.org for nonprofits; Ecojobs.com for environmental opportunities).
Talk with your network! Take advantage of the Gettysburg Network on LinkedIn and connectGettysburg by conducting informational interviews as well as seeking career advice and getting industry knowledge from new and seasoned professionals in the field.
- I already have an internship, but my friend’s internship was cancelled. How do I follow up with the employer to find out the status of my internship?
It is great that you want to be proactive! It is critical that your correspondence with employers be polite, professional, and timely. For example, most employers would appreciate an email from you that restates your commitment to the summer internship and asks if there is any way for you to assist the employer now with any projects (prior to the internship, if able). Be sure to indicate your willingness to be flexible should the internship change from an in-person to a remote position. You can also politely request to be notified of updates or developments regarding decisions about the internship.
As employers are also navigating uncertainty, they may not have immediate answers. You do not need to follow up with them on a weekly basis - trust that they will communicate with you when they have reached decisions regarding their summer interns.
- I’ve never worked remotely for an employer before. What do I need to know to do this successfully?
See our Remote Work FAQ for tips on working remotely as an intern.
- Should I still register my internship?
Yes! Register your internship through your Student Center whether you are doing it as not for credit or for credit. It is important to note that by registering your not-for-credit internship, it will be considered “college-approved” which extends the benefits of the college’s liability insurance to you. This insurance is helpful to have in this time of workplace and marketplace uncertainty.
- Will there be internship funding available?
Yes! You do not need to have an internship secured to apply for funding. However, all students who receive funding must register their internship via their Student Center. For full consideration, apply through the Internship Funding Application by Friday, April 24th at 5:00pm EST. Applications received after this date cannot be guaranteed funding as they will be considered based upon any funding that is still available. For more information on internship funding check out our internship funding information.