If you don’t land an internship, there are some great alternatives.
Drenched by a sudden downpour, I left campus wondering how summer could suddenly be only two months away. But the date on the calendar isn’t lying, and an unanswered question remains stuck in my head: “What am I doing this summer??”
Back in December, when I embarked on my search for the perfect internship, it seemed like I had so much time. Sure, there’d be plenty of competition. But worry? Not me. I’d find something. That was then, and now here I am, still looking. What, you too?
So what happens if summer comes along and you’re still empty-handed? Nothing can completely replace the benefits of the experience and connections that you gain from a good internship. But alternatives do exist!
Do good for others.
Volunteer for a group, organization, or non-profit. Not only does this charitable act allow you to contribute to your community, it’s also a chance to pursue an interest or indulge a personal passion. For example, I grew up with my nose buried in library books, so I’ve always wanted to volunteer at a branch, shelving and organizing titles. Or try something completely new. Think outside the box. Consider venues that always need more help, like museums, theaters (not the cinematic kind), and political campaigns. Check out VolunteerMatch and Idealist for listings and more ideas.
Be willing to learn something new. Aside from adding a little weight to your wallet, working can have unexpected benefits. When I started at the University of Oregon Cinema Studies Program, I thought revamping its website would take priority. Instead, I’m now becoming best friends with data entry and office duties. They might not be my favorite tasks, but they’re still useful skills to master.
Start a mini-business.
This fun tip comes from the University of Chicago’s Career Advising & Planning Services. While you’re still young, let your entrepreneurial spirit run free. (Just don’t scam people!) One of my friends picked up people’s Christmas trees for a small fee to save them a trip to the recycling center – a win for my friend, the client, and the environment!
So don’t worry if you don’t land an internship – you have plenty of other options. And if all else fails, gather your friends, embark on a cross-country adventure, and tell us about it!
By Guest Blogger Charmaine Ng I UNIVERSITY OF OREGON:Ambitious and talented, honest and human, this tri-lingual social media strategist and curator is also a published author. Harbors a secret desire to one day have a multi-hyphenated title