Internships… Not the only way to gain experience!

Many people think that internships are the only way you can gain skills and experience during the summer. We’re here to tell you that internships are just one of MANY ways you can expand your skillsets. But first…these recent alumni want to share their best piece of career advice with you:

Alumni Video

Here’s how you can make the most of your summer and work towards your career goals while still practicing social distancing!

1. Grow your professional network – online.
Join Mentor Match to connect with alumni mentors in your field of interest, or connect with professionals on LinkedIn. When making a new connection, be sure to send a personalized note, introduce yourself, and mention why you are interested in connecting with those individuals. Read on to see how networking can help you gain experience.

2. Do some self-reflection and ask yourself… “What skills do I want to develop?”
Are you familiar with Excel pivot tables? Could you develop some graphic design skills, or perhaps learn some basic python?

If you aren’t sure what skills you may need for a particular career field, you can chat with a Fleishman Center staff member, or even reach out to alumni mentors and your connections on LinkedIn. Binghamton alumni have great advice and are often willing to chat with current students!

3. Once you have identified some skills you can develop, take advantage of online courses and maybe even earn a digital badge or two! There are tons of options available and many websites offer free trials. Here is a list of suggested platforms you can take advantage of:

  • LinkedIn Learning(free 30-day trial.) Access hundreds of courses and learn new skills such as excel, programming, web development, graphic design, or even photography.
  • Coursera streams video lectures from top instructors in subjects like business, computer science, data science, language learning, & more.
  • Codecademyoffers 180 hours of free content on topics such as coding, programming, data science, etc!!
  • edX offers access to 2,000+ free courses from leading institutions such as Harvard and MIT. Learn about business, management, nutrition, chemistry, music and more!
  • Skillshare offers thousands of free classes on topics such as photography, creative writing, web design, film, animation, etc.
  • Duolingo is a free app that teaches you a new language – Est-ce que tu parles français?

4. There are a variety of ways you can gain experience through virtual opportunities:

  • Virtual volunteering is another great way that you can gain skills that employers look for. There are a number of websites that offer virtual volunteering opportunities, such as IdealistVolunteer Match and Catchafire.
  • There are a variety of virtual jobs and internships available. Browse the list of online job boards that offer virtual opportunities that might interest you, even if they are not directly related to your career field of interest.
  • Consider doing a micro-internship, a short-term, paid, professional project or assignment for an employer. Create a free account and start applying to Micro-Internship opportunities on the Parker-Dewey platform.

5. Last but not least, take some time to really ramp up your resume and LinkedIn profile. Are your new skills accurately portrayed? Does it include all of your relevant experiences and achievements from the past year?

Once you have updated your resume, upload it to VMock to get personalized feedback with bullet-by-bullet suggestions.Your last step is to schedule an appointment with a Fleishman Center career consultant in hireBING for a final review (YES we are available ALL SUMMER LONG!). We can even review your LinkedIn profile and provide suggestions on how to stand out to recruiters online.

Some Good News:
Companies Are Still Hiring During COVID-19 — Here Are 97 That Want Your Applications Now 

Some Happy News:

Don’t forget, you can schedule an appointment with Fleishman Center staff to chat about ANY career-related topic! We look forward to connecting with you! If you have a quick question for a career consultant, you can google-chat with careers@binghamton.edu Tues. – Thurs. from 1-3 pm.

By Alissa Strong
Alissa Strong Sr. Asst. Director, Technology Innovation & Marketing Alissa Strong