6 ways to gain experience this summer… other than internships!

Internships are NOT the only way to gain experience and grow your skills! Check out our list of ways you can work towards your career goals this summer, other than doing an internship.


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, check out our Emsi Labor Market Insights tool. Simply search for an industry or job title that interests you, and you can see the TOP 20 technical AND soft skills suggested for that job. You can also 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.
  • Codecademy offers 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 these virtual or in-person opportunities:

  • 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 Idealist, Volunteer Match and Catchafire. You can also look for local opportunities listed in the Center for Civic Engagement’s service listings database!
  • Consider doing a virtual 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.
  • 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.

5. Get a part-time job. Whether you’re working as a cashier, providing customer service, stocking shelves or babysitting, there are plenty of transferable skills you can gain with any part-time job. Check out page pg. 4 of our Career Guide or pg. 19 of our Exploring Guide for more info on transferable skills!

6. 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?

Check out our Career Guide for expert tips on writing your resume bullets and creating a LinkedIn profile that will stand out. You can even download editable resume/CV templates from our website if you need help getting started with your document!

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.

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