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6 Ways to Make the Most of Your Summer Career Options

Summer is a great time for many college students to pursue internships or job opportunities when classes aren’t in session. However, COVID-19 has made most internship programs virtual. Finding and making the most of a remote position can be difficult—not every industry translates well to an online format, and Zoom fatigue can be quite overwhelming. 

If you want to know how to make the most of your summer, continue reading! Whether your goals entail gaining job experience, finding a remote internship, or making the most of your opportunities, this article has great advice.

Work on Essential Skills

Although many jobs don't work well in a virtual environment, the ones that do almost always require knowledge of different computer programs. For example, if you’re working collaboratively on a presentation, knowledge of PowerPoint or Google Slides will be helpful. If your job involves collecting data, Excel or Google Sheets expertise is a must. Many positions also require basic programming knowledge. Being comfortable with these programs is often essential to succeeding at a remote internship, and having these skills is something that employers will look for and value.

Find a Remote Internship 

If you don’t know where to start with your internship journey, there are numerous job sites that can help narrow your search by industry and location, which can be helpful if you’re exclusively searching for remote internships. I recommend using Handshake to search for potential opportunities or attending a career fair to help connect you with potential employers!

Dress for the Occasion

Even if your commute to work is a short walk from your bed to your desk, dressing like you’re actually going to work can help put you in the right mindset. You’ll start to feel more in control of your routine, and this can help boost productivity! Additionally, you’ll finally be able to put the blazer that’s been collecting dust in the back of your closet to good use.

Take New Headshots

What better way to jazz up your LinkedIn profile than to update your profile picture? Uploading a picture of yourself to your networking profile is a great way to boost your confidence while you search for opportunities. These are some tips from Penn for taking headshots.

Check in with Your Colleagues and Supervisor Often

One way to make sure you feel comfortable and included in your internship experience is to check in with your supervisor often. Whether you do it through an additional one–on–one Zoom meeting or a quick phone call, this extra step can go a long way in making you feel like part of the team or company you’re working for. 

Checking in with your colleagues or fellow interns is also a great way to ask questions, get to know one another, and make friends! Even if you’re working entirely remotely, the effort of reaching out to others will help you feel more grounded and can make your work experience more enjoyable.

Get Rid of Any Distractions and Practice Mindfulness! 

It’s been said many times before, but taking a break from social media and other distractions (looking at you, Netflix!) is key to maintaining a healthy mindset. Instead of looking at what others are doing and subconsciously comparing yourself to them, focus on all the good things in your life and what you have to look forward to. Personally, I like to write down three things I’m grateful for everyday—this helps remind me of how lucky I am and puts me in a positive mindset. 

It’s important to remember that work can be overwhelming sometimes. Your ambition might cause you to overwork yourself, so make sure to take breaks often! It’ll be summer during the time of your internship, after all, so enjoy yourself! Don’t forget to set down your computer every so often to go relax and have fun during your time off. 

Emily is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Biology, and she also loves reading, writing, and learning languages. She is passionate about medicine, climate change, and women's empowerment. Outside of Her Campus, Emily conducts research in a lab at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. In her free time, she can often be found playing tennis or going to concerts with friends!
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