Due to COVID-19 we know many of you have lost your summer opportunity whether that was a job, internship, research, or volunteer experience. We know this loss is difficult and complicated because it may have put you in financial hardship, interrupted progress towards your academic goals, disrupted your career advancement, and just left you with nothing to do this summer. That is a lot.
We recommend taking some time to focus on self-care. Loss of a job or internship is stressful because of the loss of income and also because of the loss of sense of purpose and progress towards career and academic goals. Here are our top 10 favorite ways to practice self-care this summer:
- Create a gratitude list and jot down a list of things you are grateful for.
- Get out into nature for a short walk, bike ride, or find a quiet place to sit and let your mind wander.
- Meditate – Taking a few minutes to clear your mind of various stressors can be a great way to help you improve your focus and mental health.
- Read your favorite book, watch your favorite movie, or listen to your favorite album, or podcast.
- Dedicate time to a hobby (or find a new one) like drawing, dancing, writing, cooking – anything you can enjoy doing without feeling stressed.
- Get enough sleep – Studies show getting quality sleep on a regular basis can help improve all sorts of issues, from your blood sugar to your workouts.
- Watch a funny video – laughter can increase serotonin levels.
- Text or call a friend, family member, or loved one to have a conversation.
- Exercise – Research shows that exercise can relieve stress, improve your mood, and help you sleep better.
- Spend an hour technology free.
We encourage you to visit the Center for Wellness and Counseling’s site for additional self-care resources.
The Strommen Career and Internship Center is here to support you no matter the reason you lost a summer opportunity and we encourage you to make an appointment with us on Handshake and check out the resources available on our Community Moodle site.
LinkedIn is the largest business-oriented networking website geared specifically towards professionals. It has over 500 million members, in over 200 countries. According to Rycraft (2018), “A professionally written LinkedIn profile allows you to create an online professional brand which can help open doors to opportunities and networks that you may not have been aware of without the help of social media.” (para. 1).
LinkedIn offers students opportunities for professional networking, connecting, and job searching. In addition, companies use LinkedIn for recruiting and sharing company information with prospective employees. Use the Strommen Career and Internship Center’s LinkedIn Profile Checklist to get started:
- Photo: It doesn’t have to be fancy. Take the photo in front of a plain background, wear a nice shirt, and don’t forget to smile!
- Headline: Tell people what you’re excited about now and the cool things you want to do in the future.
- Summary: Describe what motivates you, what you’re skilled at, and what’s next.
- Experience: List the jobs you’ve held (even if they were part-time), along with what you accomplished at each. Be sure to include photos and videos from your work!
- Organizations: Have you joined any clubs or participated in any activities at Augsburg University or external of Augsburg? Describe what you did with each organization.
- Education: Starting with college, list all the educational experiences you’ve had – including summer programs.
- Volunteer Experience and Causes: Even if you weren’t paid for a job, list it! Employers and graduate admissions officers often see volunteer experience as just as valuable as paid work.
- Skills and Experience: Add at least five key skills – and then your connections can endorse you for the things you’re best at.
- Honors and Awards: If you earned an honor/award in or out of school, share it!
- Courses: List the classes that show off the skills and interests you’re most excited about.
- Projects: Whether you led a team assignment in school or built an app on your own, talk about what you did and how you did it.
- Recommendations: Ask managers, professors, or classmates who’ve worked with you closely to write a professional recommendation on your behalf. This gives extra credibility to your strengths and skills.
Whether you’re creating your LinkedIn profile for the first time or updating your LinkedIn profile, the Strommen Team is here to help! Schedule an appointment with a career coach in Handshake or email firstname.lastname@example.org. A recording of the wildly successful “Setting Up Your LInkedIn for Success” webinar is also available for viewing on our Strommen Career and Internship Center Moodle Community Site.
It is important to build your skills and knowledge even if you are not able to get a job or internship over the summer. Learn how to code, write short stories, or join a professional network. Whatever you decide to do this summer it will be important that you are able to articulate what you did, learned, and developed to future employers. When they look at your resume they may ask you “what did you do during the 2020 COVID-19 summer?”, be sure to have an answer ready for them.
Here are the Strommen Career & Internship Center’s top recommendations for self-directed and directed learning this summer:
- Read – history, biographies, local authors, or check out Business Insider’s list of 100 books everyone should read in their lifetime. You could even consider starting a virtual book club.
- Focused Reading – Research and read the books and journals suggested that everyone in your profession should read, ask faculty members for their recommendations.
- Explore your creative side – through photography, writing, sewing, knitting, website design, painting, baking, cooking, music, etc.
- Start a blog or podcast – Improve your oral and written communication skills, explore topics of interest, partner with a friend or try it out on your own
- Volunteer – Consider volunteering virtually with Catchafire. Catchafire strengthens the social good sector by matching professionals who want to donate their time with nonprofits who need their skills.
- Upgrade to a trial month of LinkedIn Premium and enjoy 30 days of free learning courses
- Meetup.com – Join a local group to meet people, try something new, or do more of what you love.
- Look for free webinars and MOOCs
If you have questions or need help, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Strommen team. You can always make an appointment with our coaches on Handshake and you can also email email@example.com.
Networking is the ongoing process of building professional connections. Career professionals report that up to 75 percent of job openings are never advertised, therefore, networking is a crucial element to job searching.
Plain and simple, the purpose of networking is to build relationships, connect with people in your field of interest, and an effective way to find job and internship opportunities. Networking can happen in a casual environment, a professional setting or at formally-structured networking events.
Opportunities to Network include:
- Social media – We suggest creating a LinkedIn profile to seek out individuals you are connected to who are in positions or companies you are interested in exploring.
- Informational interviews
- Job Shadowing
- Chamber of Commerce events
- Professional organization meetings and conferences
- Classroom speakers
- Current employers, supervisors, and colleagues
- Job and internship fairs
- Mentoring groups (on-campus or community-based)
- The more you network, the better your chances of hearing about job openings.
- Present yourself professionally in appearance, language, and interactions.
- Prepare a personal introduction or elevator pitch which includes your name, major, year in school, interest areas, and general career goals.
- Develop a list of general questions to ask about an individual’s job, career path, and place of employment.
- Maintain an organized list of contacts.
- Send a thank you note to those who provide information and referrals within 24 hours.
Check out our events page in Handshake to find and register for upcoming opportunities to network.
Because of COVID-19 we know many of you have lost your summer opportunity whether that was a job, internship, research, or volunteer experience. We know this loss is difficult and complicated because it may have put you in financial hardship, interrupted progress towards your academic goals, disrupted your career advancement, and just left you with nothing to do this summer. That is a lot.
The Strommen Center is here to support you no matter the reason you lost a summer opportunity and we encourage you to make an appointment with us on Handshake and check out our new resources on our Community Moodle site.
Here are 3 tips to get you started in a new direction:
- Be active and flexible in their job and internship search. Even though you might be seeing posts about how few new positions are being posted, opportunities are available but they might not be your first choice. Consider broadening your idea of what you want to gain from a summer experience and how it could help you advance your goals and make you more competitive for your next job offer. This could be focusing on positions that offer you the opportunity to develop your interpersonal skills or learn a new technical skill. Check out Augsburg.CareerShift.com to search for jobs and internships
- Continue to learn and develop skills even if you are not able to get a job or internship over the summer. Learn how to code, write short stories, or join a professional network. Whatever you decide to do this summer it will be important that you are able to articulate what you did, learned, and developed to future employers. When they look at your resume they may ask you “what did you do during the 2020 COVID-19 summer?”, be sure to have an answer ready for them.
- Focus on self-care. Loss of a job or internship is stressful because of the loss of income and also because of the loss of sense of purpose and progress towards career and academic goals. Visit the Center for Wellness and Counseling’s site for resources.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Strommen team if you have questions or need help. You can always make an appointment with our coaches on Handshake and you can also email Careers@Augsburg.edu.