The COVID-19 pandemic altered the job market like no other crisis that came before it. Like full-time professional positions, the number of available internships has decreased dramatically over the last year. Many students are struggling to find internships for the summer season. Thankfully, multiple non-profits and organizations have stepped up to create fantastic remote opportunities for willing students. Here are three virtual summer opportunities to consider applying to instead of summer internships.
Covalent, formerly known as the COVID-19 Business Program, is a seasonal virtual fellowship program that connects college students with small businesses and mentors.
Co-founders Walker Post and Alex Littleton founded the program in April 2020 after seeing a surge of students posting about cancelled internships on LinkedIn. At the same time, they noticed their favorite restaurants, stores and small businesses close – many of them forever – due to social distancing measures. The two University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign alumni came up with the ingenious idea of pairing prospective interns with small businesses in need of extra support during the start of the pandemic.
Since Covalent’s founding, the organization has worked with 98 fellows, 69 small businesses and 139 mentors. Students who participate in the program walk away with robust portfolios and skills in social media marketing, search engine optimization, website development and more. Mentors work with big-name companies including Google, Apple and Deloitte among many others.
Applications for Covalent’s summer 2021 cohort close in a week from now on April 26, so apply soon if you’re interested!
The DeBruce Foundation is another non-profit organization aimed at connecting students to virtual job opportunities.
The DeBruce Foundation created its vShip program after seeing a sharp decrease in the number of summer internship and job opportunities to students and recent graduates at the height of the pandemic last year. The Foundation’s vShip program prompts students to take a unique skills assessment called the Agile Work Profiler to define their interests and strengths, which then connects them to remote opportunities that match their profile.
The vShip Experience also includes the option for small businesses to look through interns who allow the Foundation to publicize their profiles.
If you are unable to take on a full-length internship, micro-internships are also a viable option. Parker Dewey is an organization that connects recent graduates and current students to short-term, paid, professional assignments in place of long-term commitments.
Micro-internships opportunities are posted by small businesses and large companies alike. Projects typically prompt candidates to complete tasks like creating social media calendars, writing a set of blog posts about a given subject or conducting market research. To apply, prospective applicants should prepare samples of their work along with statements as to why they think they are a good fit for a given role in advance.
Even if you weren’t able to find a summer internship this year, there are plenty of other ways to build your network and acquire crucial job skills remotely.