Pursuing Career Experiences during COVID-19

Pursuing Career Experiences & Skills During COVID-19

Pursuing Career Experiences & Skills During COVID-19
 

The academic year is an excellent time to pursue career connections, experiences and skills, and COVID-19 offers opportunities for you to have an impact in the community and help solve problems in our society. We  have provided a list of resume worthy experiences for you to consider below. Please take advantage of the virtual resources that the UD Career Center has to offer and continue to allow your career community career counselor to support you along the way. Schedule a virtual or phone appointment through Handshake.

This is an unprecedented time, and how you spend your academic year will be unique for you and based on your personal circumstances. You will have your own story to tell. Consider when you are connecting with future employers or graduate programs the kind of narrative you want to tell about your experiences during the 2020-2021 academic year. 

For those with the capacity to pursue professional growth, work or skill development, employers will understand if you were not able to complete an internship, but they will look for ways that you adapted to this new environment and found ways to fill the gap and make a positive impact personally, within an organization or in support of your community. 

Even during this time of uncertainty, there are certain growth opportunities to consider that are within your control: 

  • Prepare for career opportunities: build and update your online presence, revise your professional documents (resumes and CVs) and prepare for future interviews.

  • Grow your professional network to learn about career fields, seek out opportunities and find out what skills you should develop.  

  • Engage in the search for internships, jobs, gigs and volunteer experiences, or launch an independent project or business venture.

  • Pursue new skills and knowledge through free online courses.

  • Polish your online presence: Now is the time to focus on your online presence to ensure you present yourself effectively to employers and professionals. 

    • Digital brand: This is who you are perceived to be online. Ensure that you have fully completed profiles on both Handshake and LinkedIn. Make sure to express your skills and interests for potential employers to see.

    • Digital shadow: Your shadow is what people find out about you when searching online. Google yourself and consider setting all social media accounts to private, reviewing profile pictures and having a friend or family member assess your presence. 

    • Digital engagement: What are you commenting on? Who are you following? How are you engaging in your professional platforms?

  • Create or revise your resume or CV, and meet with UD career counselors (schedule through Handshake) for feedback.

  • Practice interviewing: Prepare for your next meeting with an employer. The Career Center provides you free access to Big Interview, an online service which allows the opportunity to practice virtual interviews with hundreds of questions and options.
  • Candor is offering daily office hours with a variety of employer recruiters on a range of career topics such as interviewing, resumes and how to get hired.  

UD alumni can help you learn about pathways into jobs and build a professional network that will support you long after graduation from UD. There are a number of opportunities to engage with Blue Hens this summer who can offer advice, serve as a connector for job and internship opportunities and provide informational interviews:

  • Virtual Job Shadow Program: Offered during Winter Session, this virtual job shadowing program allows students to learn more about various professions, receive career-related advice and reflect on the ways in which their education can prepare them for life after college by conducting a 1:1 virtual information interview with an employer or alum.

  • UD Career Acceleration Network (UD CAN): An online platform that connects UD students with alumni through the ability to send messages and set up virtual meetings for opportunities to explore career paths, prepare for the workplace and establish new connections in their network. 

  • UD’s LinkedIn page: Access more than 120,000 alumni to create meaningful professional connections. Search by industry, job function, skill set, location and employer name, and send personalized connection requests. Remember to be polite and briefly explain your reasons for wanting to connect!

  • Handshake’s Peer Messaging: Connect with students at UD and other universities. Search for students and alumni based on attributes like previous employers, student organizations or major.

Employers continue to hire students for part and full-time opportunities during the academic year, and there are a host of resources to connect you with job, internship and gig opportunities. Many students find work during the year in local businesses. These experiences can refine your interpersonal skills and demonstrate your work ethic. While social distancing may limit some of these opportunities, use your network (family, friends, neighbors, etc.) to ask who is hiring. Also consider contacting local temporary staffing agencies.

 

  • Handshake: Thousands of new job and internship opportunities are posted each month by recruiters looking to hire students and alumni from UD.
  • Winter Term Internship Program: Apply for three- to five-week internships offered by UD alumni and employers over Winter Session.
  • Parker Dewey: Find virtual micro-internships (short-term, project-based work) at a variety of organizations. 
  • Covintern is a crowdsourced list of remote internship opportunities created by a student at Indiana University.
  • QuadJobs: See postings for flexible pre-professional work opportunities for college students.

  • Internships.com: Search an aggregator of internship experiences.

  • CareerShift: Explore a database of job and internship opportunities, along with alumni and organizational contact information for networking.

  • Industry Specific Job & Internship Posting Sites: View the sites posted in your career communities of interest.

  • WayUp: Use this resource of job and internship opportunities with a focus on entry-level positions.

  • Idealist: Hunt for internship opportunities with nonprofit organizations.

  • Translation Jobs: Look for opportunities in translation, interpretation, localization, online teaching and more. 

  • Remote Job Sites: Find websites that list remote work opportunities.

If you are interested in participating in research during the academic year, you can get involved by volunteering on a research project or enrolling in an independent study. Volunteering at the start of a project can help you to get a sense of whether or not you are really interested in a particular project, and you can then work more fully on it in the future as an independent study or Senior Thesis.

  • Register for an independent study in your major. Talk with your academic adviser to see if the credits will count toward your major, or to at least ensure that doing this won’t create any problems with the number of credits that can be counted for your major.

  • Lauren Barsky can register you for Undergraduate Research UNIV 368/468. The course number difference relates to your year (juniors are 368, seniors are 468). Talk with your faculty mentor about what you’ll be doing before you register. (Note:  you must already know and have gotten verbal permission from your faculty mentor before choosing this option.) As a reminder, taking UNIV 368 or 468 for at least three credits also fulfills the DLE requirement.

At the end of the semester, your faculty mentor will give you a letter grade for this course, even if you take it for zero credits.

Nonprofits, particularly service-focused organizations, are always in need of assistance. Many serve constituents or have themselves been directly impacted by COVID-19. 


Find volunteer experiences, including COVID-19 and virtual options

The sites below host thousands of unique virtual and in-person, long-term and short-term volunteer opportunities.

 

 

National and local organizations working directly on racial equity:

 

Find a nonprofit for direct outreach

Search the sites below and contact nonprofit organizations directly to work on projects or support their services. Share the skills you can provide them such as data input, evaluation and research on a program, translation and interpretation, outreach to donors, social media, etc.

 

Organizations recruiting a large volunteer base

It is an election year, which means there are ample opportunities to get involved in political campaigns and support issues that matter to you. Volunteer or work for a local, state or national candidate, a single issue organization or a political party. Almost all campaigns and organizations will have information on their website with ways that you can get involved. Some of the benefits of volunteering/working include:

  • Experience in fundraising, negotiating, direct marketing, event planning, cold calling, graphic design, database management, public relations and more

  • Build knowledge of current affairs

  • Gain networking opportunities and professional contacts


The University of Delaware Biden Institute has developed a resource list for UD students interested in getting involved in politics and policy:   

Have an idea to explore or a problem to solve? University of Delaware’s Horn Entrepreneurship is the creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement at UD. Their enrichment programs elevate the college experience by welcoming students into a like-minded community and supporting their acquisition of valuable skills, experiences and connections outside of the classroom.

 

A number of online skill and knowledge building online sites are offering free access or trials during COVID-19. These sites provide excellent opportunities to expand your career-ready skills and knowledge. 

 

  • InsideSherpa offers self-paced programs to build career skills and provide a simulation of the work done at a variety of companies.
  • Coursera and EdX: Online learning platforms in which students can foster and refine their career readiness by taking flexible online skill-development classes.  
  • LinkedIn Learning: Sign up for a 30-day free trial to access more than 15,000 expert-led, online courses and video tutorials to learn business, creative and technology skills to achieve your personal and professional goals.

  • Khan Academy: Online training in computing, coding, finance, economics, entrepreneurship, LSAT, MCAT and GMAT.

  • Codecademy: Access to 25 free introductory coding language and technology courses.
  • Skillshare: Sign up for a two-month free premium account and access thousands of free 30 to 90-minute classes for your career, passions and everything in between.

We are giving our best effort to provide you with continued opportunities to build new skills, gain experience and network with alumni and potential employers. Please take advantage of the virtual resources the UD Career Center offers and allow your career community counselor to support you by scheduling a virtual or phone appointment through Handshake.

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E-mail: udcareers@udel.edu
Phone: (302) 831-2392
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