By Emily Scott
As summer quickly approaches, many students start to look for ways that they can make the most of their time off from school. With COVID-19 still affecting many in-person opportunities, here are 5 virtual ways that you can boost your resume this summer:
Virtual Summer Immersion
A virtual summer immersion program is a great way to equip yourself with business knowledge and gain hands-on experience necessary for future internships and full-time jobs. Through a remote learning program, you will learn to work and lead with teams in a virtual world and develop higher-level skills to engage potential clients and customers online. Many summer business programs, including Vanderbilt Accelerator ® Virtual Business Immersion, transitioned to a virtual format last year to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions and will continue to be remote this year. This virtual format allows students to participate from anywhere and build confidence by mastering the challenge of effective remote teamwork. “Learning about business in a classroom is a great first step, but actually doing real work is much more impactful,” said Jon Lehman, Faculty Director of Accelerator. “By applying concepts in practice, they become much more real and relevant.”
While a few in-person internship opportunities may still be available, many companies have switched to a virtual format this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has greatly expanded the opportunities available to students that in the past may not have been able to travel to other cities to intern for companies. Learning how to work on teams in a virtual format will also be a beneficial skill to have even after the pandemic is over. Many summer internships will start interviewing and hiring during the spring, so make sure to check listings and deadlines for internships that you are interested in.
Many part-time summer jobs have also moved virtual this summer, opening up opportunities for students. While it may not be an official internship, a part-time job can add valuable experience to your resume. You will also learn skills such as time management, teamwork, and customer service, which can be applied to an internship or future job. College career centers are a great way to stay informed of potential job opportunities, and they can also provide coaching on resume writing and interviewing to prepare you for the job.
Building relationships with industry professionals is highly beneficial to your future career. Networking will allow you to build on your communication skills, learn more about industries you are interested in, and meet potential mentors. Many students don’t know where to start when it comes to networking, so Lehman suggests reaching out to family members, friends, and school alumni, who can all be helpful resources. “It’s best to try to connect through someone who has a personal connection to whomever you are trying to reach,” he advised.
Since classes are out, summer is a great time to learn new programs and earn certifications that will be needed for future jobs and internships. Students should consider using the break to learn programs such as Microsoft Excel, Adobe Photoshop, or Google Analytics. Several of these certifications are available for free online and are a great way to boost your resume and learn valuable skills that will come in handy in the workplace.