Finding a summer internship can be extremely stressful and difficult.  For college students today, there is an enormous amount of pressure to get internship experience before graduating and heading into the real world. Although an internship does look great on a resume and can teach you valuable skills, there are other ways to grow and gain experience.

So, if for whatever reason the internship search didn’t go as planned and you have found yourself wondering how you can still utilize your summer to get ahead in your career, here are some suggestions.

  • Volunteer. It’s a great way to learn about yourself and develop skills while simultaneously giving back to the community.  Employers love volunteering because it shows productivity and humility.
  • Side projects. If you can’t find a job, make one yourself! Now is the perfect time to develop that really great app idea you’ve always had, start a travel blog, write a book, etc. Employers will like that you’ve taken such initiative.
  • Travel.  It is often said that traveling is the best learning experience you can have.  Take the time off from school to explore new places.  It will give you perspective and interesting things to talk about in job interviews.
  • Keep looking. Take this time to revamp your application materials and resume.  Then search for internship alternatives that you may not have considered before such as unpaid, virtual, or fall semester internships.  There are still options out there for you!


It is important to remember that although not getting a summer internship seems like the end of the world, there are still so many ways to grow personally and improve professionally over the summer.

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