The past few months have been a whirlwind. Your spring break trip cancelled, all your classes moved online, and now summer internships are naturally on the chopping block. You’ve heard the dire news about the future job market constricting as we prepare for what may well be a recession that will make 2008 seem like a practice run. Everything just feels a bit shaky and uncertain. But in times like these, for every door that closes perhaps you should open a window—or maybe just a new tab in your browser.

Besides your actual degree, internships are arguably the most critical tool you have for career building early on. In seasons of great competition, employers look at applicants’ involvement in internships as a differentiator. Internships demonstrate a drive to succeed and an inherent desire to apply oneself in the real world. The tangible experiences that they provide serve to focus your skills in ways that are nearly impossible within the standard classroom.

So what does internship in the time of Covid-19 look like? Well, obviously the whole world is staying and working from home for the foreseeable future, and many summer internships are cancelled. The responsible thing to do right now is hunker down and let the world heal. But that does not mean you should sit idle and upload TickTock videos while the summer passes.

The next wave of industry leadership will consist of those who decided to turn off Netflix in 2020, and instead enlist in summer online bootcamps that give real-world experience.

The best bootcamps have a few things in common. Keep an eye out for the following when choosing one.


1. They are interactive and social


It is safe to assume we’re all feeling a bit disconnected from friends, family, and our communities these past few weeks. One thing these summer online bootcamps offer in spades is real human interaction, as they are designed for team participation toward common objectives. This means a great deal of collaboration with peers and fellow students that simply does not exist anywhere else at this time.

And don’t forget, the interactive aspect of these bootcamps makes you a much more marketable potential hire. Regardless of your prospective field, developing an ability to work alongside fellow stakeholders on projects is not only going to help you land a job, it will also help you keep one. It is wise to get yourself a head start now wherever you can find the opportunity.

Additionally, you’ll acquire a nascent professional community. You will develop a basic network you can incorporate into your career down the road.

You may have heard this axiom, “Work hard, be nice to people, and amazing things will happen.” You may be surprised how relationships, connections, and impressions made during these early years will pave the roads for you to travel in the next ten or twenty years of your career.

As jobs become available again, you’ll not only have a solid resume, but a network of peers who know from true experience just how much of a pleasure you are to work with.


2. They offer the same skills as your cancelled internship


Just like traditional internships, summer online bootcamps get students involved in real world situations to solve tangible problems with actual stakes. Helping real businesses solve complex issues is solid gold on a resume for obvious reasons. Being able to showcase not only who you worked for but also that you were able to accomplish specific tasks during these projects will speak volumes to those hiring when the time comes.


3. They are affordable and flexible


On par with what you would expect to pay for any other summer course, the cost should be a negligible part of your consideration. These bootcamps will pay for themselves many times over when you realize the edge you will have on the competition in the future job market.

In fact, you would do well to consider this expense more essential than any other extracurricular cost you might contemplate in your collegiate years. The question to ask is not whether you can afford to enroll but if you can afford not to. And if that isn’t enough to convince you, consider comparing this cost to what you would have to spend to move yourself across the country in order to participate in a more traditional internship.

On that note, flexibility is the name of the game with these bootcamps. Once objectives are established, it is easy to construct your own schedule and work in your own way (needless to mention in the comfort of your own home). To this end, 1:1 tutoring is also available to ensure you get everything you need out of the program.


Get Started Now


So what are you waiting for? Here is an example of a summer online bootcamp from Loyola University that focuses on data analysis and data analytics. It’s remote, relevant, inexpensive and can give you the same skills, or better, than you would have gotten if your summer internship wasn’t cancelled.