A dad reached out that his son Jonathan is crushed because he doesn’t have an internship this summer. Jonathan spent his junior year focused on his rigorous academics at a competitive university and feels like he is the only one left without an opportunity. Many of his peers locked in their summer internships early, but his late efforts this spring did not convert into offers.  

The dad asks “Can you help him? How will he land a job after graduation if he does not have an internship this summer?

Deep breaths everyone.

Would it be helpful to have an internship? Yes.

Is it a requirement to land a job after graduation? Not necessarily.

We have learned that companies like to see real-world or practical experience from a candidate. It shows that the grad has learned how to manage in the workplace, deal with unexpected challenges, or handle mundane responsibilities.

However, if your student does not have an internship, they need a strategy to close the gap between themselves and other candidates. Here are some ideas for your student on how to move forward and maximize their time this summer:

  1. Micro-Internships
  2. Virtual Experiences
  3. Certifications/Boot Camps
  4. Part-time Jobs
  5. Job Shadow
  6. Network


  1. Micro-Internships. This is a way for employers to access college students in the workplace. Companies have a backload of work they need help with that may require little training i.e., creating social media content, financial analysis, lead generation, market research. And these work experiences could happen any time, or over a 1-2 week period, when a candidate has extra capacity. Parker Dewey offers micro internships geared toward college students.
  2. Virtual Experiences. The Forage offers free virtual experiences or job simulations that enable young job seekers to build real-life skills with a window into the company and a preview of their day-to-day responsibilities. These simulations and training segments are free and provide a certification specific to that company upon completion. This can be an access point to connect with a desired company.
  3. Certifications/Boot-Camps. Enhanced learning beyond the classroom can make a difference in figuring out a career path or gaining an edge in landing a desired job.  Many companies are looking for certifications in areas that enhance classroom learning. Students can focus on areas such as Project Management, Business Analyst, Supply Chain, Marketing, etc. 
  4. Part-time jobs. Delivering pizza or scooping ice cream may not be a formal internship but a young adult will learn how to deal with difficult customers or manage cash flow. Help them realize that these experiences are valuable in the real world.
  5. Job Shadow. Do you or your student know someone with an interesting job and wants to learn more about it? Students can shadow or follow a professional during their workday to learn more about their work. The knowledge can be invaluable and can lead to an actual role.
  6. Network. The more students and grads can network with recent alumni or those that have the job they want, they will have a better understanding of what skills are needed to be successful in the workplace. More importantly, these connections can lead to internships and job opportunities.

As for Jonathan, he started networking with fellow alumni and is making progress with new connections. He may just get the internship after all.

If your student is looking for help in seeking out an internship or if your grad needs help with the job search, we are now accepting registrations for our next Fast-Start Group Coaching program. Contact us for a Complimentary Consultation or call 973-577-6161 to learn more.