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    Making the Most of Your Time

    Use this time to your advantage

    How can I use this time productively?

    Please Note: If you hope to transfer any credit from other institutions to Colorado College, you must provide documentation and a formal request to the Office of the Vice Provost before registering for the course. As with all questions regarding transferring credit, these are determined on a case-by-case basis and require complete documentation from the credit bearing institution.

    When life disrupts your work/life schedule or near-future plans, consider how you might seize the opportunity for more self-directed learning and professional development. Take time to review essential career competencies and assess your skills gap. Collect job descriptions and identify skills and qualifications that would enhance your application.

    Upskilling is the workplace trend of providing continuous learning and skill development for employees. Skills and knowledge gaps are especially likely if you have had little in the way of formal education and hands-on experience to prepare for desired roles. You can upskill at any time by assessing your skill gaps and pursuing training and development opportunities.

    It is particularly critical to develop technical skills now. The pandemic is going to change the world of work as we know it. More employers may do remote work for cost savings and/or need additional technical skills to deliver their products and services as a result of the disruption of serving clients and customers in person as we know it.

    Use this time to learn new skills like photography, how to code, or even another language.

    Further your knowledge of how to use specific software programs like Microsoft Office Excel or Adobe Photoshop.

    Mango Languages or Duolingo - learn another language

    Google Analytics Academy - learn to track and measure data

    • Coursera: Amazing courses in all kinds of fields, from professional development to psychology, history, and literature—all created and taught by professors at top institutions across the globe.
    • edX: Offers anyone, anywhere the chance to take university classes in various departments—and get certified. Some of their big partners include Harvard, Berkeley, Dartmouth, Georgetown, and the University of Chicago (and that’s not all!).
    • MOOC.org: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are free online courses available for anyone to enroll and learn for a variety of reasons, from career development and supplemental learning to corporate eLearning & training.
    • Udacity: Udacity focuses on software development, offering free courses in programming, data science, and web development. The website also offers a nanodegree program for individuals who want to master a skill set or pursue a full-time career in tech.
    • Udemy: Offerings on Udemy range from completely free courses taught by experts, professors, entrepreneurs, and professionals, to frequent discounts and class specials. In addition to classes in tech, business, and marketing, you can also explore options in productivity, health, hobbies, and lifestyle.
    • FutureLearn: Free classes taught by universities and special organizations. Its big topics are business and management, creative arts, law, health, politics, science, digital skills, sports and leisure, and teaching.
    • Academic Earth: If you’re looking solely for academic classes, this website offers free courses in the arts, science, humanities, economics, computer science, and more.
    • ALISON: A large range of free, comprehensive classes on technology, languages, science, financial literacy, personal and soft skills, entrepreneurship, and then some.
    • LearnSmart: Career-oriented training for IT, security, project management, HR and business.
    • Codecademy: Codecademy teaches how to code for free. It covers all kinds of programming, including JavaScript, Ruby, HTML, CSS, and Python.
    • LinkedIn Learning: Previously Lynda.com, LinkedIn acquired this subscription-based learning platform with thousands of courses in business, design, art, education, and tech. Check with your local public library to see if they offer free access to library card holders.
    • General Assembly: Both online and in-person classes, as well as full-time and part-time options. It focuses mainly on digital skills, covering subjects such as digital marketing, iOS and Android development, data analytics, and JavaScript.
    • Skillshare: “Bite-sized” classes to learners who only have 15 minutes a day. It has more than 500 free classes and several thousand premium classes to choose from in topics such as film, writing, tech, lifestyle, and more. 
    • PluralSight: After subscribing to Pluralsight (or using its free trial), you’ll be able to explore classes in software, 3D development, VFX, design, game design, web design, and CAD software.
    • Adobe TV: Not sure how to use Photoshop or InDesign? Don’t worry, Adobe TV will walk you through all its programs with tutorials, manuals, and more.
    • Class Central: Personalize your class search by indicating your interests and receive recommended options from Coursera, edX, and other forums to find what best suits your needs.
    • freeCodeCamp

     

    Complete an Industry Specific Project. Here are some ideas:

    Competitive Business and Technology 

    • Find an innovation hub/incubator group meeting in your local area and join in, perhaps just as a view to begin. Often these are supported by Chambers of Commerce. Bring ideas of your own, or offer to help others work on their ventures.

    • Join a Hack-a-Thon. These are often over a weekend, and connect young professionals together to form teams to create solutions to pressing problems.

    Read classic business books. There are many lists out there tailored to specific areas of business. Here are a few examples of books with broad relevance:

    • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey.

    • Outliers - The Story of Success (2008) by Malcolm Gladwell

    • In Business As In Life - You Don’t Get What You Deserve, You Get What You Negotiate (1996) by Chester L. Karrass

    • The 4-Hour Workweek (2007) by Tim Ferriss 

    • The Art of Strategy (1988) by R.L. Wing

    • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

    • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't by James C. Collins.

    • Volunteer at a local not for profit providing support for food, housing, healthcare, employment or other needs. Ask to not only serve clients directly (if allowed) but also help in administration with social media, planning or other business-related support. Watch and experience how they operate, and glean perspective on how to run a lean organization.

    Computer Science 

    • Employers are always looking for examples of your work. A great way to improve your skills when learning to code is by solving coding challenges. Solving different types of challenges and puzzles can help you become a better problem solver, learn the intricacies of a programming language, prepare for job interviews, learn new algorithms, and more. There are many ways to work contribute to existing code projects, engage in coding challenges, and design and record your own projects. 

    Develop and/or contribute to code: 

    • GITHUB – Development platform with open source code. You can help with others projects or get help on your own. GITHUB also has a learning lab with tutorials.

    Interested in Data Science? 

    • Grow your data science skills by competing in Kaggle’s exciting competitions. Get started on their Documentation page. You can also learn the coding language of Data Science with their free courses. Common competitions are full-scale machine learning challenges which pose difficult, generally commercially-purposed prediction problems. For example, past featured competitions have included:

     

    Whether you’re an expert in the field or a complete novice, these competitions are a valuable opportunity to learn skills and techniques from the very best in the field.

    Finance 

     

    Consulting 

     

    Arts, Communications, and Media

    Journalism:

    • Write and record. Do your research, interview individuals, write, blog, create podcasts, create a website, complete a paid micro-internship to develop your writing portfolio

    Advertising:

    • If you would like to be a copywriter or work on the design side of the house, you can use this time to work on developing your portfolio.  

    • Copywriters use ad portfolios to show their best writing work, from campaigns to billboards to magazine print ads to radio copy. While copywriting is a less visual art form than other creative industry jobs (for instance, designing), it’s still vital to have a variety of writing samples in a portfolio so that you can easily show potential employers what you can do. It’s also a worthwhile idea to include examples of your writing process, including how your messaging changed from the beginning of the project to the end.

    • If you want to be a Graphic designer create a portfolio to present your best design work—including print design, digital design, web design, typography, logo design, and product design. The best design portfolios showcase not only your design skills but also your design process—including mockups of projects to show how you go from initial idea to finished product. When building your graphic design portfolio website, use a unique design or unique approach to further showcase your design skills.

    Interested in Museum Work?

     

    Research – Scientific, Humanities +

    • Zooniverse Research - enables everyone to take part in real cutting-edge research in many fields across the sciences, humanities, and more. The Zooniverse creates opportunities for you to unlock answers and contribute to real discoveries.

    • Amnesty International Decoder Program - an innovative platform for volunteers around the world to use their computers or phones to help our researchers sift through pictures, information and documents 

    Research competitions are another common type of competition on Kaggle. Research competitions feature problems which are more experimental than featured competition problems. For example, some past research competitions have included:

     

     

    Careers for the Common Good: Community Organizations/Non-Profits, Public Policy, Government and Law

    • Catchafire - you now have access to flexible, virtual volunteer engagements that exercise your skills and support causes you hold dear. With your unique talents, you can support positive change – all while building your resume & gaining references in the process.

    • Volunteer Match - features virtual and on-site volunteer opportunities to aid communities impacted by COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Thousands of volunteers like you are needed daily. Check back often to find ways you can help during these difficult times.

    • Idealist- search hundreds of virtual or remote volunteering opportunities.

    • Interested in a career in counseling? Serve as a Crisis Text Line Volunteer, where you answer texts from people in crisis, bringing them from a hot moment to a cool calm through active listening, collaborative problem solving, and safety planning

    How do I prepare for the job market without an internship?

    You can continue to develop your skills and add wealth to your resume even if you can’t participate in an internship or you feel trapped at home because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    In addition to keeping up with your online classes, you can participate in online adventures.

    Here are some suggestions: 

    • Contact professors in your major and volunteer to help with research. Research work may lead you to an area you’re most interested in pursuing in the job market.
    • Create a website. Take an online course in HTML or use one of the free website builders. Then, showcase your portfolio on your website and include the URL on your resume for potential employers.
    • Volunteer Virtually. DoSomething.org offers nine places to volunteer without leaving your home. Volunteer work offers the opportunity to learn new skills and make new workforce connections, plus, employers look for volunteer work on your resume. 
    • Call on alumni. Contact the career center for the names and contact information for alumni in the field you’re interested in pursuing. Call to do informational interviews and to start building your professional network.
    • Add to your skills by learning a new language. The ability to speak a second or third language is invaluable in a global workforce. According to U.S. Foreign Service Institute research, it takes 480 hours to reach basic fluency in a Western European language, and 720 hours for more difficult languages. Some websites offer language lessons for free. 
    • Pursue freelance projects and “micro internships”… Micro-Internships are short-term, paid, professional assignments that are similar to those given to new hires or interns. These projects enable college students, graduate students, and recent college graduates to demonstrate skills, explore career paths, and build their networks as they seek the right full-time role. Unlike traditional internships, Micro-Internships can take place year-round, typically range from 5 to 40 hours of work, and projects are due between one week and one month after kick-off. Micro-Internships are used by companies ranging from those in the

    Fortune 100 to emerging start-ups, and go across departments including sales, marketing, technology, HR, and finance. One site to explore Micro-Internships is Parker Dewey:

    Search for Opportunities

    How do I begin my job/internship search? 

    Start with a question: where you would want to be if COVID-19 hadn’t happened? Your first job is all about learning on the job. Think about what skills you want to do develop, what knowledge you want to gain, the type of people with which you would like to work. If you aren’t sure and need a place to start, try taking the PathwayU assessments. You can use free resources to enhance your skill set now, for example: Codecademy, Udacity, Coursera.

    Stay connected. Now is the time to cultivate your network. You have probably heard that often times opportunities are found through personal connections or "networking." Research has shown that “weak ties” or “acquaintances” are the greatest asset to your job/internship search. There are many resources to help you grow your network. For the Colorado College Community, you can use TigerLink to connect with alumni and parents. LinkedIn is a great resource for not only connecting with alumni, but also engaging with industry communities called “groups”. We encourage you to make this a part of your daily routine. Reach out to at least one person a day.

    Take Action. It is more important than ever when your professional plans and career launch strategies will likely have to change, to establish a plan and work your plan.

    Make a plan. (And be flexible.)  Students have shared they are finding far less structure in their days. We encourage you to create a job or internship search activity plan for the week. Identify what you will accomplish each day and how much time you will invest. Here is a good starting place.

    Here is a template to make a weekly search plan.

    Here is a template to keep track of job postings.

    Find out who is hiring. You will still need to be practical and identify who is hiring. These sites are crowdsourced information that can help in the process of identifying who is hiring and who has cancelled opportunities:

    Polish your application and networking materials. Now is a great time to work on making your application and networking materials shine. Use these resources for your LinkedIn profile, Resume, and Cover Letter. Once completed, schedule an appointment with a Career Coach to review and gather advice. It can also be helpful to get feedback from alumni, parents, and other professionals in your industry of choice. Two great resources to connect with these individuals include TigerLink and LinkedIn.

    Apply to posted opportunities. Good news: Despite all of the bad news you hear, many organizations are still hiring for internships and jobs! If your immediate goal is an internship or post-grad job, you should certainly stay the course. Make looking for and applying to opportunities a part of your daily routine. Especially during this time, we are seeing listings that are posted for less than 24 hours. Set up notifications on your job/internship boards of choice and check your email daily.

    Keep up conversations with your connections and here are a few of the sites the Career Center Team have found new opportunities and updates posted daily:

    Sites posting virtual/remote opportunities:

    Some companies have a history of hiring for virtual opportunities and other companies are transitioning to remote work. Here are a few sites we have identified that cater towards virtual or remote opportunities. 

    Email Template: Reaching out to an employer about a job you already submitted an application for.
    Email Template: Reaching out to an employer about a job that was posted pre-COVID.

    Should I apply for remote jobs/ internships?

    While traditional face-to-face, on-site internships and entry-level positions have been dramatically reduced for the current hiring cycle, remote work is emerging as a viable solution t o onboard new team members and provide students with internship opportunities. 

    Many postsecondary institutions and employers around the country (and the world) are advising their students to reconsider in-person internships (if they remain an option), and to postpone their internships or to begin planning for remote internship assignments. While it appears that some firms and organizations are waiting to make decisions, it is likely that internships will increasingly move online.

    In short, we would like to encourage you to consider searching for remote internships in addition to in person opportunities. Keeping an open mind will best equip you to learn, develop remote-work competencies and experience, while maintaining social distancing. If you are currently abroad, we encourage you to search for regional opportunities as the legality of remote work can be tricky. If you are abroad and are unsure where to begin, schedule an appointment with a Career Coach to get started.

    Here is a great starting place: 

    Applying for work during COVID-19? Here’s what you need to know:

    • Be patient with companies – they might be trying to figure out next steps. They aren’t just ignoring you. A lot goes into the decisions and planning that needs to take place before any organization moves forward. They really want to do what is best for everyone at every step of this process.
    • While you’re waitingfollow organizations of interest to “hear” what is happening as information goes live. You can follow them on all platforms they are active on, including: Instagram, LinkedIn, and even Twitter!
    • Get active in industries of interest and on platforms such as LinkedIn. Set up "Job Alerts” to get job recommendations based on your profile, interests and recent searches. Jobs are being posted daily with very quick application deadlines. So check daily and set up these notifications.
    • Still haven’t heard back? If you haven’t heard from an organization you received an offer from, you should reach out to the recruiter or hiring manager you have been working with. The Career Center coaches would be happy to help you draft this email. Don’t hesitate to follow up!
    • Remember: All interviews will likely be virtual and now is a great time to practice your video interviewing skills. Get comfortable with using the following platforms, such as: Microsoft Teams, Skype, HireVue, FaceTime, Zoom, BlueJeans and even just standard phone calls. Need some tips and pointers? Click here.
    Email Template: Reaching out to an employer about a job that was posted pre-COVID.

    I can’t find the internship/ job I wanted:

    Remain flexible and open-minded: Students may need to pivot to working in an industry they did not expect to simply because it is the most viable option for employment right now. 

    In her commencement address to CC’s class of 2019, Oprah implored students to ‘just get started’:

    “You do need a job. And may I say, it doesn’t have to be your life’s mission, or your greatest passion, but a job that pays your rent and lets you move out of your parents’ house… (Your purpose right now is to) do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.”

    Here is a template to make a weekly search plan.

    Here is a template to keep track of job postings.

    How can I use networking to my advantage?

    Go virtual, but first read our networking guide here. Connecting with others is a powerful tool at any stage in your career--whether you’re looking for a job, applying to graduate schools, searching for internships, or seeking information about careers. 80% of opportunities are found through professional connections. Your search strategy should include a combination of several approaches.

    Email Template: Reaching out to Alumni and your Network.

    My offer was rescinded, what do I do now?

    It is hard to stay positive and motivated when your job/internship is cancelled. Here are a few things to help you follow up with the employer/ organization and ideas to help you move forward. You may also want to explore the resources under, "How do I begin my job/ internship search?"

    Email Template: Responding to an employer when your internship has been rescinded.
    Email Template: Responding to an employer when your job offer has been rescinded.

    Take Action. It is more important than ever when your professional plans and career launch strategies will likely have to change, to establish a plan and work your plan.

    Make a plan. (And be flexible.) Students have shared they are finding far less structure in their days. We encourage you to create a job or internship search activity plan for the week. Identify what you will accomplish each day and how much time you will invest. Here is a good starting place.

    Find out who is hiring. You will still need to be practical and identify who is hiring. These sites are crowdsourced information that can help in the process of identifying who is hiring and who has cancelled opportunities:

    Polish your application and networking materials. Now is a great time to work on making your application and networking materials shine. Use these resources for your LinkedIn profile, Resume, and Cover Letter. Once completed schedule an appointment with a Career Coach to review and gather advice. It can also be helpful to get feedback from alumni, parents, and other professionals in your industry of choice. Two great resources to connect with these individuals as TigerLink and LinkedIn.

    With that said, how important is it for a potential employer to know if I was offered an internship even though the position was rescinded due to COVID-19?

    Many career development professionals across the nation have weighed in on this question. While a resume should focus on what you’ve done and learned, many career services professionals nationwide are supporting the idea of temporarily indicating a cancelled opportunity on one’s resume (or at least one’s LinkedIn profile) for example:

    “XYZ Company - <Position accepted>. Cancelled due to COVID-19."

    Important caveats:

    • While this shows that circumstances were out of your control, make sure that it doesn’t sound like the rescinding organization did something wrong.
    • Once you accept a new internship, research opportunity, or are hired full time, you should remove/replace this information.
    • Landing the job/internship is part of the learning experience. How to deal with a job loss and uncertainty of the future is also a learning experience.
    • If possible, seek feedback from the internship site on the accomplishments and experience that brought about an offer, including soft skills observed during the interview.
    • Use the word “cancelled”; instead of  “rescinded”; so the loss doesn’t seem like it was caused by you.

    Apply to posted opportunities. Good news: despite all of the bad news you hear, many organizations are still hiring for internships and jobs! If your immediate goal is an internship or post-grad job, you should certainly stay the course. Make looking for and applying to opportunities a part of your daily routine. Especially during this time, we are seeing listings that are posted for less than 24 hours. Set up notifications on your job/internship boards of choice and check your email daily. Keep up conversations with your connections and here are a few of the sites the Career Center Team have found new opportunities and updates posted daily:

    Sites posting virtual/remote opportunities:

    Some companies have a history of hiring for virtual opportunities and other companies are transitioning to remote work. Here are a few sites we have identified that cater towards virtual or remote opportunities.

    How can the Career Center help me?

    Connect with the Career Center.  We’re available to support you virtually, from coaching appointments and group chats, to live webinars and on-demand content. As we curate timely resources and advice amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ll also guide you in making the most of flagship tools such as Handshake and TigerLink, and strategically leveraging curated resources.

    Update your Handshake Information. For timely announcements about newly added programs and resources, please update your Handshake account to indicate career preferences, update your class and

    Schedule an appointment through Handshake. All appointments have been moved to phone or video conferencing. You can request appointments on Handshake. If you need to meet outside of our normal business hours (8:30 am – 5:00 pm MT), please email us at CareerCenter@coloradocollege.edu and a member of our team will gladly arrange an appointment to accommodate your time zone.

    Do you have a Quick Question?  Please email us at CareerCenter@ColoradoCollege.edu with “Quick Question” in the subject line. We check this email frequently and will respond to you in a timely manner with an answer or a request to schedule an appointment.

    Keep up with new information. Check your Colorado College email inbox regularly and follow us on our social media channels: InstagramLinkedInFacebook , and Youtube. Here you will find up to date information on programming, relevant articles, tips, and advice from Alumni.

    Interested in connecting with alumni, employers, Career Center staff, and gaining advice? Digital meetups, alumni panels, employer virtual sessions, webinars, on demand tips will be updated frequently in Handshake. Click here for a list of our weekly reoccurring programs. Visit Handshake and click on “Events” to see the newest editions.

    Additional resources for career-building opportunities

    The Career Center does not expressly endorse specific websites and resources, but we want to offer a variety of resources for exploration. Check out these and more on our Online Resources page:

    • Chegg Internships: Browse internships and employment opportunities in this large internship marketplace
    • Vault: Explore careers through in-depth overviews, including “insider” data on industries, employers and internships
    • GoinGlobal: GoinGlobal provides job search resources for cities and countries worldwide. Their H1B Plus guide helps international students identify employers sponsoring employment in the US. 

    Explore on-line learning options as well. Many of these services offer free access classes or are currently providing special deals and access. Please fully explore all free options before considering anything that has a fee. Type “free courses” in the search bar for options.

    • Complete a Micro-Internship: Get paid and develop your resume while working with top employers.
    • Coursera: Amazing courses in all kinds of fields, from professional development to psychology, history, and literature—all created and taught by professors at top institutions across the globe.
    • edX: Offers anyone, anywhere the chance to take university classes in various departments—and get certified. Some of their big partners include Harvard, Berkeley, Dartmouth, Georgetown, and the University of Chicago (and that’s not all!).
    • MOOC.org: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are free online courses available for anyone to enroll and learn for a variety of reasons, from career development and supplemental learning to corporate eLearning & training.
    • Udacity: Udacity focuses on software development, offering free courses in programming, data science, and web development. The website also offers a nanodegree program for individuals who want to master a skill set or pursue a full-time career in tech.
    • Udemy: Offerings on Udemy range from completely free courses taught by experts, professors, entrepreneurs, and professionals, to frequent discounts and class specials. In addition to classes in tech, business, and marketing, you can also explore options in productivity, health, hobbies, and lifestyle.
    • FutureLearn: Free classes taught by universities and special organizations. Its big topics are business and management, creative arts, law, health, politics, science, digital skills, sports and leisure, and teaching.
    • Academic Earth: If you’re looking solely for academic classes, this website offers free courses in the arts, science, humanities, economics, computer science, and more.
    • ALISON: A large range of free, comprehensive classes on technology, languages, science, financial literacy, personal and soft skills, entrepreneurship, and then some.
    • LearnSmart: Career-oriented training for IT, security, project management, HR and business.
    • Codecademy: Codecademy teaches how to code for free. It covers all kinds of programming, including JavaScript, Ruby, HTML, CSS, and Python.
    • LinkedIn Learning: Previously Lynda.com, LinkedIn acquired this subscription-based learning platform with thousands of courses in business, design, art, education, and tech. Check with your local public library to see if they offer free access to library card holders.
    • General Assembly: Both online and in-person classes, as well as full-time and part-time options. It focuses mainly on digital skills, covering subjects such as digital marketing, iOS and Android development, data analytics, and JavaScript.
    • Skillshare: “Bite-sized” classes to learners who only have 15 minutes a day. It has more than 500 free classes and several thousand premium classes to choose from in topics such as film, writing, tech, lifestyle, and more. 
    • PluralSight: After subscribing to Pluralsight (or using its free trial), you’ll be able to explore classes in software, 3D development, VFX, design, game design, web design, and CAD software.
    • Adobe TV: Not sure how to use Photoshop or InDesign? Don’t worry, Adobe TV will walk you through all its programs with tutorials, manuals, and more.
    • Class Central: Personalize your class search by indicating your interests and receive recommended options from Coursera, edX, and other forums to find what best suits your needs.

     

    Tips for working remotely

    My internship/ job is remote, how can I best prepare? 

    Given the current situation, online internships can provide students with a safe, work-based learning experience that is grounded in an authentic task or project for a firm or organization.

    Depending on the nature of the project, students can also develop skills – either technical, interpersonal or intrapersonal – by successfully completing one or more professional assignments on behalf of a professional organization. Additionally, an online internship can provide students experience with engaging in online project management and communications, which are common modes of project- and task-performance in many organizations. A notable benefit of online internships is the lack of costs associated with relocating to expensive cities for extended periods.

    Optimize working remotely in this set of online courses—whether you’re new to remote work or not, and whether you’re leading a team or part of a team involving distributed team members. Discover how to be productive and stay connected when working from home or other remote environments.