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COVID-19 Response: Resources for Students

CLA Career Services is here for you
    
Students — we’re still here for you. We know this is an uncertain time and you may have many questions or concerns. We want to help! Schedule a 30-minute appointment with a Career Counselor or use drop-ins (10-15 min.) to get on-demand help from our Peer Advising and Career Counseling teams.

On this page:

Internship & Job Search | 5 Tips for Success:

  1. Seek Out Support and Guidance: Meet one-on-one with a career counselor to make your internship or job search plan today or talk through any of the steps described below.
    • Career Management Courses: The need to get career management support alongside an on-going community has rarely been greater than it is now and will continue to be moving into the fall. If you’re a rising sophomore and junior enroll for Fall 2020 in CLA 3002 (1 credit), and if you’re a rising senior enroll in CLA 3201 (2 credits).
  2. Consider Your Goals and Needs: Reflect on what is most important to you in the experience you are seeking. Is there a certain skill or competency you want to use or develop? Is there a geographic region you need to be in? Is there a certain level of income you need? Are there types of job duties and/or career fields you are most excited about? This reflection time will help you focus your search and how your priorities may have changed in the last few weeks. Remember that CLA Career Counselors can assist you with this process!
  3. Prepare Your Materials: Visit our drop-in hours to get your Resume, Cover Letters, and Linkedin profile in great shape so you are ready to market your Liberal Arts Advantage. Reflect upon what your top competencies, skills, and experiences (i.e. your professional identity or personal brand) are and how to translate those for employers with hiring needs. Watch these two short videos to get started: Your Professional Identity and how to Tailor Your Application Materials.
  4. Get in the Right Mindset:
    1. Planning for career next steps is harder when your wellbeing is suffering. Learn more about how to support your wellbeing during the job search, and/or watch this short video for Tips for Maintaining Wellbeing During Quarantine.
    2. Be open to going where the opportunities are, and keep an open mind about different sorts of experiences. Remember that valuable experience can come in a variety of ways. There may be an experience, industry, or organization you pursue that you wouldn’t have considered prior to the pandemic. That’s okay! Your CLA Core Career Competencies make you a great candidate across different positions and fields. CLA Career Field monthly updates are a good way to stay informed on the latest industry information.
    3. Be proactive and persistent in your approach. This time is disruptive for everyone, including employers. They may not have the time to do as much recruitment as usual, and some are still figuring out their hiring needs and timelines. Increase your number of quality applications, reach out to organizations, and be understanding if organizations aren’t able to get back to you right away.
  5. Use a Variety of Search Strategies: Fom GoldPASS powered by Handshake, to networking, to staffing agencies, to career events, and more — find a few strategies that fit your needs and style, as well as a couple alternative options, such as freelance and project work, to help you build your experience and achieve your goals. Learn more below.

How To Find Available Internships & Jobs

Where to look:

Or, pitch your own internship! If an organization offered you a position but is now taking a “wait and see” approach, or if you are interested in either developing a particular skill or working with a particular organization, you may want to Pitch a Remote Internship.

Advice from CLA Employer Partners

"I know it can sometimes feel like a black hole and it can sometimes feel like what I'm doing isn't really giving me the immediate results I want to see. But, trees don't grow overnight. You have to plant the seed, you have to water it, and you have to give it sun light and watch it grow. So this is really going to be your time to plant those seeds — connect with recruiters, research jobs and positions, and make lists. Because eventually everything is going to come back full swing and you will be better positioned in a place that you can take that lead and know that you did all the work, and you can have options”

Resources for Virtual Interviewing

Review our Virtual interviewing tips and watch this 10-minute Virtual Interviewing workshop

Inquiring about Positions/Status during COVID-19

Many employers right now are also adjusting to and sorting through the impacts of the pandemic. This may lead to delayed response times or a lack of response. It is still recommended to follow up on applications you have already submitted. Often employer contact information is posted on position descriptions. On GoldPASS, you can search for organizations under the “Jobs tab” then select “Employers” to find contact information. Keep empathy in mind during your outreach, this is a challenging time for organizations too. Stay patient, keep optimizing your resume, and continue to put in applications for other positions. Make an appointment with a Career Counselor for guidance.

Beyond Internships: Building Experience In Other Ways

There are many ways to gain experience other than through internships, and we regularly hear from employers how much they value different forms of experience and transferable skills (such as: communication, taking initiative, teamwork, etc.) on a resume. Think about what your most important goals are for the summer or year ahead and let those goals guide you as you pursue opportunities. Watch this short video, Five Ways to Develop Personally and Professionally to give you some ideas and use the resources below to get started.

Networking Virtually

Now is the time to be networking so that when positions open up you are in the know. When networking right now, continue to be mindful that organizations and individuals are facing many unknowns themselves and, as a result, they may not respond immediately or at all. That’s not a reason to not reach out; rather, be mindful of your approach and connect with multiple people and organizations. Watch the short video, Growing and Managing your Professional Network to get started and follow the advice below for how to approach networking virtually.

  • While you can’t visit people in their places of employment, many are open to talking with students, especially alumni. You can build your network through the UMAA Maroon and Gold Network, and through updating your LinkedIn profile. Join the CLA Alumni and Student LinkedIn group (8500+ members): Joining a group on LinkedIn allows you to easily message anyone in the group. You can also participate in virtual events to connect with employers! Check GoldPASS powered by Handshake for upcoming opportunities.
  • Example networking outreach script: “Hello, my name is Goldy Gopher and I’m a current student at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in the College of Liberal Arts. I found your information on LinkedIN and saw that you also graduated from the UMN with a degree in Communication Studies, which is what I am leaning towards majoring in!  I am reaching out to see if you may be interested in connecting. I was really excited to see in your profile all of your experience with project management--this is an area of high interest for me, so I am hoping to learn more about it from talking with you! I understand this is a stressful time for many of us as we navigate living and working in new ways, so if you don’t have time now I completely understand. I am very flexible and open to meeting virtually whenever it would be most convenient to you. Thank you for considering! Please take care.”

Networking Advice from CLA Employer Partners:

"Yes, times are weird, but you'd be amazed at how much people want to help you. People want to watch you succeed. People will reach out to me on LinkedIn, and I don't know them, but I am excited for them, and I want to help them in any way I can"

Moving forward when an internship or job offer is rescinded

During this time of uncertainty, some internships and job offers are being rescinded by employers. The first thing to know is that this happening is not a reflection of you as a candidate. We all, including employers, are adapting to new situations we could not have imagined months ago. Many organizations are facing financial hardships and are adapting to a disrupted economy and way of working. If you are feeling disappointed, frustrated, and/or worried, know that is very normal. This is hard, take time to grieve the loss and then consider how you can move forward. Make an appointment with a Career Counselor to create a new plan to find an opportunity and explore the many ideas and resources for how to find opportunities on this webpage.

Wellbeing and the job search

We acknowledge that students are experiencing a variety of emotions during these unique circumstances. If you are feeling overwhelmed due to impacts related to COVID-19, you are not alone. Managing your wellbeing is important, and career counselors can help you identify and co-create manageable next steps related to your career goals, which can help reduce anxiety surrounding the job search. You can schedule an individual appointment with a career counselor by visiting clacareer.appointments.umn.edu. You may also want to watch this short video for Tips for Maintaining Wellbeing During Quarantine.

Additionally, there are several other resources available to help you manage your overall wellbeing:

  • Student Counseling Services (SCS) is available to support students, to finish out their semester as strong as they can, given our present circumstances. SCS has moved services online and is offering emotional support/mental health services in two primary ways:
    • Meet 1:1 with a counselor: Students interested in meeting with a counselor at SCS, or a student who has not met with a counselor at SCS for 6 months can fill out this form to get started. Contact counseling@umn.edu with any questions.
    • Attend the Coping with COVID Workshop: designed to help students manage this stress and learn new ways of coping and caring for yourself, including skills to build resilience, mood management strategies, relaxation techniques, and general self-care. Simply complete this brief (4 questions!) sign-up form, and the facilitators will reply with next steps.
  • Boynton Health has put together a set of recommendations for wellbeing during COVID-19. To protect students’ mental health, students should prioritize sleep, eating, and tasks of daily living; the other categories on this document (linked above) are optional components of holistic wellbeing that change person-to-person, and even day-to-day. Boynton Health remains open for a variety of physical and mental health services, both in-person and virtually.
  • De-Stress is offering Virtual Stress Check-ins via Zoom. Stress Check-ins provide an opportunity for support to talk through stress in your life, come up with solutions, and to connect with campus resources.
  • The Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing offers free-of-charge digital resources to all University affiliates including weekly Stress Busters guided mindfulness meditations, and webinars.
  • University Alumni Association Webinar: Remotely Well: 5 Essential Elements of #Quarantine Well Being

Completing Internships During COVID-19

Earning Academic Credit for an Internship

With the impact of Covid-19, the University is prioritizing the health and safety of students and the community, therefore all internship activities connected to academic credit must be completed remotely for summer 2020.  This may not work for all students or all opportunities. Students have the discretion to engage in an employee/employer relationship outside of receiving academic credit. Students can contact CLA Internship Coordinator, Char Myers with specific questions.

How to Prepare for a Remote Internship

This Remote Internships: Tips for Intern Success resource provides an overview of how to make the most of your experience working in a remote environment. Regardless of whether the experience is in person or remote, the cornerstone of a quality internship experience still holds true.

How to inquire if an internship is “still on” during COVID-19

If you had secured an internship but haven’t heard from the employer, it is okay to inquire about the status. Many organizations right now are also adjusting to and sorting through the impacts of the pandemic. This may lead to delayed response times, or a lack of communication.

Example script: “I’m reaching out to inquire about my internship for this summer/job offer. I know this is an unprecedented time which is creating a lot of stress and unknowns, so I recognize you may not have an update for me right now. I did want to reach out to express that I hope to continue to work for your organization as I am really excited about the opportunity and the ways in which I can contribute. Please let me know of any updates you may have about my position when you have the opportunity. In the meantime, please take care.”

Other COVID-19 Career Concerns

How can I understand the hiring landscape right now

The employment and hiring landscape is changing very rapidly right now, and is hard for everyone to understand. Two ways CLA students can stay in touch are to join the Career Field monthly updates for every career field that interests you. This way, you’ll receive emailed updates with industry-specific tips. We also encourage you to make an appointment to meet with a career counselor. When we can get to know you and your interests, it makes it much easier for counselors to help tailor our guidance and support so that we can be as helpful as possible in helping you understand the environment around you.

Tips for those applying to graduate or professional school

Students who are planning to apply to Graduate schools or professional programs should refer to information in the Career Readiness Guide, pages 97-106.  But there are a few things students should be aware of that are new to Spring 2020, given the COVID-19 crisis:

  • First, tours of different institutions have gone virtual. Reach out to Admissions (or Graduate Admissions) of the schools you are interested in.  This new capability is likely to exist.
  • Plan ahead for letters of recommendation you will need. Most schools will want the names and email addresses of those who will be supplying these letters. Plan ahead and expect more complexity getting all the logistics in place. We suggest you make sure you 1) talk with your recommenders ahead of time, 2) let them know the names of the institutions you’re applying to, 3) confirm their email address, and 4) share with them a current copy of your resume. Allow individuals ample time to prepare these recommendation letters, and always send a thank you.  
  • Given the COVID crisis, letters of recommendations will be submitted / uploaded using a link supplied by the institution. For students that need to take the GRE as one component of their graduate school application, there is now an option for taking the general test at home.
  • Interested in GRE test prep? Visit the Official GRE website or other test prep resources like Kaplan, Inc. (pricing varies) or try LinkedIn Learning, free to UMN students, where you can find free Test Prep GRE modules.
  • For Pre-Law students:
  • For Pre-Health students:
    • S/N grading for health program prerequisites: All of the UMN health science programs have made a decision about accepting S/N courses for prerequisites taken in Spring 2020 (they will all accept them). Their responses can be found here, along with links to centralized application and association pages, national virtual fairs, etc. This document is linked from the Pre-Health Student Resource Center health program prerequisites page, and they will continue to add to it as more information is gathered.
    • The Pre-Health Student Resource Center has been doing outreach to other schools, too -  specifically reaching out to the top schools UMN students apply to across disciplines. They have found that many schools will accept S/N courses taken this spring, but not all.  Students are encouraged to do their own research for specific schools they are interested in.

I am a CLA alumni and want to help CLA students

Thank you for your interest! See our “Alumni Resources” page for more information on how to help.

Ways to continue building skills and growing personally and professionally

  • Consider skills you may want to build to be competitive for future opportunities. Try LinkedIn Learning (using your U of M login for free access) or Coursera to build skills like project management, graphic design, or user experience.
  • As you learn about internships and jobs that interest you, try using RATE to reflect on the competencies you are building that will be desirable to future organizations.
  • Skill Building Advice from a CLA Employer Partner During COVID19: "Even right now as the landscape is changing so quickly, this is a great time to just learn and better foster and bolster your resume and your skills and understanding of business"

5 Tips for Preparing to Work Remotely

These are some best practices for working remotely. You may also want to watch the short video, Excel at Work from Home. Keep in mind that not all of these tips will work for you and that’s okay, try them out and stick with the ones that help you reach your best productivity and wellbeing.

  1. Establish a Routine - In a remote working environment, there is often flexibility for when and where you complete your work. While your work time may occur asynchronously from your supervisor or colleagues, it is still important to create structure and allocate consistent blocks of time for your work. Create and propose work times that meet the needs of your employer as well as fit your schedule. Then, share these with your supervisor. This schedule will help you meet expectations and create clarity and transparency for your supervisor about when you’re putting in your hours and when it’s appropriate to connect with you regarding work topics.
  2. Designate a Work Space - Having a dedicated workspace somewhere in your home — even if it’s a small folding desk in a corner — establishes work/life separation, helps you stay organized and facilitates mental focus. Gather all the supplies and technology you need and add some decor or quotes so it feels like a place where you are going to work— and a place you can leave once you’re done. Also try to reduce visual and auditory distractions, as much as possible, and set boundaries with housemates, so you are able to maintain focus.
  3. Maintain Clear & Consistent Communication - Clear and consistent communication, along with establishing how you will communicate with your supervisor and colleagues is essential in remote work. Make sure you have a weekly, synchronous opportunity scheduled to connect with your supervisor, but also clarify the best way to ask quick questions or seek feedback. Gain familiarity with tools your organization may use to communicate and track projects, such as Trello or Slack, or suggest using them.
  4. Track and Share Progress with your Supervisor - Keep a log of your daily goals or bullet points of the progress you are making toward work project completion and make that log visible to your supervisor. This practice can help you narrow your focus and creates transparency for your supervisor about how you are using your time.
  5. Prioritize Self-Care - Staying indoors for long periods of time can lead to feelings of isolation and burnout. Therefore, it is important to attend to your personal wellbeing. Self-care looks different for everyone, but staying active, eating healthy meals, connecting with loved ones, and stepping away from your computer screen every once in a while, will help you feel more balanced and productive during your working hours. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it!

Additionally, check out these webinars from the University Alumni Association, related to working remotely:

Managing Finances Right Now

We understand that many students’ financial situations may have shifted dramatically and this can be a source of significant stress. Below are some resources to help guide you. You can also Make an appointment with a Career Counselor for support in finding work as one possible strategy to help with your financial needs.

  • Student Emergency Funding
    • Student emergency funding is now available for students to help with things such as food/rent, temporary housing, space to self-quarantine, loss of job/income, and technology equipment support (laptops, WiFi, etc.), etc.  Students should contact their CLA Academic Advisor or email One Stop at onestop@umn.edu to request student emergency funds.
  • One Stop Student Services provides expert advice regarding registration, financial aid, billing, payment, student records, veterans benefits, and a variety of Financial Wellness Resources, including individual (virtual) appointments.
  • University Alumni Association Webinar: Financial Wellness 101
    • Our presenters, Betsy Everts and Amanda Temple, indicated they are open to follow up questions from registrants and their contact information can be found within the presentation slides.

    • Please follow this link to a brief, 2-minute survey about your webinar experience: Take the Survey

    • To learn more about virtual events and resources for career development and personal growth, go to umnalumni.org/virtual. I specifically want to invite you to a session happening this Friday, April 24 called "Career Lightning Talks: Job Search Strategies for Seniors & Recent Grads" which you can learn more about here.

    • Finally, thank you to our Alumni Association members and donors for making initiatives like our webinar series possible. If you are interested in learning more about the Alumni Association, visit umnalumni.org/membership.

  • LSS Financial Counseling is available by phone or online appointment to all University employees (including undergraduate student employees) on all campuses. Talk with a LSS counselor about important steps you can take to decrease financial stress. Budgeting, loans management/repayment, and credit score improvement are just a few topics that can be addressed.

Tips for International Students during COVID-19

CLA career counselors are here to assist you virtually as you navigate your job, internship, and graduate school preparation needs. We also encourage international students to check in with the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office along the way. Beyond CLA resources, here are a few other resources that may be helpful right now:

The College of Liberal Arts Career Services and the University of Minnesota has no control or responsibility for the: (a) quality or safety of any experiential learning opportunity/position descriptions or (b) the application, hiring practices, or EEO/AA status of any of the organizations listed here. We encourage students to use precaution when applying to, interviewing at, or participating in volunteer, internship, job, or research programs outside of the University. These opportunities are not affiliated with the University of Minnesota and have not been fully vetted.

Special Events: Navigating the Job Search During COVID-19

Join CLA Career Services for a webinar series on the topic of Navigating the Job Search During COVID-19. In each episode, we will share relevant and timely job market updates, feature insights from alumni and employers, discuss a key job search strategy in depth (see episode topics below), and provide resources to help CLA students and graduates maintain momentum in their job search process.

Webinar Series, Episode #1: Exploring Post-Graduation Options, Recorded on Thursday, April 30th, 2020

Webinar Series, Episode #2: Virtual Networking Strategies, Recorded on Thursday, May 14th

Webinar Series, Episode #3: Personal & Professional Growth, Thursday, May 28th