Here we are, halfway into November, and COVID-19 is still impacting us in ways we never could have imagined when we first left campus in mid-March. I was particularly disappointed to see yesterday’s announcement from the Ivy League that schools in the league will not conduct intercollegiate athletics competition in winter sports during the 2020-21 season, and that there will be no competition in the spring for fall sports that were canceled this semester. While this is not a huge surprise with cases spiking across the country, it’s still really disappointing, and I know Penn’s student-athletes might have some questions about what all of this means for their time at Penn, and for their summers and plans for after graduation.
First, I want to assure our student-athletes that you are still incredibly impressive. You’re still leaders here at Penn (even if campus is a virtual construct these days) and employers are going to be eager to interview you, learn about your impact on and off the field/court/water/course/what-am-I-missing?, and bring you on for exciting roles. They’ll be curious to learn if you pivoted, what you explored in lieu of your sport if you had the time, or how you redoubled your training efforts if that was your path. They’ll just want to hear about what you did.
Second, if you do find yourself with unexpected free time and want to know how you could maximize it, Penn and Career Services have some tools you could use. Here are just a few:
- LinkedIn Learning | LinkedIn Learning is an online training library that provides access to tutorials covering a wide selection of topics. Course offerings include software products widely used on campus such as the Microsoft Office suite, Google Analytics, and Drupal, as well as topics to enhance key business skills such as project management, marketing, and collaboration.
- CareerShift | Through CareerShift, you can search for remote and work-from-home temporary jobs – or internships – across a wide range of fields. It’s a great supplement to Handshake, which might have more of a focus on full-time roles and more formal internships. The CarerShift platform makes it really easy to find those opportunities that you can do from anywhere.
- Idealist | “Idealist connects millions of idealists – people who want to do good – with opportunities for action and collaboration all over the world.” I love that through Idealist, seekers can find volunteer opportunities as well as internships in a variety of issue areas, employing a whole range of skills.
Finally, Career Services is here to help. There’s a section of our website dedicated to information for athletes, and career advisors are available to discuss your specific circumstances and interests. Book an appointment through Handshake for anything from career exploration questions, to resume and cover letter reviews (Peer Career Advisors can help with those, too! You can also book those appointments – same-day! – on Handshake). We can also help with interview prep and offer negotiations, but really, we’re here if you also just want to make a game plan and chat about how you can talk to employers about this “unprecedented” time.