“My internship and graduation have been cancelled, now what?”

2020 is a year like no other. It has been tough for all of us but for those of you graduating, whether it be high school graduation or college graduation it’s an even tougher time.  Although many campuses are postponing commencements for a later date, right now it’s just not the same. That feeling of taking your last final of the semester on campus or walking across the stage is a milestone that has been taken away suddenly and with no advance warning.  

The hardest part of all of this is that we simply do not know when things will come back to normal and for now this is our “new normal.”  Because things are so up in the air right now many REU’s and internships are notifying candidates that they might have to cancel programs and rescind offers. If this is your situation you are justifiably disappointed but I urge you the importance of keeping up your momentum. The resilience and forward thinking that got you where you are today will get you through this.  

Keeping up the momentum doesn’t mean you have to ignore what’s going on.  On the contrary, keeping up the momentum means not giving up your academic and career goals.

Many students are worried that Pass/No Pass grades on your spring 2020 transcripts will reflect poorly on graduate school applications or just in general.  Please understand that we are all going through this together.  No one is going to judge you if you struggled this semester.  No one is going to deprive you of an opportunity because you were affected by the pandemic, you are not alone, we are all being affected by this. 

Once this crisis passes, and it will, Class of 2020 graduates will have a bond that will forever tie them together. Postponed commencements, postponed graduation parties, cancelled proms and other cancelled and postponed social milestones will forever be a connection that you have as the Class of 2020.  Millenials and Gen Z’ers have gotten a bad rap since day one but now more than ever we see you and we salute you.

Here are some options and ideas for you to explore to Keep the Momentum during this challenging time! 

  1. If your internship has been cancelled ask if you can work remotely.  Some companies might be able to accommodate this as an option. 

  2. If your REU has been canceled ask if you can contribute to the project in a remote capacity.  Although research in a wet lab might be more of a challenge its worth asking  Graduate students are still doing research so it’s worth asking if you can somehow be involved on a smaller scale. For instance, you can possibly help with modeling simulations or literature reviews.

  3. If you need to find a job and are on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram are using #hiringnow to inform others about job opportunities.

  4. Develop an independent research project. Is there a project you have always wanted to work on? Now is the time.  Ask a faculty member or graduate student if they will be willing to mentor you through this project. 

  5. Take an online class for free. Check out our recommendations for the best free courses to take now

  6. Become an online tutor. Even if classes continue to be online throughout the summer the need for tutors may actually increase. Ask your campus or local community college if they need tutors or teaching assistants for the upcoming summer. 

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