Don’t Panic: How to Gain Experience Without an Internship

Didn’t time your applications right? Bombed the interviews? Unfortunately not everyone gets the opportunity to intern in the field of their choice over the summer. That doesn’t, however, mean that you can’t have a summer that is fun, educational, and can help build your resume for when you try again next summer! Here are some ways to get started:


  • Evaluate What You Want to Accomplish

Think about the reasons why you didn’t obtain an internship this summer. Were there gaps in your experience levels that you want to improve on? Did you make some mistakes in the application process that you could practice? Let these be the tools for you to decide what you do over vacation.

  • Jump Ahead on Your Academics

You have the time this summer, so why not try and get a head start on some of your classes for next year? The more you can get done now, the less work you have to deal with during the school year, giving you plenty of time for resume building extra-curriculars during the year. Also, if you have some classes that are weighing down your GPA or if you don’t feel you have the right baseline for, you can always retake them over the summer as well.

  • Start a Side Project

If it’s one thing that recruiters love in their interns, it’s people that take initiative. What better way to show that initiative than by creating projects of your own? Whether it’s building gadgets for engineering internships, showing your creative style to build your artistic portfolio, or creating videos that show off your marketing and communications abilities, the simplest of projects can actually end up doing a whole lot of good for you in terms of gaining experience.

  • Teach Yourself Valuable Skills

Take a look at any average business or technology related internship and you’ll see a wide variety of different software and programming that are considered “an advantage” when applying to the position. Why not learn some of these programs with online classes, tutorials, or friends?

  • Take Advantage of Opportunities at Your University

Let’s be honest, campus is great, but everyone can use a break from the school work. Don’t worry though! There are other valuable things that you can do to build your experiences, whether it be through research opportunities or student jobs from a wide variety of different departments, you can still gain some valuable work experience even if it’s not from the classroom (You can view available positions for student work at UConn here:

  • Travel to New Places

Explore your career options in faraway places. Make the stories that can stand out in conversations at an interview. Just don’t panic about not getting that internship, it just gives you more time to expand your experiences to make a future opportunity that much better.


Best of luck!

By Peter Carcia
Peter Carcia Internship and Co-op Intern