During this time of change, we are here to support you virtually — whether through career counseling, outreach to employers on your behalf, virtual events, or online resources.

Just a few of the ways you can connect with us Remotely:

Be sure to view our constantly-updated list of Frequently Asked Questions we’ve gathered from our continuing conversations in support of students.

Resources to support your career development during this time:

Employer Updates
  • Access a curated list of Employers We Work With, with links to their job postings in LionSHARE.
  • View our Insider Info pages for the latest employer news (requires log-in).
  • Review our Weekly Roundup for employer opportunities, jobs, and employer networking events.
  • Log into LionSHARE to see the latest events and job postings from employers.
  • Browse our event listings to find your next opportunity to connect with employers.
Virtual Services

Virtual Career Counseling

Employer Engagement

Skill Building 

Funding

Career Development & Job Search Resources

Tools for Your Job Search

Interviewing

Networking

Leveraging Social Media

LinkedIn

Online Brand

Career Exploration

build self-knowledge

Explore Careers

Building Skills

Navigating the “New Normal”

Posts from our Blog, In the Know

External Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

It’s natural to have questions in times of uncertainty. Our career counselors and staff have put together answers for some of the FAQs that we’ve received from students. Please check back frequently as we will be making updates as new information and resources become available.

Navigating Changing Summer Plans

I already accepted an offer for a summer internship/full-time job before COVID-19 but I’m worried now my employer might rescind it. What should I do?

Definitely get in touch with your recruiter or hiring manager to discuss the position. This is a great opportunity to reconnect, express your excitement about joining the team, and inquire if there have been any changes in your start date, internship length, or on-boarding process. If you need any assistance navigating that conversation, schedule a time to meet with a counselor.

My summer internship/job got cancelled as a result of COVID-19. What should I do now?

During this time of uncertainty, many employers had to make the tough decision to cancel these roles. On our blog, In the Know, you can learn more about factors employers considered when making these decisions.

Though it’s natural to feel disappointed if your previous plans fell through, you can also think of this as an opportunity to rise to a challenge: to build a summer experience for yourself that will help you develop transferable skills.

We’ve created some resources to help you navigate change, activate your network virtually, and build additional skills during this time. If you’re seeking another position, be sure to check LionSHARE and Insider Info (login required) to see who is currently hiring. Also, keep in mind that while some sectors have changed their normal hiring habits, there may be opportunities in other areas that you may have not previously considered.

And you don’t have to do it alone — our career counselors can help support you in exploring possibilities and creating a plan moving forward.

How can I talk to my employer about changing my summer internship into a remote opportunity?

If you haven’t heard from your hiring manager or recruiter, don’t hesitate to reach out for an update. Many organizations are already considering the switch to a virtual or remote internship and are communicating these changes to incoming interns and employees as quickly as possible. We’re happy to help you draft your outreach language or assist with making those connections.

Hiring & Networking

Are employers still hiring Columbia students? How do I find these employers? 

Yes! Employers are continuing to recruit and hire from Columbia. Check LionSHARE for current listings of internships and jobs. Our Employer and Alumni Relations Team is also connecting with employers about their current hiring plans. We’re capturing these insights and updates in Insider Info. Recent posts include Goldman Sachs, IBM, Facebook, Bank of America, and many more!

How can I stay connected with employers through the Center for Career Education?

We are hosting virtual coffee chats, networking events, and practice interviews over the next few months. These are great ways to engage with our employer partners and build connections. You can view a list of upcoming CCE and employer events on LionSHARE.

I am looking to network right now. Can I still do that? Is it awkward to request informational interviews at this time?

Yes, it’s absolutely appropriate to network during this time, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Everyone has been affected by the current crisis, and it’s important to remember that the people you reach out to are also adjusting to the “new normal.”

While some people may be eager to connect, others may be feeling overwhelmed by shifts in their lives and possibly careers. Thus, it’s important to manage your own expectations as well as express empathy, understanding, and patience. In your initial outreach, it’s particularly important to first connect on a human level before asking to connect.

What are my options for networking right now?

There are many ways to network right now, including:

Through CCE:

Consider our Networking From Home Series, employer information sessions, and the myriad of resources on our website. 

With Alumni:

Alumni are eager to connect with students. Some of the ways you can connect with alumni include: 

To research alumni from across the university use the LinkedIn alumni tool. You can also check your school’s alumni office for additional ways to connect with alumni.

Preparing for Virtual Opportunities

I am prepping for a virtual interview and need some help!

Many employers are conducting virtual interviews during this time, and while much of your interview preparation will remain the same, there are a few differences to consider. 

We’ve put together some tips in our How to Prepare for Virtual and Phone Interviews resource. We also suggest using Big Interview to practice interviewing on camera and making a 30-minute virtual Practice Interview appointment with a counselor via LionSHARE.

Apply for our Virtual Practice Interview Program by May 25th to connect directly with an employer or alumni for real-time interview feedback. 

Building Skills & Experience

How can I get experience if I am home for the summer?

There are a variety of ways to gain experience from home this summer. We suggest getting started by reflecting on what you’d like to learn, what skills you’d like to develop, and where you’d like to grow. Use this reflection to help you identify the types of opportunities that best fit your goals.

Some ideas include: identifying organizations in your hometown, remote or local volunteer opportunities, tutoring, developing an independent or supervised research project, engaging in a micro-internship, using online courses or platforms to build skills, freelance work, building your network, and working on application materials.

We encourage you to connect with a career counselor for a 30-minute appointment to discuss summer options.

What if I don’t wind up having an internship this summer? Is this going to look bad on my resume in the long term?

As we’ve discussed above, there are many ways to create a meaningful summer experience even if you’re not doing an internship. So, if you don’t have an internship this summer, that’s okay!

Everyone has been affected by the current situation, including employers, who know that many students may not have had access to the same opportunities as usual this summer.

Even without an internship, there are lots of ways to strengthen your candidacy, whether this summer or beyond. This might include networking, building skills outside of internships, and updating your resume to highlight your skills and engagement with the field. Our career counselors can help you brainstorm what this might look like for you.

What types of volunteer opportunities can I do to build my skills?

There are countless ways you can build your skills by volunteering to help friends, colleagues, or your community. Check out just a few suggestions on our blog, In the Know, or connect with a career counselor for a virtual session via Zoom or phone to brainstorm ways that may work for you. Finally, remember that you can build your skills even without volunteering; as a Columbia student you have free access to hundreds of online classes and workshops via LinkedIn Learning.

I keep hearing the term “micro-internship.” What is that and where can I find one?

A “micro-internship,” much like the term implies, is a short-term internship. Often, it involves completing a project that can take anywhere from 5 hours to several days. Micro-internships typically involve work that uses a specific skill-set and that does not require significant training. They are usually paid opportunities.

Micro-internships can be a good way to develop your portfolio, hone a skill, or get exposure to a new organization without committing to a full internship. Though they have been around for several years, they are gaining popularity during COVID-19.

There are several organizations that specialize in micro-internships. One of them is Parker Dewey, where any student can sign up to access their database of short-term work.

I’m worried about finding a job and am thinking of graduate school as an option. What considerations should I take into account?

It’s understandable that graduate school may be on your mind—historically when the labor market contracts, more people return to school to build additional skills or expertise. 

That said, graduate school can be expensive and time-consuming, so it’s important to understand how it can help you achieve your next steps before diving in. This is especially true in the current landscape, which is different from recent economic downturns in 2009 or 2001. Because of this, you might find that you have additional unique considerations around whether investing further in education makes sense for you right now.

Our online resources can help you begin to think through these factors and timing your decision: Graduate School: Factors to Consider; Finding Your Best-Fit Graduate Program; Thinking of Graduate School? This Timeline Will Help You Plan.

We encourage you to schedule an appointment with a career counselor to talk through the pros and cons of graduate school given your situation.

International Students

How can I  find an internship back home if my internship plans have been canceled in the US?

There are several resources you can use to help you to identify opportunities back home. We suggest checking out GoinGlobal (login required), one of CCE’s free premium resources, which includes a job board that’s searchable by country. You can also connect with alumni in your area using the Columbia Alumni Association Online Community, as well as Alumni Clubs and the LinkedIn alumni tool. Additionally, you can use LionSHARE to identify remote opportunities or search for opportunities in your area.

If an internship is no longer an option, we encourage you to think of this as an opportunity to focus on building skills this summer, whether through volunteering or another experience. And you don’t have to do it alone—our career counselors can help support you throughout this process.

Do I need to use CPT/OPT for a remote opportunity, If I will be working from home?

Virtual and remote opportunities allow you the flexibility to pursue an internship from anywhere in the world. However, it is important to note that if you plan to do a remote internship or work remotely for a US company while at home, you will still need to use OPT or CPT. Learn more by visiting ISSO’s COVID-19 Resource Hub.

If you will be pursuing an opportunity for a company that is based in any country outside of your home county, we encourage you to research the  work authorization requirements of that country.

If you have additional questions that you don’t see addressed here, we’d love to hear from you. Your input helps us understand how to continue developing resources and programs to support you during this time.