Were you dreaming of immersing yourself in a new culture, learning a foreign language, and forming lifelong friendships during an unforgettable study abroad experience this year? Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many study abroad programs have been canceled across the globe, leaving college students wondering what’s next — myself included. While studying abroad may no longer be an option this semester, go beyond traditional education and embark on an alternative experience. A breadth of new experiences are now at your fingertips! Although international travel may be restricted, thanks to an increasing number of colleges and businesses moving online, your next adventure is just one click away.
Relocate While Studying Remotely
Eager to explore new environments and ready for a thrilling adventure but unable to study abroad? Consider the next best thing, relocate for the semester while studying remotely with your home college. Gather a group of friends or travel solo to an inspiring new destination. Indulge in the scenery and build connections while also working towards completing your degree. Navigate the unknown of living in a new city and embrace the experience.
Pursue Your Interests – Certificate Programs
Is there an interest you want to pursue? A skill you want to acquire? Now is your chance! Certificate programs are a unique opportunity to explore academic, professional, and personal interests without being a significant time or financial commitment. Pursue a passion you wouldn’t otherwise have time for. With broad flexibility and accessibility, certificate programs can be tailored to each student’s needs. Whether you prefer to study remotely or in-person, synchronous or asynchronous, you’re bound to find a program you’ll love. Certificate programs are perfect to enhance your resume, hone in on skills that will advance your career, and complement your degree.
Certificate programs could especially be valuable experiences for those who are interested in pursuing a career in fashion, yet their degree is unrelated. Acclaimed fashion institutes including Parsons School of Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology, offer certificate programs in everything ranging from fashion business to design. This might be your chance to learn more about the industry, network, and explore interests.
Find Your Community
Get involved in any way you can! As more organizations continue to move online, a whole new world of opportunities has opened. Digital community experiences can help you network on a more global level. Having connections in various cities and countries will prove to be an asset in the future.
The widespread accessibility of new online opportunities may be particularly of value to those who are from smaller, less fashion prominent cities where opportunities would otherwise be limited. Luckily, as more opportunities shift online, a wider range of remote, community experiences are becoming available to fashion lovers in large, and small cities alike.
Exciting online communities may literally be one click away (hint, hint like the one here with College Fashionista). As a digital network of college-aged fashion and beauty enthusiasts, College Fashionista is a welcoming community that helps students “propel their future careers.” Becoming involved with College Fashionista is a great opportunity to network with a community of passionate students across the globe, write articles, team-up with brands, and learn “real-life skills from industry insiders.”
In addition to finding your community online, take advantage of your extra time and get more involved with your campus community this semester. Likely home to countless different clubs, activities, and societies, campus involvement is a great opportunity to meet new people and explore interests. To gain valuable experience and build your resume, consider taking on leadership roles within your community. Not only will you develop practical skills, but active campus involvement demonstrates a commitment that employers love.
As a helpful stepping-stone to any career, internships are perfect for anyone looking to acquire practical hands-on experience and industry knowledge. They are a unique opportunity to get your foot in the door and gain insights into the inner workings of an industry.
Megan Stewart, former Harper’s Bazaar intern, described her experience as a dream. “I learned so much about myself and the industry. I had a blast traveling around the city and meeting so many new people,” says Megan. Although Megan did not know anyone in New York when she first relocated for her internship, through work and attending events including New York Fashion Week, Megan grew her network and formed valuable friendships.
Megan cites open-mindedness as a key to staying motivated when applying to internships. While it’s inevitable that you may receive a few “no’s”, try not to let it bring you down. Instead, view it as an opportunity to grow and improve your application. Reach out to employers and inquire about how you can enhance your application for the next time. It’s one step closer to your dream internship!
“You have to persevere, follow up, and make sure you stand out. Don’t be afraid to go the extra mile and apply to everything,” she adds.
Starting the internship search and don’t know where to begin? These are the first steps to take.
Have you tried any of these experiences? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured photo by @apatkovic