Using this time in quarantine to build your skillset is essential

by Trinity Bland, Opinion Editor

For college students, the reality of spending the summer and semester at home due to COVID-19 is quite nerve-wracking. 

Many students are either required or strongly encouraged to obtain internships, participate in study abroad opportunities or take on other ventures for their academic plans in efforts to build experience and provide security for a future career. 

Jobs and internships have been canceled. Classes have transitioned to online platforms. The alterations that we are constantly making to our daily routines because of the pandemic are endless and it has become tiring. 

As disappointing and discouraging the cancellations and postponement of events and milestones may be, students can use their time of self-isolation to build skills in order to make themselves more marketable to employers when it is time to apply for jobs. 

Seeking out alternative remote employment opportunities, taking advantage of online certification training programs and being proactive about educating yourself on certain topics can not only keep you productively occupied but can also help you enhance your skillset and resume.

Utilize LinkedIn or Handshake (SDSU’s career connection networking tool for students, alumni and faculty members) as well as other professionals and students all across the nation looking to interact with others in a professional exchange. These resources can provide you the avenue to make connections with others to see if there are projects or networking opportunities you can engage in from home. 

Check with professors or organizations that you are involved in to see if there are opportunities that could allow you to work remotely while still learning as much as you can. You may be surprised as to how vast your network is and how many people are willing to help you thrive in this unprecedented time. 

If these options don’t work for you, consider coming up with your own research or project. Hone in on your passions and where they intersect with your career aspirations. Depending on your interests, you could start a blog or website full of content solely about what you love to do that could lead to a portfolio. Use your creativity to decide. 

Ivy League institutions such as Harvard University and Yale University are offering free and a diverse array of online courses during this pandemic to give those who want to enhance their knowledge the chance to do so. Educating yourself on a new subject may be the thing that sets you apart from fellow candidates who apply to the same opportunities as you. 

Learning a new language is another skill to gain during this time. Using free apps like DuoLingo— available on the App Store and the Google Play store— that meet you at your level can bring you one step closer to being multilingual. This can help in multiple aspects of your life, not just in the professional arena.

Losing the opportunity to partake in a traditional internship or job can feel like a major obstacle in the road but by truly understanding the reality of the situation, you are doing yourself a number of favors. You are not only fighting against COVID-19 but you also have the opportunity to take advantage of this time for your own personal gain to educate yourself on any topic you want. In doing this, you become a better student and a better person.

There will be traditional job and internship opportunities in the future, so this is the time to fully equip yourself to be the best candidate for the position you want to obtain. Become the best person of yourself both personally and professionally despite these very uncertain times.

Trinity Bland is a junior studying television, film and media.

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