The Silver Lining in the Covid Cloud
Lots of summer internships will be virtual in 2021 because of the pandemic. Remote internships, compared to “in-the-office” internships, will present challenges regarding mentoring, relationship building, supervision and probably even learning. They certainly will be less fun. But for once your location means a whole lot less. So now, a student in Ann Arbor, Atlanta or Austin has a much better chance of getting an internship in the Bay Area, Boston or NYC. Meritocracy and determination matters way more now. However, the students from the local schools still will have an inside track (from alumni/school relationships, internships being communicated locally, etc. ). So, you need to work harder to find out about remote internships and then network like hell (not so subtle plug for Dayaway internship listings and Zoom-In). But make no mistake, the playing field is as close to level as it ever will be. Go for it. Things most likely go back to normal next summer. And looking ahead to Summer 22 . . .
Get Ready to Hit the Road
Most students are not going to find a summer renewable energy internship in their home or college town. Many RE companies are clustered in a few well-known cleantech zones (SF, Boston, Denver, etc.). Even more RE companies are located randomly around the country. It’s just not likely you’ll find a good match, especially after you factor in your specific major, role and sector preferences. So, you’ll need to “hit the road” if you want to land a renewable energy internship.
The Temporary Housing Challenge
You may be thinking, “but where will I live and whom would I know; seems kind of hard for just an internship.” It takes work to arrange temporary housing, but it’s easier than you might think. Most renewable energy companies are located close to a college where you can sublet a student’s apartment for the summer or rent a dorm room. Hotels often offer discounted monthly rates. Big cities like NYC and Chicago have companies that rent rooms to summer interns. Inform the employer that you will be responsible for your temporary relocation hen applying for the renewable energy internship.
Demonstrating Your Character
Yes, you’ll probably feel lonely, bored and sometimes scared. Most young professionals will not be up for this. But for those who look past this aspect, it demonstrates unmistakably to future employers (after the renewable energy internship) that you are determined, mature, and resourceful – a person who embraces new situations and makes the best out of them. You will become stronger and more independent and your peers will most definitely admire your initiative and energy. This is a powerful way to distinguish yourself, to separate yourself from the pack.
I’m not saying it’s easy. But, it may be your best option to get into renewable energy.
The is the one of four articles on on getting an internship in renewable energy: Landing that Perfect Summer Internship in Renewable Energy: Tips & Tricks | Renewable Energy Internships: Unpaid may Pay Off | Far Away from Home? Be Open to a Road-trip Renewable Energy Internship | Should You Take an Internship in Renewable Energy After Graduation?