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Virtual Projects as Alternatives to Internships

Elizabeth Krishnan, Associate Director

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  • iconThe “Career Ladder” No Longer

    The Palo Alto based non-profit, the Institute for the Future recognizes that “Old metaphors, including the basic concept of a ‘career ladder,’ will increasingly be more frustrating than illuminating in a world where a typical work portfolio cannot be planned any more than a few years out” (Future Work Skills 2020).

    College grads now need to be trained for what David Autor, an economics professor at MIT, calls “situational adaptability.” They must be adept with and adaptable to new media, responsive to new job functions and skill development, open to continual learning, and ready to shed approaches that no longer work. Rather than expect to climb a career ladder, life-long career development will involve building a project-based portfolio that demonstrates the skills and experience needed for the next role.

  • iconPave Your Own Path

    The disruptive forces in the workplace are now demanding college students to be even more proactive in managing their career development instead of relying only on traditional routes to their first job. In a recent conversation with recruiters from Facebook, Google, and Twitter, all acknowledged that college students stand out when they demonstrate they have an interest area and the initiative to develop their skill set through the suite of extra-curricular options that is now available:

  • iconPermission to Pursue Vocation

    The result of these changes is that students, now more than ever, have the opportunities and technology available to pursue activities that engage their creativity and interests. As advisors to students’ career development we all can assist with helping students articulate their interests and talents so that they can discern which of the many options to engage with. This requires that we stay up to date on the new tools for experiential learning and consider how to integrate them into curriculum and extra-curricular programming in intentional and meaningful ways.

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