WATCH: Expert offers job-searching students advice in coronavirus era

Campus Reform recently interviewed the Leadership Institute’s Ben Woodward to see how students could still bolster their resumes and pursue internship and job opportunities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Woodward encouraged Campus Reform viewers to take online trainings and webinars to remain competitive.

With colleges and universities closed for the foreseeable future and many Americans working remotely, Campus Reform interviewed Ben Woodward, the Leadership Institute’s Programs Coalitions Coordinator, on how students and other Americans can improve their job skills and pursue job opportunities during the coronavirus. 

The Leadership Institute is a non-partisan educational organization and the parent organization of Campus Reform

Woodward encouraged students and job-seekers to remain vigilant in pursuing opportunities during the coronavirus. 


“Don’t give up applying for those internships and for those opportunities,” Woodward recommended. “A lot of companies and organizations, specifically in the non-profit sector, are concerned about future funding right now. You know, we don’t know how the economy’s going to look once this is over, so there have been some hiring freezes but most of the organizations I’m working with are still continuing their full-time hiring. And are still going on as normal in that way.” 

While many internship programs in the Washington D.C. area have been temporarily suspended due to the coronavirus, Woodward said some companies may be readying for summer internships. 

“When it comes to the internships, just check the internships website,” Woodward said. “Check the updates, the social media platforms and see whether those internships are still available to you. A lot of organizations are still going ahead with summer internships, at least on a provisional basis.”

Woodward said job-seekers should prepare applications and develop more skills so they can be more competitive when social-distancing and stay at home orders are lifted. 

[RELATED: Mike Rowe SLAMS rising college tuition as classes go online: ‘What are we paying for?’]

“Even if your dream internship is not available to you right now, you have this time to be preparing your applications and to be building up your resume so that when we get back to normality you can get those jobs,” Woodward added. “Invest in your professional development. Now is the time to be studying, to be learning, to be reading, attend webinars and courses. Many organizations are doing those right now. And use this opportunity to bolster your resume.”

Woodward also spoke about the Leadership Institute’s extensive free online trainings

“The Leadership Institute offers one on one career guidance to young people and to people of all ages, but it’s very helpful for young people to use our resources and to reach out to the LI for career consultations. Make sure you’re as stellar an applicant as possible when the time comes.”

While remote working has affected the way the Leadership Institute organizes trainings, Woodward said many online trainings have been viewed by more people than would normally attend in-person trainings.

“In many ways, we’ve been able to reach more people,” he said. According to Woodward, the types of trainings range from topics on communication, digital media, and politics. 

In addition to online trainings, Woodward highlighted the Leadership Institute’s one-on-one career consultations. 

[RELATED: As coronavirus forces classes online, colleges face new challenge: ‘Zoombombing’]

“We’ve been doing [career consultations] by telephone, by email, by video chat, however best we can reach people,” Woodward said. “They’re totally free and personalized. We go through resumes, practice interviews, cover letters, whatever it is you need help with.”

“If viewers want to go on, which is the Leadership Institute’s free employment placement service, they can see a link to request a career consultation as well as a huge number of jobs that are still available to people right now that they can apply to. So I encourage people to check that out and use us as a free resource.”

“Don’t use this strange period that we’re in, which is temporary, as an excuse to put your job seeking on hold and to put your contribution to your passions on hold.”

Follow the author of this article on Facebook: @eduneret and Twitter: @eduneret