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Quarantine Thoughts: Summertime

April 9, 2020

Tim Martin ’22

Career building is a huge part of Oberlin College. During my time at Oberlin, I have met friends that have done everything from intern with the FBI to shadow doctors at UCLA. This summer I was looking to land an internship at either Raymond James or the Federal Reserve. After networking over a series of weeks I was making progress on attaining this goal. Unfortunately, my plans fell through, as did the rest of the world’s plans when the Coronavirus outbreak occurred. While living in my family’s home in Florida, I have come up with a few general ideas on how I plan to continue to build my resume during the summer. 

Last week, I had a conversation with my track coach over Zoom. He was checking in on me and asking how I was doing. After making sure I was okay, he asked me what I am going to do to continue to move my life in a positive direction during this time. I gave him a basic overview of what I was doing on a day to day basis and how that would set me up for my future. After listening to me talk, he told me that I am a very good writer and not many people can say that about themselves, he encouraged me to develop my portfolio as a writer while I had all of this time on my hands. I was thinking about what he said while reading an article and it clicked for me: I should write articles that focus on the economy! I am currently developing a plan to apply as a writer to various websites that focus on the economy. I feel that this will be a fruitful decision for me, as I will be able to not only grow my knowledge as an economist but also to grow my skills as a writer. If I apply to said companies and they all decide to go in a different direction, then I will simply develop my own website and build a strong research team around me.

Another thing I have been looking into is a remote internship with various companies. A quick Google search shows an abundance of options for remote internships. To be completely honest, I am much less excited about a remote internship in the financial world than I am about a job writing for a company. For me, this revolves around the fact that I prefer in-person learning and hands-on instruction. If I have a question I want to be able to walk up to someone and get an answer immediately, not have to wait on a zoom call or a text message to get a response. I worry that the experience won’t be as educational as it would be in person and that I would just be delegated tasks that don’t build my skills. With that said, gaining work experience is imperative during the summer, so I would not be too picky about the opportunities presented to me.

Recently, I have talked to other students at Oberlin about what they plan on doing over the summer. One of the main answers that I continue to get is research for a professor. I have yet to do research for a professor during my time at Oberlin, but my girlfriend tells me about her research projects and they are always impressive. Currently, she is researching the effectiveness of environmental education. On top of that, as a sophomore, she is in charge of her own research team that is made up of current Oberlin students! This just goes to show the abundance of opportunities that are available to Oberlin students.

While the most important thing is that everyone stays safe during this time, do not think that there aren’t opportunities to advance yourself! My best advice to anyone reading this is to talk to your family and mentors and figure out what it is that you really want to do with your life. Once you figure that out, search for the opportunity that fits this the best and pursue it. If you aren’t sure what it is you want, I would still advise you to pursue something that will boost your resume this summer. Even when the world feels frozen it waits for no one.

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