Schools Out: Virtual Summer Internships

The summer job market for students out of high school and college is more uncertain than usual. Employment in traditional roles in day camps, athletic leagues, and even retail stores are much fewer.

But remote capabilities, developed to serve members, may also be a way to employ interns in value enhancing projects. Many of these students have spent not just the last semester, but much of their educational experience living in the virtual world.

An Example: The Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is employing 40 undergraduate and graduate students in its 29-year Junior Fellows summer intern program.

The program’s goal is to “enable expanded access to and promote broader awareness of Library resources among members of Congress and researchers, including scholars, students, teachers and the general public.”

All work will be virtual. The ten-week program includes 27 projects across all divisions of the Library.

These range from archiving assets from 20 years of past National Book Festivals, exploring the history of African American business and entrepreneurship, visualizing and mapping collections of literary artists from the Caribbean, Latin America, Iberia and Hispanic or Lusophone cultures, and measuring how different light sources affect the visual aging of inks and papers.

The Junior Fellows also participate in virtual professional-development opportunities including assessments, tours, courses and special events intended to increase engagement with the Library.

In the final week each intern will present their most significant discoveries in a virtual display day.

Virtual Interns

This past Sunday a high school student talked about her frustration when she was unable to join the demonstrations in DC due to a summer rainstorm. The next day, Saturday, she decided to organize her own protest for three days later. Working long days and nights with friends she identified the site an empty municipal library parking lot, notified officials, arranged speakers and asked people to come. She thought several hundred might show up. Nearly one thousand did.

Over the past several weeks, many young people have participated in calls for change. Can we provide this generation opportunities to explore credit unions as one option for their energy, creativity, engagement and commitment? Ten weeks only? And perhaps enable change leaders?

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