By Madeline Merritt, Intern, Susan Davis International

Quarantine got your tongue? Yeah, me too.

Coming back from spring break in March, I never imagined my last semester of college would be cut short, let alone that my internship would just be me, my laptop and my living room. I admit, I took some time to get upset and feel sorry for myself. I quickly realized that was not productive.

During this time of anxiety and unknowns, it’s important to remind ourselves that we are living through history that our great-grandchildren will talk about. It’s okay to have stress. However, an outlet to relieve it is even more important.

With everyone spending more time at home, employers are looking at what people have done to stay productive and grow their skills. Have they gained a new certification? Started a blog? Attended webinars?

For me, I have taken to doing more film and video editing to gain valuable skills to succeed in the communications field. Granted, I am currently only using my iPhone to film with a tripod and simple editing software. Everyone has to start somewhere, right?

If video editing is not your forte, that’s not a problem. There are many other ways to hone your skills and learn new things while staying home. Here are some of my favorites:

Take Online CoursesMadeline Merritt

You don’t need to be a student to go to school. Harvard University is only one example of a school that has a long list of free online courses accessible right from their website. From Humanities to Social Sciences, courses range from a couple weeks to a few months long – perfect for any amount of time spent at home. They can be accessed here, and nearly every university is offering similar programs this summer.

Get a Certification

Earning certifications is a great way to boost your LinkedIn profile and give you something to tell future employers during interviews.  One example is a HubSport certification, which will help your digital marketing skills. The different sessions usually last about a couple hours, and you can potentially complete several in a day. The HubSpot Academy has a robust collection of certifications that you can earn.

Another potential avenue is The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which offers a Certificate in Principles of Public Relations for recent college graduates. It’s available to students within six months of graduation, which makes summer an ideal time to earn it.

Get on TikTok

Hear me out here. While some might think of TikTok as a teenager’s playground, the app actually has a lot of value. If you want to learn more about video editing, TikTok is an excellent way to get started. The platform’s short clips might not seem like much, but actually take quite a bit of skill. Separate from editing, you can still learn valuable skills on TikTok through the content that people post. Personally, I love my favorite restaurant’s TikToks for new recipe ideas.

Join LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn is not just a place to connect with colleagues and work acquaintances. There are many ways to connect with other professionals in your field, and LinkedIn groups are perfect for meeting new people. Search for groups that connect you to your alumni network or join a group that focuses on something you wish to learn more about. These groups can be an easy, useful way to pick up new pieces of information and advice.

Additionally, participating in these groups after graduation can lead to new potential job offers. You never know who you might meet and what they can do to help you. By spending as little as 20 minutes each day chatting with others on LinkedIn, you can foster relationships and find open positions that might not be posted on your average job site.

DIY Everything 

Have a boring home office? Join the club. Try adding some spice into your work-from-home life with do-it-yourself projects. Adding simple hanging shelves, a study nook, a new bookcase or new lighting can really brighten up where you spend your working hours.

YouTube is a great place to browse DIY videos and channels, and add DIY skills to your resume like problem solving, completing projects and getting creative. I recommended a relatively new channel started by a father called “Dad, how do I?” that has more than 1.5 million subscribers.

Be Creative & Choose Your Own Path

During my internship here, the remote atmosphere hasn’t stopped us at SDI from being creative, getting work done and helping one another. I’ve learned about the intricate details of transitioning in-person events to virtual formats. I’ve nearly become a master in Zoom and Slack.

Like any intern, I looked forward to coming to an office every day and learning about my chosen career from those who live it on a daily basis. Though not ideal, I haven’t found remote work to be any less of a learning experience. In fact, I’ve learned to become more adaptable and creative.

I urge every intern to be creative in choosing how to improve your skills and maximize your internship. I plan on continuing to acquire video editing and digital marketing skills post-quarantine because it is something that I am passionate about. I hope I keep this mindset for many years into the future, when our months of remote work is a distant memory.

To be considered for an internship at SDI, please email a cover letter and resume to Jayne Davis at