Fall 2020 Frequently Asked Questions

All students, regardless of enrollment status, as well as graduates in the Class of 2020 will have full access to the Cawley Career Education Center through December 2020. This includes full-time students, part-time students, students who take a Leave of Absence, and members of the Class of 2020. [Students and families are encouraged to review Cawley’s services by year (new window) to learn more about what students have access to.]

However, the current environment has many students wondering if a Leave of Absence is right for him/her. Please read the FAQs below to learn about what to consider when making a final decision.

*Q: Can I still participate in fall recruiting while on a Leave of Absence or as a part-time student?
A: Students should consider employer requirements when considering a leave of absence. Most (though not all) non-government employers are generally open to interviewing students who are on a Leave of Absence, as long as the Leave of Absence does not alter the student’s graduation date. Seniors looking to participate in Fall 2020 recruiting for full-time positions should have a graduation date of December 2020 or May 2021, juniors looking to participate in summer 2021 internships should have a graduation date of December 2021 or May 2022, while sophomores applying to summer 2021 internships should have a graduation date of December 2022 or May of 2023. Students should check with an industry advisor and the individual firms they are interested in to determine the firm’s specific policies.

Students on a Leave of Absence during the Fall 2020 semester should, in good faith, plan on keeping within those same graduation date ranges, as per employer requirements.

Students interested in the federal Pathways Internship program must meet all eligibility requirements as indicated in the individual job announcement, and be enrolled at least halftime (as defined by Georgetown) during the period of performance. Students who are on LOA for the Fall 2020 semester are not eligible for federal Pathways Internships during the Fall 2020 semester. 

Finally, government agencies will take Leave-of-Absence students as interns on a case by case basis, agency-by-agency basis. Students should read the postings on USAJobs very carefully. IF a position is listed as Pathways then the rules above apply. If not, then it’s agency by agency, case by case. Postings will also say at the top if the position is telework eligible.

Q: Will employers be concerned if I take a leave of absence or go part time?
A: When evaluating candidates, one of the first items an employer will look at on a resume is the anticipated graduation date. If a Leave of Absence does not move the graduation date, then students, in most cases*, will still be qualified to apply to positions of interest.

The next item employers will evaluate either on a resume or in an interview is the relevant experiences a student has. Students should be prepared to answer the question, “What skills did you gain or develop while on Leave?” Staff at the Cawley Center can help you craft this narrative, but it will be important for students to determine what activities s/he will participate in while on Leave.

*Please refer to Question #1 above: Can I still participate in fall recruiting while on a Leave of Absence or as a part-time student? to review employer requirements when applying to internships and full-time jobs. 

Q: Do I have to be in Washington, D.C. or on-campus to participate in fall recruiting?
A: No. All recruiting activities will be virtual – no employers will have any physical presence on campus. You can participate in fall recruiting from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection.

Q: I’m thinking of doing an internship this fall. How common is it for students to do so?
A: While the number of large, structured internship programs are fewer, there are certainly plenty of opportunities at smaller companies, non-profit organizations, government agencies, etc. Many students participate in fall and spring internships, although the internships tend to require fewer hours per week as compared to a summer internship. At any given time, there are several hundred internship opportunities to be found on Handshake, and you can also explore other job sites found here.

Q: Do I have to be in Washington, D.C. to participate in an internship?
A: No. Virtual internships can take place anywhere. You can be at home and participate in a virtual internship in D.C. On the same token, you can be at home and work at an internship in San Francisco, Seattle, New York City, Los Angeles….anywhere! The virtual world opens up your options to internships in many, many places during the fall and beyond.

Q: Will internships located in Washington D.C. be virtual this fall?
A: Organizations in the Washington, D.C. area are subject to the current Washington, D.C. COVID re-opening phase. As of this writing, in the Washington, D.C. area, most employers are still working on a “work-from-home” model. As such, many employers who will host interns during the fall semester will expect the interns to work remotely. However, it is imperative for students to clarify with employers in advance whether or not the internship will be virtual. 

Q: Where should I look for an internship? 
A: Internship postings can be found on the same platforms as in previous semesters: Handshake, LinkedIn and Indeed.com, as well as Angel.co (startups), Idealist.org (non-profits), usajobs.gov (government), individual company/organization/agency websites, and many other sites.

Q: Will Cawley help me find a fall internship?
A: Yes! While the location of an internship or experiential learning opportunity may be much more broad and flexible than it has been in past semesters, the overall strategy of finding a job/internship remains the same. Cawley is committed to guiding students through the process of developing a strategy, whether it is for an internship search, a volunteer opportunity, or to discern next steps in one’s career.

Q: Is there a difference in access to the career center if I’m a part-time student vs. a full-time student vs. on a Leave of Absence?
A: No, the Cawley Career Education Center will grant the same, full access to students who are taking a Leave of Absence or are part-time as to those who are full-time.

Q: What events are Cawley planning for the fall?
A: In addition to employer events which are published in Handshake, the Cawley Career Center is also planning on hosting a variety of career fairs this fall, including: