New grads consider a gap year amid job shortages

By September 7, 2020

USA (MNN) — In an economy stalled by COVID-19, recent graduates and current college students are staring down uncertain futures. Instead of seeking to beat out peers, many find themselves vying for their first jobs against more experienced workers. Glassdoor reports the availability of entry-level jobs is down 68% compared to May 2019.

For many, this means putting plans on hold as they scramble for other options.

Jennifer Holloran with Wycliffe Bible Translators says with so much uncertainty in the job market, 2020 might be a great time to take a gap year. “I do think that there are more students out there thinking about internships, thinking about how to use a gap year, especially if they’re not as excited about taking some of their classes virtually. And so a gap year with an internship could be a great way to supplement their education, fulfill some of those requirements.”

Wycliffe USA offers a variety of internships domestically and abroad. Students or grads absorb real-world experiences while contributing to Bible translation. Programs can be tailored to individual needs or interests and often Wycliffe USA programs can count toward course credit.

Who Can Apply?

Internship applicants come from many different backgrounds. They can be students or graduates but need to be at least 18 years old or older.

Holloran emphasizes that while Wycliffe USA is uniquely focused on translation, these internships aren’t just for linguistics students. “The reality is we have internship needs across all sorts of different disciplines. And we’re really looking for people in IT and literacy, education, and of course, linguistics.

“I would encourage people even if they think, ‘Hmm, can Wycliffe use my skills? This kind of background?’ Please check us out because there’s a really good likelihood that we can.”

A Lifelong Impact

Internships usually last anywhere from 3 months to a year. However, the effects can last a lifetime, both for the intern and for the Church.

(Photo courtesy of Wycliffe USA)

Holloran recalls an intern named Sarah who had a profound experience with Wycliffe USA. Sarah interned with a translation team in Southeast Asia. She helped develop a set of flashcards for team members so they could better connect with the religious terms used in church services. She also used some of her own language skills to help review and revise a translation of Ephesians.

Holloran says, “It was a great experience for her; she got to do something that was meaningful and that’s going to last a lifetime, and she also got to build on her skills. For her, she shared with us that she’s never felt so directly connected to the actual translations; that it was a remarkably formative experience for her as she invested in the language and translation being discussed at the table that day.”

Join Translation Work

The uncertainty of COVID-19 means plans change almost daily for future events. Yet the call of the Church to go and make disciples remains the same. Wycliffe USA offers the unique opportunity to contribute to that Gospel call for all peoples by supporting translation work through internships.

(Photo courtesy of Wycliffe USA)

“I would encourage students really be thinking and asking the Lord, ‘How can God use me during this season, to be a blessing to others, and to use the skills that God is developing in me?'” Holloran says. “I think it’s a great opportunity for that.”

Consider putting your skills to work for the Gospel by joining Wycliffe USA on an internship program. Learn more about the internships and apply here.



Header photo courtesy of Tom Small on Flickr