Build Your Resume During a Pandemic

10 ideas to get you started


Extracurricular (sometimes referred to as co-curricular) activities are a cornerstone of the American university application process. While still not as prevalent among European universities, there is a rise in universities who take a comprehensive approach to evaluating applicants. Part of the comprehensive approach is reviewing a student’s academic CV/resume. Doing so gives universities a better perspective on the student, and if their experiences match the course of study selected.


Due to the pandemic, many in-person and school activities are cancelled including volunteer work, sporting events, and co-curricular activities. With the transition to online learning, lack of socialization, and the unknown end date of social distancing, so much is up in the air, and students feel stressed. At LAUNCH, we believe students can overcome this obstacle, in their own time of course. Today, we offer you a list of 10 great activities students can do during a pandemic to add to their Resume.


  1. If you enjoy an academic challenge and adjusted well to virtual/online learning, you may want to apply to summer institutes at some of the nations top universities. These programs provide participants with academic challenges, a glimpse into college-level coursework, and sometimes course credit! Some of our favorites include Columbia Summer Experience Programs and Stanford Summer Institutes.

  2. If you love to learn for the sake of learning, then you may want to consider enrolling in a Massive/Mini Open Online Course (MOOC). These programs allow students to explore areas of interest, can help you narrow down your major choices, and are open to everyone so you do not need to go through an application possess to learn. Check out courses on Coursera, EdX, mooc.org, FutureLearn, Open Yale Courses, or Khan Academy.

  3. If you love researching, collecting data, and want to have a positive impact on the world, you may want to consider Pioneer Academics. Led by faculty from leading universities, Pioneer Academics brings together students from all around the world to create meaningful connections, lasting impacts, and set a foundation for an ambitious future. The deadline is April 26, 2020.

  4. Have you always wanted to learn a new language? Are you aiming to become bilingual, trilingual, or a polyglot? The pandemic is an excellent time to invest energy into learning a new language. With numerous platforms out there including Babbel, Rosetta Stone, or Duolingo, you can take advantage of your time in a productive way. It is good to note that many universities will accept Duolingo for English language competency.

  5. Just because you are stuck inside, doesn’t mean you can’t bring nature into your life. You can transform your balcony, terrace, or rooftop into a garden during the pandemic. Not only will you practice patience, but you will also learn about botany. May be a great alternative for budding bontanists. Learn about creating and caring for a garden here: terrace, balcony, or rooftop, traditional.

  6. For the students interested in serving mankind through peace and humanitarian initiatives, you can check out becoming a virtual volunteer for the United Nations. Volunteers can choose from a variety of areas including COVID-19 response, Translation, Art + Design, Project Development, and more. The UN believes when skilled and passionate people get together, great things can happen. Join UN Digital Volunteer to make an impactful contribution to the world.

  7. If you are already bilingual or trilingual, there is a huge opportunity for your to contribute to making the world a better place by reducing language barriers. Aimed at improving Crisis Response, Development+ Preparedness, Capacity Building, and Advocacy, Translators Without Borders allows you to contribute to engaging projects to help humanity. You can help translate medical text, humanitarian communication, and more.

  8. With a simple app, be my eyes connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers all around the world. Be my eyes hopes to increase accessibility for blind and low-vision individuals by reducing barriers to everyday tasks while reducing the stress load placed on friends and family. Simple tasks include reading instructions/directions for recipes, locating objects, and understanding important documents.

  9. The Human Voicebank in VocaliD is a project which collects English-speaking voices from all across the world. In doing so, VocaliD provides voiceless individuals with unique, synthetic voices allowing them to speak in a way that is unique to them. By offering voiceless individuals synthetic voices, they can be heard as themselves instead of their assistive technology.

  10. Project Gutenberg is an online library of 60,000+ free ebooks. The focus is mainly on older US books whose copyright has expired. Project Gutenberg is looking for volunteers in the following areas: Marketing and Promotion, Proofreading, Contribute Missing Books or Pages, or Record Audiobooks (through Librivox). Project Gutenberg may be a great option for literary lovers young and old.


While the pandemic is not over and social distancing will continue for a while, don’t forget to continue to stay healthy, learn, and give back. #dreamlaunchsoar


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