What You Need to Know About Internships During a Pandemic and How to Land One [Guest Post from Jhanis Rogers]

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing economic upheavals worldwide and hundreds of companies letting go of their employees either temporarily or permanently, you can say that it was somewhat expected that these affected companies would also cancel their internship programs. Though a necessary step towards employee health and safety, this leaves thousands of hopeful internship candidates at a loss on what to do or where to go next.

If you are one of those whose internship offer was revoked, know that with a little flexibility and willingness to adapt, you can still get that much needed internship even in the middle of this pandemic. You just need to look in the right places to see that there are still opportunities available for you.

Adapting in the Time of a Pandemic

Like everything else, summer internships have been cancelled in compliance to social distancing measures, but you can look for other ways to gain the necessary experience. An internship is a critical part of your career growth because this is where you gain practical skills which you cannot learn elsewhere. If your offer was rescinded, then maybe this is an opportunity for you to broaden your horizon and consider other means to gain the experience.

To cope with the social distancing measures mandated by the government, many companies have already shifted to remote work. This shift presents work-from-home and virtual job opportunities for so many, including you. Even Google, one of the biggest tech companies in the world and one with the most sought-after internship programs, has shifted to an entirely digital work experience for their interns. If you are willing to explore this type of internship opportunity, you might be surprised at how a virtual internship can benefit you.

Benefits of Virtual Internships

Virtual internship offers valuable benefits to candidates. Aside from the fact that it can turn into a full-time job for you in the future, here are some of the reasons why you should go for virtual internship:

  • Continue to develop and gain professional skills which can help prepare you in building your career despite the on-going world crisis.
  • Build your network of people from the same industry that may later help connect you with potential employers.
  • Opportunity to work with companies from around the globe since you are unrestricted by location boundaries.
  • Ability to increase your market value by gaining experience in the field.
  • Learn the ropes of the industry that are not usually taught within the four corners of a classroom.

How to Prepare for Virtual Internships

Before you start searching for virtual internship posts, evaluate if you are ready for any on-boarding process and trainings. Below are some of the things that should be in place:

  • Prepare an updated and comprehensive CV that lists all your relevant skills, trainings, and education.
  • Come up with a highly effective and targeted cover letter to help you stand out among the throng of applicants.
  • Be prepared. Interviews and on-boarding processes are slightly unconventional these days and considering the number of hopeful candidates waiting for acceptance, be ready to accept virtual meeting invites at any given time.

Where to Look for Internships in the Middle of the Covid-19 Pandemic

Despite the unprecedented uncertainties brought about by this pandemic, there are still several ways to improve your chances of landing an internship for that much needed real-life work experience. Here are some of the channels that you can look into:

Check with your University’s Careers Service – Most universities offer career services that help students find jobs, internship spots, and even assistance in career planning, especially during this time. They also work with businesses when it comes to placing students, so reach out to see if they have something worth checking out.

Connect with Potential Employers Online – If you haven’t done this already, create your professional social media accounts and reach out to businesses and brands in your industry online. Check them out on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, or wherever they have a presence. Do not be shy about asking for remote interviews, but do it with tact and professionalism. This is a great way to build professional relationships which can possibly land you that highly coveted internship.

Consider Micro-Internships– According to the Parker Dewey, “micro-internships are short-term, paid, professional assignments that are similar to those given to new hires or interns,” but it is not a full-time gig. With the shortage of traditional internships, micro-internship is a great alternative. Instead of getting a full-time role, you get projects that you need to work on within a specific timeframe. Tasks can vary and in different capacities like data entry, sales, lead generation, or content creation. 

Although a traditional internship has been proven to be a pertinent step in career building, micro-internships help fill in the gap and the current lack of open full-time internship positions. Nonetheless, it can help you develop certain skills, as well as in building professional connections which may later be beneficial to your career growth. Moreover, it can help prove your adaptability and ability to overcome unexpected crisis like the coronavirus pandemic.

Widen Your Search – When going for online or virtual internships, remember that your location does not limit your search anymore. You can now work remotely for a company that is on the other side of the world. A virtual international internship not only helps you gain work experience, but it can also help increase your cross-cultural awareness and understanding. Search for international companies in your industry and be ready to send in your application. Make sure to contact your careers service to help you check the legitimacy of such opportunities.

The coronavirus pandemic has, without a doubt, altered the course of how businesses and companies are being run these days, but on the flip side, it also opened new careers and job opportunities for many people. While it can be challenging to have to totally rearrange your career plans to fit into this now so-called “new normal”, your ability to adapt to these changes will ultimately shape your future career-wise.


Post written by Jhanis Rogers for yorksj.ac.uk

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