How COVID-19 affected students’ internships

COVID-19 has forced students to adapt in many different ways this year. Zoom has become a classroom for many, housing may be different for some and internships went remote. Students who intended on interning during the summer didn’t anticipate a pandemic or the effects it would have on their experience and possible job opportunities in the future. 

This summer, senior Eliza Miller was originally hired to intern in Washington, D.C. with Prime Advocacy, a company that organizes fly-ins for Capitol Hill. When D.C. shut down due to the pandemic, her internship was cancelled. Fortunately, Miller secured an online internship with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

“I think, overall, the internship was still really valuable, even though it was online,” she said. “Because I was doing a program that had about 150 students overall, we were still able to connect via Zoom and through the networking events that D.C. Internships set up for us.”

Myla Swint, a senior accounting major, was originally accepted to do an in-person internship with Verizon in Lake Mary, Florida. 

“My internship coordinators really went above and beyond to make sure that we felt comfortable and useful throughout the summer, so my experience was definitely what I would have wanted if we were in the office,” Swint said.

Swint said the main difference of her digital experience was the networking opportunities, which were no longer in-person. Her employers, however, still held virtual networking events. She said those events allowed her to connect with people across the company.

Miller said learning to work in this new paradigm still gives her valuable experiences that will be appealing to future employers.

“I definitely think being able to see the flexibility of someone to work in the current environment is something that workplaces will begin to look for when they hire,” Miller said. “ If you continue to follow up with people and nurture connections, there will be opportunities to build your resume even further.”

Miller will continue interning with Prime Advocacy this fall.

“The people have been so welcoming in both places, and I really appreciated their willingness to try and give me advice and help me out even during these times,” she said.