Virtual Summer Internships 

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way just about everything in society functions. People are working and studying from home more than ever. Although some states are reopening their economies in phases now that the pandemic has been in the U.S. for a few months, some will not for quite a while.

Young people must rethink their summer plans during the pandemic. But life goes on. High school graduates may still plan to go to college. College grads still want to enter the workforce. Young adults do not have to suffer without summer internships or jobs this year. Many opportunities are available on a virtual basis. 

Businesses Are Offering Remote Summer Internships

According to Forbes, only about 30 percent of employers are holding summer internships locally. Approximately 36 percent of businesses are saying that their summer internship programs will go virtual. However, 35 percent are expecting to delay the start dates of their summer internship programs. Another 18 percent report that they will reduce the number of available internships altogether because of the pandemic.

What Have Companies Already Done?
Some of the most prominent summer internship programs have already seen significant changes. Morgan Stanley is holding a remote internship this year. That is not a huge stretch, either. Many people in the financial environment have been working on a remote basis since the pandemic began.

JP Morgan’s internship is also going virtual. Citigroup and Goldman Sachs have pushed their start dates back a month. Apple and Facebook are also moving some of their summer internships into the virtual realm. Google has canceled some internships. It has also instilled a hiring freeze, which means that interns may not be hired for full-time work immediately after completing their programs.

What Will Students Get from Virtual Summer Internships?
Working on a remote basis helps teach students how to be self-motivated. Young people can learn about the company, practice their communication skills and work on managing their time efficiently.

Remote work can also improve productivity. Workers tend to be more productive when they have flexibility surrounding their working hours. Working from home may minimize distractions.

But virtual summer internships are not just beneficial for students. They may help companies broaden their pool of candidates. Organizations can now bring on top talent even if the individual does not live nearby.

That is a boon for students too. Someone in a rural part of the state may be able to access a prestigious summer internship that might not have been available to them before.

Even if students work on a remote basis for their summer internships, they should maintain a sense of professionality. They may have to work with others. They will have to manage their time well and be punctual for meetings and conference calls. We are entering a new era, and more people will need to learn how to structure their work for a remote platform. 

Not an Easy Decision
This has not been an easy move for many companies. While some were used to coordinating telecommuters even before the pandemic, others are experiencing an entirely new way of operating.

But going virtual provides many new opportunities for businesses. It will help organizations adapt to the changing technological landscape. It will open the door for new growth during and after the pandemic.

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