Summer Internships are a great way to overcome the educational disadvantages that Coronavirus hit us with. To no surprise the pandemic has caused major stress in the economy and the workplace. Many found themselves either being made redundant or simply unable to find a job, especially those that had just finished University. In 2020, not only was it harder finding a job, but it was also difficult for those looking for work experience, work placements, summer camps and internships, but they are a great way to kick start your career and gain professional experience.
Firstly, let’s explain what an ‘Internship’ actually is. It’s a full-time, often paid work experience scheme that typically takes place during the summer. They vary in duration, some companies offer a 1-Day internship, one month, four month to a full six month internship. Due to the pandemic, many companies are uncertain about their long-term placements, therefore many companies have taken on different approaches in how to overcome issues implemented by COVID-19 (Shoaib, 2020).
Since last year there is a gradual increase in interest for internships, June saw the highest Google interest with the word ‘internship’ showing that many people did look for summer internships, even though the pandemic meant it was almost impossible to get one. However this year, the work place has grown through these issues, being able to work from home means that many more can start their internships and get back to work, hence the increase in interest! Also according to Google Trends, October 2020 saw the highest peak in internship interest, where many started applying for summer internships early in order to get their foot in the door. Brewster (2020) noted that Ayo Opuiyo said that she found the search for an internship a lot easier than last year. Where others felt there was more competition and there are fewer companies offering paid opportunities.
Change in Internships – Virtual
This summer students are seeing a much more professional reality where they have to take on more independent tasks, as most internships are virtual due to the pandemic. This can have an effect on interns ability to feel a part of the team, Internship’s may not feel the same as they used to as they don’t get to interact with other interns. They may not be as fun as they would if they were in person, the human interaction has been lost, this is only one of many underlying issues within virtual internships. However, many employers are attempting to bring back in-person internships as the vaccine has started to roll out (Brewster, 2021), but due to the pandemic guidelines, this may not be for a while yet, and spaces for internships are filling up.
Having said that, many students feel like they have no choice but to apply for summer internships as they struggle to get into full-time employment. There is a huge increase in pressure for students not only to apply for an internship but to consistently apply. Many companies fail to respond to applications, personally I didn’t come across any internships at all when looking for work. I’ve learnt that you need to specifically look for internships as they don’t come up when searching for work, and you can also search via the government for funded internships.
The pandemic has led to many grants and fellowships being offered to students who are taking on low-paid or unpaid internships. They range from $500-$4,500 with a total of $300,000 been awarded to students this year through the IGF ( Internship Grant Fund). Therefore there are many more opportunities for students, as well as giving them more motivation, but them being much more convenient (Brewster, 2021).
Here at Chipkoo we offer a range of help for students, from simply helping out with CVs, to Internship programmes. We are entirely aware of the stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic in regards to starting off your career. We offer expert help that will keep you moving up to speed with the rapid change in the workplace. Having the need to up-skill, we give you the opportunity to change challenges into opportunities, our premium plans mean that you fully invest in your future where we’ll be behind you every step of the way.
Brewster, L. (2021). Students look ahead to summer amid shifting pandemic conditions. https://miscellanynews.org/2021/03/25/news/students-look-ahead-to-summer-amid-shifting-pandemic-conditions/
Shoaib. (2020). How is Coronavirus affecting placements, Internships and Insights? https://www.ratemyplacement.co.uk/blog/coronavirus-placements-internships-insights/