June 15, 2020 | By NACE Staff
TAGS: best practices, internships, operations, spotlight, coronavirus
Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals
Given that internships are so critical to student career development and resume-building—not to mention their value to employer hosts—how then can employers maximize remote work experiences to ensure that nothing is lost in translation?
Andrew Crain, director of experiential professional development at the University of Georgia (UGA) Graduate School, has conducted significant research into internships and recommends reflecting upon the core functions of an internship, which, he says, include:
The host organization can also help the students reflect on their experience and integrate new knowledge into their future plans, Crain says.
“This can be as simple as having conversations dedicated to these purposes throughout the summer or a more involved format, such as capstone presentations to organizational leadership,” he suggests.
“An added advantage of such experiences is that host organizations may use these moments as part of a feedback loop to capture data about the student experience on their team.”
Reviewing this list of key internship outcomes, Crain points out that it is clear to see the value that comes through face-to-face interactions during a typical internship experience. Understandings of company culture, for example, are much easier to convey through informal channels, such as participation in meetings or team-building events.
“Yet we know that remote internship work is a likely reality for the foreseeable future,” he says. “How can we pivot effectively to maximize these experiences?”
Perhaps, Crain says, it is helpful to think through the points above and consider ways to transfer these outcomes into the virtual space. He offers a list of suggestions that may be important to this process:
“All in all,” Crain says, “a great deal of the typical internship experience can be adapted to virtual settings with a little ingenuity and pre-planning. While some aspects of the internship experience will inevitably be lost in a virtual setting, it is possible that many students may actually thrive in a remote work environment.
“When in doubt, just remember—we are in the midst of a pandemic and facing unprecedented challenges to our work and our lives. Be gracious, be flexible, and be creative. Students are certainly appreciative of organizations that are committed to providing them with an experiential learning opportunity during this chaotic time, and we all may learn some interesting lessons along the way.”
Andrew Crain (email@example.com) is the director of experiential professional development at the University of Georgia Graduate School. The information presented here is based on his own experiences coordinating internship experiences for UGA students. These views are his own and do not represent the University of Georgia.
Average percent of eligible interns converted to FTE
2021 Internship & Co-op Report
Average percent of eligible interns receiving a job offer
2021 Internship & Co-op Report
Mean hourly rate for bachelor’s-level intern
2021 Guide to Compensation for Interns & Co-ops
Percentage of employers who screen candidates by GPA
Job Outlook 2021 Spring Update
Percent of employers expecting to conduct “hybrid” internship programs this summer
Spring 2021 Quick Poll: Summer Internships and Fall Recruiting
Percent of employers who expect internship programs to have a virtual component
August 2021 Quick Poll: Fall Recruiting