Due to the amount of training and mentoring involved, internships typically require student interns to report to a corporate office or other physical location.
Given the onset of COVID-19, many companies and employing organizations are converting in-office positions to remote work.
Internship Cancellation or Postponement
The first thing you should do if your internship is canceled is explore the possibility of working remotely. While this isn’t feasible for many internships, it may be a possibility for some. Ask if there would be a way to add value to the company or organization working from home.
Project Based Work
If the employer cannot commit to a structured (work-from-home) internship program, inquire if there would be any projects to which you could contribute, working from home as an intern. UCI is partnering with Parker Dewey to offer micro-internships, a new way to build valuable work experience.
Research Laboratories and Remote Work
In terms of research laboratories, as an intern, you may wish to inquire about the opportunity to work remotely and focus on literature reviews, survey creation, data analysis or other non-bench related work. As a remote intern, you can still develop your career readiness competencies and build your resume while working at home.
Maximize Your Internship
Make sure the internship is project-based and you are obtaining meaningful work experience. Deliver high quality work and strive to exceed expectations. Develop mentor relationships with professionals across the organization. Take the initiative to seek additional responsibilities when you have completed your work. Maintain your network after the internship is over for future referrals and letters of recommendation.
- Does the internship have a defined beginning and end?
- Is the supervisor experienced in the area in which you are working?
- Is there a clear learning component(s) to the internship?
- Are the skills you will gain applicable to future employment?
- Will the resources necessary for the internship be provided by the organization?
- Is there a feedback/evaluation process?
- Is the internship paid?
- If unpaid, does the company have at least one person in a full-time role similar to your internship?
If you answered “no” to any of the questions above, take a moment to think about how valuable this component is to you. If you are unsure, internship advising is a good place to get additional information and insights.
Talk to a career educator live and online with a virtual appointment. Discuss your career plan, the internship and job search process, and review your resume and cover letter. Be sure to read the Internships how-to guide.