Traditionally, internships are held in-person, but this semester they are looking a lot different as many companies are taking safety measures by having their interns work virtually from home due to COVID-19.
Students apply year-round in hopes of gaining “real-world” learning experience where valuable skills are learned and practiced.
Today, that experience has transformed into a virtual one, raising the question of just how students are adjusting to this new internship style.
Sage Voyles, a final-semester senior at UWGB, majoring in Developmental Psych, is interning in a lower-level French class at West De Pere High School, where she tutors and creates extra resources for students.
What once was an in-person internship is now making the virtual transition.
“West De Pere is starting virtual classes Monday. We have been in-person thus far. It has been a great opportunity to meet students face-to-face for a month before having to make the transition.”
When asked if she believes this transition will strip qualities gained from being in-person, she said, “I don’t think this internship will be any less valuable when it moves online. All the tutoring I have done so far has been only online. I think it has taught me how to be much more adaptable within my role.”
Students like Voyles see the opportunities and skills that have come with interning virtual. However, this perspective can be difficult for others.
Linda G. Peacock-Landrum, Director of Career Services at UWGB, states that the biggest challenge is that students are not interested in a virtual internship right now, as they do not feel the internship will have substance. Despite this, she says that organizations want students to have solid and meaningful experiences and have re-worked many of their programs.
Adaptation is crucial in this new “real-world” learning experience provided within internships. Students are encouraged to continue with optimism and stay open to opportunities.
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