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How COVID-19 is affecting internships around the world

Are virtual internships the answer?

Internships are an integral step for tertiary students to gain on-site experience and practical training before entering the workforce. But due to social distancing, this crucial step may be difficult to achieve.

To overcome this obstacle, many workplaces are now offering virtual internships.

In response to COVID-19, Australia Internships launched their Virtual Internships Program. Managing Director of Australia Internships, Diana van Woerkom, believes that the program is benefiting both businesses and young professionals.

“This opportunity has demonstrated that without doubt people have the ability to work remotely, and in many cases be more productive and effective remotely,” she said.

And there are many more businesses around the world who are adapting to the challenges posed by COVID-19 with both Google and Facebook also offering their prestigious Summer internships virtually.

“Despite the challenges of running this program remotely, keeping our summer internship program is important both for the students for whom this is a pivotal learning experience, and for our company. Our internship program is a key part of our recruiting strategy,” Facebook wrote in a blog post.

Similarly, Microsoft has embraced the change, and is now hosting its largest class of interns in its history through their virtual internship program.

Australia’s Griffith University has been praised by its students and staff for it’s swift response to organise virtual internships for students whose essential on-site internships were compromised.

Their School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences worked quickly to ensure that 53 out of 57 industry/journalism internships could continue remotely.

However, virtual internships are not possible for a lot of companies as they do require considerable planning and resources to make the shift online.

Recent research by Glassdoor found that internship opportunity is down by 49 percent in the US. Airbnb is among the companies who have had to cancel their internship program with the travel industry being one of the hardest hit by coronavirus.


Photo: Work From Home by Djurdjica Boskovic can be found HERE. The image has not been modified.



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