Internships in the Time of COVID 19

FSU and the Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship are prioritizing safety and suggesting that all students seeking internship work experiences should plan for virtual options due to COVID 19. Virtual internships are internships that are done online or remotely and can be completed during any semester. The primary benefit of a virtual/remote internship is that they can provide students with a safe work-based learning experience allowing students to work on a global scale in the safety of their own home.

Students’ assignments will require them to complete a company project that can help develop many technical, interpersonal and transferable skills, as well as making contacts for future employment or networking opportunities. Additionally, a virtual internship can provide students experience in engaging in online project management and communications, which are common in many organizations, and even more so during this pandemic. An online internship includes no travel or housing costs, which can be a solution for those who cannot afford to relocate to expensive cities for extended periods of time.

Even though virtual internships do not allow in-person relationship building and immersion within the physical spaces of an organization, they will provide students an opportunity to:

  • Take initiative when doing research for the projects they will be assigned
  • Opportunity to demonstrate their organizational skills
  • Strengthen their communication skills both on the phone and online
  • Demonstrate their creative and problem- solving skills

Whatever obstacles or challenges faced in this virtual environment, students should take responsibility, own their work and make the virtual internship work to their advantage.

We are confident that students who complete virtual internships will still be able to gain the experience and skills expected through the internship requirement. During the summer of 2020, when many internships were quickly shifted to a virtual format, we were pleased that some companies such as Eli Lilly, Bank of America, Greystar, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and others were able to transition and offer our students remote internships. These remote internships were outstanding and provided students with unique learning experiences and challenging responsibilities.