COVID-19 has really changed everything. In addition to the medical and health issues, the pandemic has left an unprecedented trail of destruction in the employment world as well.
Internships posed a unique challenge for companies last summer. The inability to host traditional internship programs on site, led to many companies cancelling or significantly curtailing their summer internship programs at the last minute, sending thousands of students scrambling to make summer plans.
Sadly, it looks like COVID will still be our reality come next summer as well, but we can use the lessons learned this last year to our advantage. How can student secure an internship and prepare for success in a COVID world?
Here are the top five things interns need to know about internships during COVID:
- Remote is Reality
Let’s face it. We are not going back to in person meetings for a long while. Students need to be prepared to apply, interview and complete an entire internship remotely. That means having reliable high-speed internet, a reliable computer, webcam and speaker at home are essential.
Zoom etiquette is a must. Student must have a quiet room for business purposes and a professional background (just because your bed is made does not make your room professional). As much as people joke about how pets and children interrupting Zoom meetings is the new normal, as an intern, you are trying to make a long-term impression. Make sure you are presenting yourself professionally and there are no interruptions.
- LinkedIn Is Essential
LinkedIn has been necessary for a long time, but social media is even more important now. Employers will not be seeing candidates in person, so LinkedIn will be one of the primary ways they screen candidates. Make sure to have a professional LinkedIn profile that enhances your professional image. You can watch my LinkedIn webinar by clicking here.
- AI Interviews
The work world was moving this way anyway, but students need to be prepared for computer-based interviewing. Be ready to go through the entire process remotely. Often employers will utilize Artificial Intelligence as opposed to a live interviewer, so be prepared for that.
- Stand Out: Employers always love people who can work through challenging times and embrace change. If you perform well now, you can really differentiate yourself. All negatives can be a positive. Use this pandemic as an opportunity to demonstrate just how talented and flexible you are!