BYU-Idaho students adapted to online learning since early March at the start of COVID-19. Many internships offered previously have been canceled or moved until the coronavirus cases slow down.
According to the BYU-I website, “If an internship opportunity has been impacted by the events surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak and you are looking for a way to complete an experience remotely, we invite you to consider projects provided by the RBDC during the 2020 Spring Semester.”
Numerous students since hearing the news concerning COVID-19 found internships remotely. Elizabeth Watson, a senior studying business management, interned for CENTR, a company that has been virtual for five years.
Watson had a family member recommend an online internship to her. Initially, she worried about the qualifications and if her company met the standards at BYU-I.
“The teachers at BYU-Idaho really helped me,” Watson said.
She reached out to Mary Maroon, who specializes in the business field and knew what qualifications were needed to make it work. Maroon is a faculty member at BYU-I who is involved with Business Management.
Susan Walton, one of the faculty internship advisors and the internship coordinators for the Communication Department, helps students taking COMM 498R find internships.
Walton supports students by monitoring their work and keeps an eye out for internships on their behalf. Walton believes that internships help students gain professional skills and helps communicate to prospecting employers that he or she has experienced under their belt.
Walton offers some warnings for students who are wanting to find internships during the pandemic. She explained that COVID-19 has had some effects so students need to be willing to find an internship which allows online internship work.
“Students need to keep pounding the virtual pavement,” said Walton.
She explained that creativity and persistence pay off in the long term, as well as being able to have good communication with employers students come into contact with. Overall, Walton believes that internships students marketable.
According to the BYU-I website, “The purpose of an internship is to help you prepare for your career by providing relevant work experience, to apply skills and knowledge learned in your coursework, and to gain exposure to jobs within your industry.”
When it comes to additional preparation, Walton advised students to gain knowledge about resumes and interview skills through the school workshops, programs and other tools.
Although COVID-19 limits students in certain ways, the overall hard work of students combined with guidance from BYU-I faculty will push through any challenges ahead.