Business & Finance | April 14th, 2020

Summer Internships Are Canceled Due to COVID-19

By: Ezekiel Hobbs
Summer Internships Are Canceled Due to COVID-19

First, classes were moved virtually, then dorms were abruptly shut down, and graduation ceremonies were canceled.

Now, college students and soon-to-be graduates fear for their futures as the coronavirus pandemic has presented some of the hardest challenges to those expecting to start internships and jobs in the coming months. Internships are a desired resume booster and can provide an experience that students can utilize for networking and even assist with adjusting to post-grad careers. 

Companies such as Yelp, National Institutes of Health and Disney have canceled summer internship programs due to COVID-19. However, some companies like Google announced they would move summer internship programs online rather than cancel them completely. With moving internships online, companies still hope students will have the opportunity to gain experience and use to enhance their skills.

For students who haven’t been notified if internships have been canceled, moved online, or postponed, they are left in limbo, waiting to hear back from companies they’ve already applied for or been planning to.

Kiara Butler, a Business Administration student at Florida A&M University, applied for an internship that no longer exists.

“I applied for the Trinity Properties internship program as a real estate management intern for the summer of 2020,” Butler explains. “However, they suspended the internship.”

Due to the cancellation of the internship, Butler is now concerned that this may have affected her timeline for graduation.

“This internship was going to give me credit and for the SBI curriculum you need to complete two internships before graduation,” said the 21-year-old.

However, despite the cancellation of the internship she wanted, Butler is remaining hopeful to still obtain an internship remotely even though there are fewer options now with the competition being tougher and the pool of applicants growing larger.

Like Butler, Ashlee Williams who is a senior at FAMU studying Technical Theatre also explains that her internships were canceled. Williams had planned on interning at Cleveland Play House or Cirque du Soleil located in Canada.

“This was one of the major internships I applied to in hopes of helping me further my knowledge for grad school intake for Technical Theatre design programs,” Williams said.

Williams wonders if the internships will resume at a later date, but the companies have yet to disclose whether or not the internship will be postponed at a later date. They only stated it was canceled.

“Even though this new normal this doesn’t mean we need to lose our creativity or ourselves in it,” she added.

Williams still plans on applying to grad school and is determined to get into an excellent program that will take her theater career to new heights.

Students within graduate school are also facing a hard time during this predicament Janorris Hunter, a 24-year-old graduate student in the FAMU Master of Applied Social Sciences (MASS) program, said this situation has taken a toll on him and doubts if there are any opportunities for him to obtain an internship during this time.

“Many of my peers have stopped working due to the stay at home order and many others are being left on hold for the opportunities that were lined up, which makes it all the more discouraging for me to apply for anything,” explains Hunter. 

He explains that this would have been the best time for him to pursue an internship because his rigorous curriculum encourages students to get an internship during the summer season.

Like many students who are trying to pursue big careers, Hunter wants some type of normalcy back into his life. However, he fears that the stay-home-orders placed by the government will get stricter and affect his matriculation within the graduate school program.

“My biggest fear is that we will be quarantined up until the fall months, which would make it even more of a challenge for me to be granted any internship opportunities because the economy will be in recovery mode,” Hunter said. 

Until the pandemic is over, his career and academic goals are far more modest.

“Hopefully, it gets better but I’m sure, in hindsight we all didn’t prepare for this to take such a toll.”