In March of 2020, the EWU President sent out an email, highlighting some changes to internships as it relates to the COVID-19 outbreak. It states:
I’ve determined that it’s in the best interest of our students, faculty, and staff to suspend all face-to-face instruction for the remainder of the academic year. This includes all internships, labs and practica that require face-to-face contact. Students may still enroll for course credits if their work in these programs can be completed in a non-face-to-face format. Please reach out to your department chair or program director for further guidance.
This means that there will be no on-site internships for Spring 2020. Some of you may have already made necessary adjustments (with your faculty internship advisor and site supervisor) to your internship experience. However, if your internship could not provide a remote internship, please contact your faculty internship advisor for proper guidance on what to do next.
For those still looking for an internship (or need a new one), be sure to ask the site:
- Is your internship remote for the upcoming spring quarter
- Will it remain open (including teleworking) for the entire internship period.
If both answers are yes, then you can proceed forward in your internship. If not, meet with your Faculty Internship Advisor to find alternative solutions.
Best Practices While Interning Remotely
Finding an internship during the time of social distancing can be a little tricky. The process for finding one is pretty much the same, and companies are even changing their internship opportunities to say “remote” or “virtual” in their postings, which is great. So now that you have one, here are some adjustment strategies that would help you navigate the experience a little smoother.
Set a Schedule and Stick with It
Set a work schedule for your internship and commit to it. This allows your site supervisor to know when to expect your work. A schedule will also help you balance the demands of school and your internship, without sacrificing sleep or personal time.
Use a task list
Write down what you need to accomplish before you start working for the day, then refer back to your list often as you get things done.
Working remotely means dealing with a lot of distractions, especially from social media. If you allow yourself to be sidetracked by your friends’ photos, instant messages, online games, and interesting news articles, it will take you twice as long to finish your tasks.
Check-In with Your Supervisor Regularly
Internships are unique because they are designed to help students learn and grow, as well as network with people in their desired field. Interns should be in continual communication with their employers.
Stay in a Professional Mindset
Certainly, the perk of a remote internship is working in your pajamas, but try not to get too comfortable. Sometimes that extra flexibility can take you off your A-game.
If you’ve never worked remotely, you may find yourself getting sucked into a project and working for long stretches without a break.
Consider a change of scenery
You may also find that working in the same room (especially your bedroom) all day is making you a bit sluggish, maybe a bit stir crazy. Try different parts of the house.
Internship 101 Workshops
Every other Thursday (Starting April 9th)
Online (Via Zoom), Register in Handshake
The Career Center will go over how internships work, how to find them, and how to set them up for credit.
Virtual Internship Search Websites: