(graphic by Natalie-Tasha Thompson)

Preeti Singh was scrolling through TikTok when she found an opportunity that would change the course of her college career, an internship at HBO Max.

“They created an internship that never existed before because of the pandemic,” senior and Public Relations and Advertising major Singh said.

(Preeti Singh, starring in TikTok’s for HBO Max, graphic by Natalie-Tasha Thompson)

Singh worked alongside four other interns to create TikTok content for the HBO Max profile. The videos that performed the best, with one even reaching 1.5 million likes, centered around the events that occur during work or school zoom calls. 

During COVID-19, companies like HBO Max have had to create new ways for students across the nation to experience internships that are still enriching, despite everything moving to online platforms. 

“Now that we know we can do things online, why wouldn’t we take advantage of it?” Singh said.

At Chapman University, some majors require students to complete one if not two semesters of an internship to graduate, but with COVID-19 not having an end in sight, how will internships be affected for Chapman students?

The good news is that by now, most employers have rebuilt their internship programs and transformed them into virtual/remote opportunities to meet the moment,” said Nathaly Del Real, Chapman University Internship Coordinator.

The biggest question is, does an online internship give students the same opportunities to grow their career and dive deeper into subject matters? 

“I learned a lot [in my online internship], but it didn’t feel like past internships I have done. I did not get to interact with people on the same level that I could have in person, but if it weren’t for zoom, there is no way I could have continued with the internship,” senior business major Brandon Pike said.

(Brandon Pike’s article about Post Malone for Hollywood Branded on his LinkedIn, graphic by Natalie-Tasha Thompson)

Pike has spent the last five months at Hollywood Branded where he wrote on Hollywood Pop Culture. The use of zoom was crucial for him to conference call into meetings.

(A graphic depicting all the applications now available to make work from home easier,  by Natalie-Tasha Thompson)

Virtual learning and work from home (WFH) jobs will become the new normal until a COVID-19 vaccine is in circulation. 

Companies will have to alter their training for new interns and will have to work harder to make sure students are getting something out of each and every internship.

“I think a lot of people are going to go back in person when the pandemic is over, but I also believe that more companies are going to be flexible about work since they now know that people can get their work done from home,” senior Public Relations major Emily Felix said.

Without the technological strides that have occurred in the last decade, the possibility of WFH would be almost obsolete. 

Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Slack have helped companies create an almost seamless transition over to an online office. However, for social media manager, Sydney Nassiri, work from home internships only work if interns use the software that is available.

“The few interns that I have had trouble with, stem from the fact that they are radio silent throughout the workday and when you are doing all work virtually it is extremely important to still find the time to collaborate,” said Nassiri.

COVID-19 does not look like it will be going away anytime soon, so it is important for Chapman students to find internships that will allow them to learn and work with their co-workers to get the most of their internship. 

“At this time, the vast majority of employers are planning their internships to be remote this coming Spring and Summer 2021,” said Del Real.

Some great resources to find internships that will cater to your needs are Linkedin, Indeed, and the Chapman University Career and Internship office. Start looking for your internships for Spring 2021 ASAP to get your foot in the door, or at least in the Zoom meeting.

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