SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- ABC7 News is dedicating more resources to building a better Bay Area. This means we are laser-focused on issues that viewers are dealing with: the education of our kids, the local economy, finding a new job, keeping the one you have, and how your workplace is changing.
For college students, there is plenty of uncertainty as they look toward the future. They are now entering the summer internship season, and it's unlike any we've seen before.
Bay Area native, Isaiah Eleazar is back from Purdue University. He was distance learning, and is now looking forward to his summer internship.
The Game Development and Design major was supposed to be in Washington State by now, settling in for his summer internship at a game development studio.
His internship starts on June 1st.
"I was actually starting to look for rooms in Washington," Eleazar told ABC7 News. "Looking for a place to stay, all that good stuff."
In late-April, the incoming college senior learned his internship would be going remote.
He said there are experiences he knows he will never get back.
"Losing that excitement of going to the studio and meeting the people," he mentioned. "And sort of getting the full experience, if you will. I'm just grateful that they didn't just cancel it out."
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) executive director, Shawn VanDerziel, the move online is now common practice for interns during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Of the employers that we surveyed, about 83-percent of them have made adjustments to their internship programs for the summer," VanDerziel said. "46-percent of employers, at least through the end of April, had already made the decision that their interns would go to a virtual environment."
The association recently conducted a poll to explore college recruiting and hiring plans, and to track changes to internship programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of the more than 400 large employers surveyed, the NACE found other changes included shortening the length of the summer internship, or canceling the opportunity altogether.
NACE found that the percentage of employers moving interns to a virtual work space has grown from 36-percent at the start of April, to 46-percent by the month's end.
The survey also found the percentage of employers shortening the length of their internship programs had increased during April, from 35-percent at the beginning, to 41-percent by the end.
Eleazar expressed he had concerns about how this virtual experience, and how it might impact real world work experience.
"With me not being actually at the studio, I feel like I wouldn't be able to show them all that I have to offer as a candidate," he admitted.
"I do believe that me being granted this opportunity to work remote is also an advantage," he countered. "Considering that some people did lose their opportunities, unfortunately."
ABC7 News brought Eleazar's concerns to VanDerziel. To maximize the modified summer internship season, he explained:
- Adaptability is key
- Don't isolate
- Make sure to effectively communicate with managers and colleagues
- Clarify expectations
- Remember this situation is unexpected for everyone, employers included
"It's a little unexpected for everyone- both for the employer as well as the student," VanDerziel said. "There will be a number of obstacles in the way that everybody is working through together."
There are also many challenges to overcome. "They may or may not have the equipment available to use for that internship. They may or may not have the surroundings that are appropriate for that particular internship, and they also don't have the connectivity to the company or to their managers because they're remote as opposed to in-person," VanDerziel told ABC7 News.
However, he believes the challenges offer these students real world work experience.
"Students who go through internships this summer, in the virtual space, will have a leg up in the future because the environment is going to move even more virtual because of the experience that we've had," he explained. "These students are going to be seen as being more resilient, more adaptable and more agile. And so they will have a leg up in the end."
To explore the results of NACE's recent quick poll, click here.
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.
Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- COVID-19 Help: Comprehensive list of resources, information
- INTERACTIVE TIMELINE: How close was CA to becoming a NY-level crisis?
- Live updates about coronavirus outbreak in US, around the world
- What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
- How California's COVID-19 cases stack up against other hot spot states
- Everything you need to know about the Bay Area's shelter-in-place order
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area/
- List: Where can I get tested for COVID-19 in the Bay Area?
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during novel coronavirus pandemic
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- Stimulus calculator: How much money should you expect from coronavirus relief bill
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on Asian American community
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on African American community
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on Latino community
- What Bay Area tenants need to know about rent payments, eviction amid COVID-19 outbreak
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Symptoms, prevention, and how to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak in the US
- List of stores, companies closing due to coronavirus pandemic
- Canceled late fees, free services available amid COVID-19 crisis
- Here's how you can help during COVID-19 pandemic
- How to maintain learning during school closures
- No masks but here are 100+ products that may help protect you against novel coronavirus germs
- Here's a look at some of history's worst pandemics that have killed millions