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WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: College Students Pursuing Virtual Internships (Episode 104)

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As we know, in-person classes at colleges this fall are hard to come by, with only 2.5 percent of colleges planning a curriculum based fully on in-person classes this fall. Thus, many college students are choosing to put their studies on hold, pursuing virtual internships instead, as reported by Bloomberg.

Since students are choosing to learn on the job instead of in the classroom, startup companies are seeing this as a real opportunity to recruit those students into virtual internships.

Tune in to the WJR Business Beat for more details from Jeff:


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“So, if you’re a student seeking to advance your education by getting real world experience in lieu of classroom education this fall, consider a virtual internship at a startup company.

And if you’re a startup, this is your chance to grab top talent at internship prices and maybe even groom and secure those interns for a position with your company long into the future.”

– Jeff Sloan

Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at [email protected] and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

WJR Business Beat Transcript

Good morning, Paul.

As we know, in-person classes at colleges this fall are hard to come by, with now only 2.5 percent of colleges planning a curriculum based fully on in-person classes. As we know, Michigan State University reported a few days ago that in-person classes will not take place this fall at all and will instead offer online only curriculum.

And so rather than a watered-down college experience, many students are deciding to take some time off from their studies, opting out of online classes all together for their fall semester, and instead, as Bloomberg reports, are pursuing virtual internships, working for companies and learning on the job instead of in the classroom.

And startup companies are seeing this as a real opportunity to recruit those students into virtual internships.

Some firms are even organizing virtual career fairs, offering grants to teams of entrepreneurs and compiling lists of potential employers. Others are extending the terms of their summer cohorts. Postmates, for example, told Bloomberg that it may keep some interns on if they take time off from school this fall.

And startups? Well, they’re hoping to hire the top students. The virtual nature of the internships could allow the firms to access from a nationwide talent pool instead of an otherwise local talent pool. And companies hope that potential employees they hook this fall might stay on for years to come, rather than taking spots at large companies.

A great intern who has a great network can often yield compound to returns later down the line, Neil Schrock CEO of the developer tools startup, Elemental, told Bloomberg.

It’s easy to see why a remote internship might tempt many college students at a time when COVID-19 is turning higher education upside down. A number of schools that announced they would be operating in person classes earlier this summer are now walking back those plans, with many abruptly canceling the on-campus housing they’d previously promised and urging students not to return this fall.

So, if you’re a student seeking to advance your education by getting real world experience in lieu of classroom education this fall, consider a virtual internship at a startup company.

And if you’re a startup, this is your chance to grab top talent at internship prices and maybe even groom and secure those interns for a position with your company long into the future.

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

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