wjr business beat

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Virtual Internships Thriving in Spite of COVID-19 (Episode 122)

Last spring, we were concerned that internship programs may be in jeopardy due to COVID-19 concerns. However, virtual internships were all the rage this summer, and most companies say these programs were surprisingly successful for both businesses and students alike.

Tune in to this morning’s WJR Business Beat, where Jeff shares more on the success of virtual internships:


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WJR Business Beat Transcript

Good morning, Paul.

You may recall the last spring we featured how important internship programs are, both to young people wanting to learn from real world work experience, as well as to the companies who benefit from the contributions the interns make. Last spring, however, we were concerned that these all too important internship programs may be in jeopardy due to the COVID-19 concerns. However, just as we saw business meetings go largely online, so did we see interns joining companies and doing their work and their learning online.

And so, how did it work for all involved to conduct internships exclusively online? Well, surprisingly well, most companies say, and here are some of the reasons why:

Companies benefited because interns participating virtually could be chosen from national pools of interns, rather than just local pools. And because the number of interns, a company could have wasn’t limited by the size constraints of the physical office space they had.

And just like the increased benefits for the businesses, the interns felt their experience was really effective, as well. For example, they could sit in on many more high level strategic and operational meetings since they could join these meetings virtually. And the process was as simple as adding another person to the Zoom. And in bigger companies, since meetings were held online, interns had the opportunity to join meetings that might have been national or international, thus adding to their overall work experience.

Certainly this never would have been possible when interns had to attend meetings physically in person.

The bottom line? Just as we have seen with the changing nature of so many other things, aspects of business due to the COVID-19 crisis, many companies say they will continue well into the future with interns joining their companies virtually at least in part of their program, as opposed to on-location only programs.

Most important, we now know that internship programs survive the COVID-19 crisis of 2020 and deliver the much-needed benefits to both students and businesses alike.

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

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