This pandemic has brought many changes to the Menlo community’s activities–summer internships being one of the biggest ones. While many do take them before their junior year, I asked those who were completing their graduation requirement a couple of questions about how they felt going into their jobs, the changes and challenges they faced, and whether or not they would consider doing online work again.
The questions I asked were fairly straightforward and simple. They included whether the student had done an internship before, if they had any anxiety or worry about being online versus in-person, if it was harder being online, if they would have rather been in person, if they worked less while being online, how their overall experience was, and whether or not they would do it again. I found quite a few similarities among the responses. For example, while some students had felt some anxiety about getting their work done or contacting their bosses, they all found that communication had actually been quite efficient. Additionally, all of the students had found that while they had been anxious, being online was not as hard as they thought it would have been. However, they all thought in-person would have been nicer for their own reasons–more personal and more enjoyable. Two of the students found that they had worked way less than they were expecting for in-person as well, as their hours tended to average less than what would have been expected. Overall, all students had a positive experience being online! While some may have preferred to work in-person, they would also be open to online again–one stating, “I would 100% do a remote internship again. I think Menlo should give it as an option during the summer internship course. When we have our weekly meetings, I think it would be a great comparison for Career services to make for the students!” I haven’t taken my internship yet, but I think that I would enjoy doing it online. It makes it easier for students to do it from anywhere they choose, while still learning the same amount (which was also noted by students).
I didn’t get to interview many students, unfortunately, the number was only four. I would like to thank Kayla Rebozzi, Alix Pommier, Abbey Briggs, and Dylan Cole for taking the time to respond to my questions. If you did an online internship this summer, I hope that it worked out well for you. I know that with all of these sudden changes, many people have been feeling lost and anxious as they tend to not know what is going on next.
If you are interested in writing about your own experience, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org