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What to Know About Internships During COVID

With the recent change of moving to remote learning, and with many companies moving to remote work, you may be wondering how this might affect your spring or summer internships. Below is more information on what you can do now and how you can be proactive regarding gaining internship experience.

Looking for FAQ about job searching during COVID? Go here.

If You Have a Spring Internship or Already Secured a Summer Internship:

1. If you haven't already, immediately reach out to your Internship Supervisor to touch base

Questions to ask include: 
  1. Has your company moved to working from home?
  2. How is my internship impacted by recent company changes?     

Given the state of Washington's orders to stay at home except for essential needs, if the company has not moved to remote work yet we encourage considering your own safety and the safety of others by having a conversation about when that will happen.

2. Some employers may already have plans for how you, their intern, can work from home. Others may still be scrambling to figure this out. If this is the case for you, we recommend asking:

  1. How can I help your company at this time with projects you may need assistance with? Here are some examples of projects that I can help with...

By asking the question of how you can help provide value to your employer, the employer sees that you are taking initiative. If you also can provide them with ideas of projects you can assist with, this helps them know how you can still work remotely as an intern.

3. For some, your internship may have been cancelled. If that is the case, do not lose hope! There are other ways to gain experience:

  1. If an internship is not available, or your internship has been canceled due to COVID-19, then please speak to your Faculty Supervisor in order to identify an alternative. The alternative assignment is at the discretion of the faculty advisor / department. It could be additional credits, an independent study, research, etc. If you are completing an alternative assignment, you do not need to fill out a Handshake Application, but you will still need to register for the course in order to receive academic credit.
  2. You can work on personal projects from home that definitely count as experience on you resume! Personal projects can be anything from writing a research paper, creating an app, building a website, writing a blog post or article, creating a practice business plan or model, you name it. Looking for more ideas? Feel free to schedule an appointment with a Career Counselor in your career path of interest.
  3. Since you're already getting used to taking academic courses online, consider building career skills as well! Students can register for a FREE month of LinkedIn Learning.
  4. Perform an informational interview. This is a great way to build your network while also getting to learn more about a chosen career path AND it can be done virtually or over the phone.
  5. Finally, use life design to (re)design your internship yourself!

If You're Looking for A Summer Internship:

As of right now, companies are still hiring for summer interns, and many are hiring for remote internships. While this may have slowed some, there are still many internship positions posted right now. To look for summer internships, start by checking out Handshake, Switchboard and also check out our Internships section on our website for other search tips.

  1. Keep in mind: With remote internships, especially unpaid remote internships, it is important to make sure that you are still getting good experience from it. Ask yourself:
    1. Will I have supervision and mentorship?
    2. Will I be given training and feedback?
    3. Does this internship seem like a lot of busy work and not a good way to build skills?

    The answers to these questions will help you determine if this is a worthwhile opportunity for you to pursue or not.

  2. Use life design to (re)design your summer internship yourself!
  3. Use our services and resources to help with your search! You can schedule an appointment with a Career Counselor, attend a workshop, check out our Online Field Guide through your Canvas account, or look at our website.
  4. If you are ever unsure of an internship or job, or it seems too good to be true, make sure to know our Job Search Safety Tips by checking out our website. If you have questions, you can always contact us.

And Finally...

If you are planning to get or have already secured an unpaid summer internship, apply for the 2020 SERVE Internship Grant! Career Services is offering 3 scholarships for students for Summer 2020. Apply by May 15th at 8:00pm!

FAQ About Spring & Summer Internships

When is the last day to register for a spring internship through Handshake?

It was Friday, April 17, at 5:00PM PST. Any applications submitted past this date will require an Academic Petition from Student Academic Services in order to be registered for credit.

When is the last day to register for a summer internship through Handshake?

Friday, June 26, at 5:00PM PST.

What if I need an internship to reach the 12-hour full-time credit threshold?

If you do not need an internship to graduate, but were planning on taking one to reach the 12-hour full-time credit threshold, please reach out to your Student Financial Services Counselor. There may be provisions in place to assist you during this time.

Other spring 2020 internship questions?

For additional questions regarding Spring 2020 internships, please reach out to Elle Gohr at For more information on how the Center for Career and Calling is available to serve you this quarter, please visit our website.