Students’ Job Searches Go Digital

Summer Internships Are Being Rescinded or Going to Operate Remotely

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ANDREW DRESSNER

With many in-person summer internships canceled, Fordham's Career Services encourages students to search for available remote opportunities.

By JOE KOTTKE, News Editor

Along with losing the remainder of the spring semester on campus, students have been experiencing cancellations of summer internships due to the coronavirus outbreak. Despite this, according to Assistant Director of Career Services Student Engagement Kayla Lauricella, if you are set on interning this summer, you definitely can.

“It is not impossible to get an internship, but I would not count on it being in-person. The majority of internships are going to be remote,” she said. 

Handshake, Fordham’s platform for career postings, is still up and running and employers are continuing to post available positions, with more than 5,000 jobs and internships posted since the pandemic started. 

Lauricella said even if social distancing is lifted this summer, she does not believe any company is going to be comfortable with the risk of having students on-site. “It is totally legitimate to prefer an in-person internship, but you would be making the decision to not be a part of one this summer.”

“For people in finance summer internships, it is more about being around the culture, picking up jargon and being able to know how the business works,” Ethan Sacco, Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center ’23 said. “Virtual internships obviously do not provide that type of environment and on top of that, business majors — especially finance — are under a large amount of pressure to get experience.”

If students opt out of remote internships, Lauricella recommends starting or continuing to network, as well as trying to learn some skills that could be beneficial to your desired field. She also said an advantage of remote internships, however, is the ability to familiarize yourself with the technology of your field through firsthand experience.

For students who are seeking summer employment, positions would typically be secured by the end of April, according to Lauricella, but internship searches have been delayed this year due to the unpredictable nature of the virus. She said she wouldn’t be surprised if offerings that haven’t been received already come in early or mid-May. 

One of the new remote, Fordham-exclusive internship possibilities that has its decision coming out in May is the Teen Program with the New-York Historical Society. Fordham College at Lincoln Center Dean Laura Auricchio took the initiative with the internship, which she said is “intended to enhance the ability to deliver on the promise that New York is my campus; Fordham is my school.”

If you’re considering law, finance, human resources, or publishing, all of those jobs can be done remotely.”

— Kayla Lauricella

The New-York Historical Society internship is the first in a series originating from Fordham’s Continuous University Strategic Planning process, offering work at cultural institutions. 

“To be honest, I had intended to devote a significant part of this spring speaking with other institutions to develop paid internships for this summer,” Auricchio said. “Unfortunately, the challenges of coronavirus meant that I was not able to move this initiative as far as I had hoped this semester.”

According to Auricchio, the Historical Society internship is donor-funded by a Fordham alumnus, and close collaboration took place between Lincoln Center and Rose Hill deans to ensure inclusivity for both campuses. “Cultural institutions in New York City are suffering severe financial impacts due to the current crisis, and by offering paid internships, Fordham is supporting them in a time of need,” she said.

Auricchio also said she hopes their efforts to devise paid internships will provide financial support to students encountering difficulties finding paid work.

Career Services recommends monitoring what fields you are going into because remote internships might not even be a possibility. 

“There are definitely industries to avoid right now, as well as industries that are booming or hiring normally,” Lauricella said. “If you’re considering law, finance, human resources, or publishing, all of those jobs can be done remotely.”

Career Services continues to operate normally — besides holding in-person meetings — with individual career counseling appointments via Zoom or phone call. Webinars are also posted to Handshake by outside companies and members of the Career Services team.