Struggling to find an internship? Don’t feel alone.

Jennifer Ronzon, Reporter

As the COVID-19 pandemic has continued, many students are struggling to find available internships because many businesses have opted to have employees work from home or have limited people in the workplace. This lack of available opportunities has created a difficult situation for graduating seniors, who need to complete an internship prior to finishing their studies.

Image by Scott Graham via Unsplash.

Professor Bobbi Doggett, internship supervisor for the school of communications, said that while the market for internships may have shrunk some, she believes there are still enough available internships out there. Students may just have to put more work into the search.

Speaking on behalf of the Communications school, Doggett described an alternate route students may take in place of a typical internship. 

“Students may partner with a professor from the school, who would serve as their faculty supervisor, and create a major research paper. The paper must be a minimum of 7500 words and would come with multiple deadlines to ensure the student stays on the right track,” said Doggett. “Students who choose that alternative do so out of necessity ‘due to hardship,’ or sometimes because they simply work too much and cannot find the time to complete an internship.”

The school of communications has also cut the required completed hours from 210 to 145 as a direct result of COVID-19. 

Students were often sent home from their internship early, or were only permitted to come into office for a few hours each week. The school adapted, and in place of the missing hours, they added more reflective assignments in the online internship course.

Antonio Schneider was excited to intern with the NFL this spring, assisting with marketing for the Jacksonville Jaguars. That excitement came to a halt when the internship was canceled due to COVID-19, forcing Schneider to scramble to find a replacement. Re-starting the hunt has proved difficult for the senior, who is set to graduate in May.

“A lot of companies are excluding interns because of COVID,” Schneider said. “It’s become far more difficult, it was much easier before this.”

In a time of uncertainty, one thing is for sure — UNF does not want students to refrain from graduating based on internship struggles alone. Professor Doggett explained that UNF will work with students, who may have difficulty obtaining an internship, to ensure that they remain on course to graduate at their expected date.

When searching for an internship, now more than ever, give yourself ample time to find one. Make sure you are aware of any changes that may have been made to the internship requirements for your school, and as always, reach out to your internship coordinator or academic advisor with any questions you may have.

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