Summer Internships Up In The Air Amid Pandemic

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

By: Laura Antunez / Staff Writer

As the date for the end of the quarantine continues to be prolonged, FIU students with pending internships are feeling deprived of their education. 

Camille Hines is a senior accounting major that had internships lined up for every semester from this upcoming summer until the Spring of 2021. The one she had planned for the summer with Cherry Bekaert, however, is still somewhat up in the air.

“I’m just going to wait because hopefully, they don’t cancel it, but if they do it is what it is,” said Hines. “It’s a pandemic, it’s a severe issue, I’d be understanding.”

If Hines’ internship with Cherry Bekaert doesn’t work out, her plan is to go back home to North Lauderdale and do online classes.

In the long run, however, she believes the missed opportunity would affect how she does in her future internships. She was hoping to use her time at Cherry Bekaert to prepare her for her internship in spring 2021. 

“In terms of accounting firms there are the big four which are the bigger ones, the ones a lot of people work for,” she said. “Cherry Bekaert is more of a midsize firm and my experience there would’ve prepared me for the internship I have with one of the big four, Ernest and Young accounting.”

The good news for Hines is that accounting is done predominately over the phone and on the computer anyway.

“I spoke to someone [in a firm] and they’ve been meeting online and doing work the same way, calling clients the same way, not much has changed except for the in-person interactions,” she said.

Some internships, unfortunately, are not so easily converted into fully online programs, and therefore have to be canceled altogether.  

“I don’t want to think [that it will affect my education] but I think it will,” said Alejandra Marquez Janse, a senior journalism student that had plans to do the Bureau Experience internship in Washington D.C..

Marquez Janse had plans to attend the internship in place of her capstone, a program offered by CARTA, The College of Communication, Architecture, and The Arts. Once in D.C., she planned on applying to internships and networking, in hopes to eventually pursue a job in the area. 

She was also looking into a partnership the D.C. bureau has with the Hispanic Communications Network. According to Marquez Janse, The Hispanic Communications Network is a radio station in Spanish in D.C.

“The people who get it would be getting 20 hours a week working for the South Florida Media Network (SFMN) and 20 hours a week working for the radio station,” she said.

The recent pandemic has forced all FIU summer classes to be held fully online and has paused all internships over the summer. For seniors, it is especially inconvenient because like Marquez Janse, long term plans had already been made for post-graduation.

“Now I don’t know how that’s going to work especially since I’m graduating in the summer,” she said. “It gets a little complicated because not all internships are offered to students who have graduated.”

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