Students’ Internships Are Disappearing. Can Virtual Models Replace Them?

Writing for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Goldie Blumenstyk reviews opportunities for virtual internships to replace internships lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Excerpts of the piece appear below:

Employers themselves and new facilitators are stepping up to create alternative virtual internships, in some cases working closely with colleges to ensure academic credit. That much is not a surprise. Since I began exploring the advantages of virtual micro-internships pre-pandemic, I’ve seen a proliferation of companies that coordinate with colleges to develop work-based projects designed to be integrated into, or complement, coursework. Several of these companies, like Riipen, CapSource, and Parker Dewey, are well positioned to shift to serving students, and that’s what they’re doing now.

Even more interesting to me is the creativity and simplicity behind a free, student-run effort developed by undergraduates at Brown University called Intern From Home. Basically it’s a digital platform where companies (mostly start-ups) post internship opportunities, and students submit simple applications, listing their qualifications via Google Docs.

The platform is the brainchild of Chuck Isgar, Megan Kasselberg, and David Lu, who created the site in a matter of hours as they were leaving campus midsemester and hearing about their friends losing spring internships. It’s not slick, but through word of mouth, the site has drawn postings from more than 100 companies, attracted signups from more than 1,200 students, and resulted in more than 150 placements.

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To access Intern from Home, see