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By Dzevida Sadikovic
COVID-19 may have forced Career Services to shift to a virtual internship mode last spring, but the new format has opened more possibilities for students to connect with Phoenix employers from across the country.
When the pandemic began in March 2020, students were sent home to finish out the spring semester but they still wanted to interview for internships and career opportunities.
“They could not be here to do that in person so the transfer to virtual experience was on us,” said Becca Smouse, a program coordinator at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication Career Services.
So far, Cronkite Career Services has held six Virtual Internship Days, with another event set for April 9.
According to Nicole Ashton, also a program coordinator at Career Services,150 students and nearly 40 employers participated in 500 interviews over three days last fall.
“During our last publication event for example, Becca and I facilitated 203 interviews,” Ashton said.
Smouse said, so far, every event has been successful. The feedback from both employers and students has been positive. “It took some practicing, though,” Smouse said. “Some staff members and deans have helped us with that.”
Now that interviews and jobs are virtual, students have more opportunities. Some students have been able to complete internships remotely, working for Phoenix-based companies from their homes in other states.
Smouse said these virtual interviews are a great experience for students, especially juniors and seniors who are getting ready to graduate. She believes virtual work is here to stay in the media industry.
“This gives Cronkite students who have completed a virtual internship experience an edge as they enter the job market,” Smouse said. “In their next interview and internship or job, they would already know what to expect.”