Covid-19 Has Robbed Interns Of Work Experience, Says Expert

Covid-19 has not only taken people’s jobs and lives, but it has also played a big role in how companies structure their internship programmes moving forward. In a normal work place environment, internships are meant to give interns first-hand work experience, but the opportunity to learn real work by interns has moved online for some companies, and placed on hold by others. 

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Talent strategist, Leadership Expert and Executive Coach, Anja Van Beek, has picked some positives in the changes brought about by Covid-19 in places of work. However, the downside pf this is employers also miss an opportunity to fully monitor their interns while working online. 

The positive is that they prepare you for the pressure of work. The negative is that they don't see how you handle conflict. Communication is key, it is important for people to know that you now have to be more motivated, internal motivation coming from yourself.

Van Beek also indicated that other companies moved their work force, including interns, to online platform in order to identify their potential.

She however added that employers are not able to see most of the activities in order to monitor behavioural aspects, such as conflict, as work activities happen virtually. 

This is not the case for some companies as they were caught off-guard by the realities and impact of Covid-19, said Van Beek. Many companies placed their internship programmes on hold to accommodate their employees in order to limit costs, she added. 

It’s also reported that Covid-19 has played a significant role in changing accustomed ways of a normal life experience in society. 

This change has impacted many aspects of the student learning environment, particularly in courses that contain field experiences such as student internship programmes. 

Reports by Glassdoor research said that about 52% of internships were placed on hold due to Covid-19 pandemic.

This particularly affected the travel internships and tourism sector where 92% of internships were dropped since March 2020.     

Many companies cancelled their internships due to budget constraints or an inability to move to an online format. Others turned to virtual or remote internships as a replacement. 

The impact of the pandemic has also changed the face of education, where traditional classrooms have now become danger areas as learners and staff risk spreading Covid-19. 

The rollout of the vaccine programme is expected to allow sectors to recover from the setbacks brought about by Covid-19. 

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