NCWIT has recently signed an “Open Letter to the Computing Community,” asking that corporations consider their 2020 summer interns during their COVID-19 planning processes.
We are calling on organizations that host computing interns to make and publicly announce a plan for summer 2020 intern commitments as early as possible, as students are anxiously awaiting news. Suggested approaches could include:
Convert to virtual internships rather than cancel.
If virtual implementation of current internships is not feasible, deploy an alternate remote training experience.
Continue to employ the interns, but loan their time to support COVID-19-related projects.
Fund and assist with virtual internships for down-stream partners, including non-profit partners. In this way, you can support both interns and partners.
Collaborate with industry partners to help connect interns losing their internship to placements in another sector.
If it is not feasible to offer an intern program for Summer 2020, here are some recommendations:
Commit to provide the internship at a later date or transition to a project during the semester.
Provide a letter of endorsement for the students that have been displaced, which they can use in seeking future opportunities.
Offer webinars, mentorship, and other virtual skill-building experiences for displaced interns, to provide skills, visibility, and insights that can help bolster the students’ professional experience, or partner with and support organizations that can help.
Convert the intern salary dollars to scholarships to assist displaced low-income students that rely on internship earnings to cover college and housing expenses.
Contribute to support students participating in a Distributed Research Experience for Undergraduates (DREU) through the CRA Committee on Widening Participation.