“How do I find out what it's like to have a career in ...?”
“Can you help me find an internship as a ...?”
“Do you know anyone in Company X who needs an intern?”
“Can I get credit for my internship?”
As more and more students come to you with questions like these, you know the word has gotten around: you're a valuable resource for students seeking internships. A call here, an email there, and your students benefit from the power of networking.
We'd like to remind you to keep us in the loop. Please call us to let us know about the contacts you're making for your students. And do refer both your contacts and your students to us for follow-up.
Why is that so crucial?
- Every lead you share with us helps UMass Boston build its database of opportunities. By helping us help other students, you can widen your impact.
- Maintaining all employment contact and organizational information on Handshake avoids redundancy and makes it easier to keep internship information up-to-date and accurate.
- When we're in the loop, we can help students navigate internship requirements and procedures. We can also make sure international students seek the specialized assistance they need.
We encourage you to refer students to us for help in finding appropriate internship and co-op opportunities. You can also refer them to us for any help they might need in preparing a résumé and cover letter.
When your students come to us with questions about credit-bearing internships or co-ops, we refer them to the appropriate academic department. If your department has a designated internship contact person, please be sure to email us this information. We refer international students to the Office of Global Programs to sort out visa compliance and work eligibility issues.
Students seeking internships and co-ops are best served by a strong relationship between Career Services and faculty. We hope you'll work with us to define new ways to achieve this goal.
Faculty Internship FAQs
Please review the UMass Boston Faculty Internship/Job FAQ sheet for information regarding common concerns faced by UMass Boston faculty and students related to internships and jobs given the present Covid-19 situation.
Questions are grouped into the following five sections:
- Faculty Resources for students who Lost Internships/Jobs Due to COVID-19
- Employer Best Practices for Remote/Virtual Internships
- Students Resources who are Looking for Internships/Jobs
- Faculty Resources for Alternative Projects
- Faculty Career Related Resources
Q1: What do I do if a student loses their academic internship this SPRING 2020 due to COVID-19?
- Try to communicate with the student and the employer to see if there is a way to continue the internship remotely/virtually.
- If no additional options are available, see if the student has earned enough hours during the spring semester to complete their academic requirements for the internship.
- If the student hasn’t reached the necessary hours for the internship try to come up with virtual projects or reflection assignments that could take the place of the remaining hours for the internship. (Refer to Resources section for alternative projects)
- Given the present situation, offering the internship course as pass/fail can alleviate the stress on the student meeting all of the academic requirements.
Here are some NACE resources about finding creative solutions for internships impacted by the pandemic.
Finding Solutions for Interns impacted by the pandemic
Handling Student Interns during the Coronavirus pandemic
Q2: What do I do if a student loses their SUMMER 2020 academic internship due to the COVID-19?
- Try to communicate with the student and the employer to see if there is a way to move the internship remotely/virtually for the summer.
- If remote work is not eligible, encourage the student to request a furlough or to postpone the internship so they can maintain their employment and return to work once the conditions permit.
- If the summer internship has been canceled and students are looking for alternative internships or jobs in the summer, please refer them to the updated internship search strategies resources listed below.
*Contact the Manager of University Internships, Matthew “PK” Power-Koch at: Matthew.Power-Koch@umb.edu if you have additional questions or issues surrounding students and their summer 2020 internship.
Q3: What do I do if a student’s summer 2020 academic internship is postponed due the COVID-19?
- If a student’s internship is postponed and not canceled, which is a positive sign for the student, the delay could have an impact on the academic requirements for the internship. Faculty members are encouraged to communicate with their student and site, if possible, to determine the actual start date of the internship.
- If a start date can’t be determined at this time, try to confirm a date or time that the internship start date will be determined.
- At this time, it is hard to tell in what capacity internships will exist during the summer, so faculty are encouraged to regularly communicate with their students and support them in the process.
- Based on the information we have been able to gather, there is a strong likelihood that most internships in summer 2020 will be either partially or fully remote/virtual.
Q4: If an international student has a lost/postponed internship how does it impact their CPT, OPT or Visa?
- In order for international students to be eligible for internships in the US they must be signed into a course for CPT (Curricular Practical Training) that aligns with the internship and runs concurrently with the internship.
- If you have questions about an international students eligibility for an internship either in spring or summer, please contact the International Student Scholar Office (ISSO) at: https://www.umb.edu/academics/global/isss. Especially if you are concerned about a students’ Visa status, or have other CPT or OPT questions. You can email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If an international student has an internship that is ending early or has been canceled this spring or summer please refer to the questions above for postponed or canceled internships and refer them to the ISSO office. (Below are suggestions that you can offer to students as potential supplemental work).
Q.5: How do I ensure a remote/virtual internship will be effective?
- Clear and consistent communication is the number one and most effective tool to ensure a smooth transition from in-person internships to virtual and remote internships. Setting up weekly check-ins with students can help alleviate any issues that may arise and sets consistency moving forward.
- Setting clear expectations for the student, employer/supervisor and faculty member are crucial to ensuring successful and impactful internships both in-person and virtually.
- We recommend creating an updated “internship agreement” or “internship contract” that is signed (virtually) between the student, employer and faculty member which reflects the update expectations and schedule of the student working remotely.
Q.6: What are some resources I can use to help structure the remote/virtual internship?
Parker Dewey – Remote Internships 101: great resources, tips and guidance on remote internships
Remote Internship Program Tips:
- Unbundle internship into project-based learning experiences, so specific projects can be accomplished with clear direction and guidelines, empowering the student to be successful.
- Gain Manager buy-in for project-based learning – manager/supervisor buy-in is critical to providing the type of mentorship and supervision that is necessary for a remote internship to be successful.
- Create a marketplace or matching system for interns and projects – allows students and managers to connect via the internship projects that are needed. Other internship systems have a matching system where they assign interns and their specific skills with projects that meet their skill set (both strategies are recommend – just depends on the employers capacities to manage the process).
Resources from Parker Dewey on Employer Remote/Virtual Internship Best Practices:
- Remote Intern Resources – Guide to onboarding
- Remote Intern Work Policy
- Supervising Remote Interns
- Remote Intern Evaluation
Videos from College Recruiter regarding internships during the Covid-19 pandemic:
- Seven of the videos are designed to help employers adapt their internship and new grad hiring programs given that most will need to work remotely.
- Another five have tips for the students and recent graduates, including how they can find employment, what to do if they're in the midst of interviewing but do not yet have an offer, what to do if they have an offer but have not yet started, and what to do if they're afraid they may lose their job.
Q.7: How do I ensure students complete their required hours for academic credit?
- Setting clear expectations is critical to ensuring success. The student should have a developed weekly reporting/communication structure with their supervisor/employer. This is where students are given clear directions and guidelines on projects for completion, along with the expected hours it should take for an intern to complete their assignment.
- This expectations sheet or list of duties and responsibilities can be formatted in many ways but must include the necessary direction and guidance for a student to complete their task.
- Faculty should be made aware of this weekly reporting and communication structure. Following up with students after their weekly communication can be a great way to capture some of the learning and help students to process the feedback there are receiving. This can lead to stronger student production outcomes and learning.
Q.8 Recommendations on how to communicate with site supervisor to ensure the experience is valuable?
- Clear and consistent communication is key to ensure a successful experience. In the initial onboarding process of the student intern – ensure there is specific and consistent communication structure built in for the student intern, supervisor and with the faculty advisor.
- Given this present climate, it is recommended that faculty communicate more frequently with supervisors than in previous semesters to help elevate any fears, resolve challenges, and clear up any misunderstandings that could occur from the remote situation.
Q.9 Recommendations on how to communicate with student interns during this challenging time?
- Given this present climate, it is recommended that faculty communicate more frequently with students than in previous semesters to help elevate any fears, resolve challenges, and clear up any misunderstandings that could occur from the remote situation.
- Students are overwhelmed with email communication. Set clear and consistent times you will communicate with students. That could include:
- Virtual office hours when they can check in
- Scheduling check-ins during class Zoom/Black Board session
- If students don’t have consistent access to computer/Internet offer a phone conference call or check in time
- Set up a blog on your course to answer commonly asked questions.
Refer to Student Internship FAQ’s on Career Services web page: https://www.umb.edu/academics/vpass/career_services/students/internships_co_ops/internship_faqs
Q.10: What are some virtual/remote internship best practices or case examples I can learn from?
- Here are some tips for students working remotely that you can share with students:
- Check your Internet Connect
- Create your workspace
- Stay online
- Stick with your working hours
- Limit distractions
- Check in with your manager and team
- Craft a daily work routine
Q.11: What are Micro-internships? And how are they organized?
Micro-internships are short-term, paid, professional assignments that are similar to those given to new hires or interns. They usually consist of 5 to 40 hours of work, and can occur any time of year.
- Watch this Video link: https://www.parkerdewey.com/blog/micro-interns
- Forbes Article on Micro-internships: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonwingard/2019/03/06/why-micro-internships-will-be-the-next-big-thing/#4e5ecee4700c
Q12: What are some resources students can use to find an internship?
- Office of Career Services and Internships – Career Services is equipped to provide the complete array of career services to our students remotely. We offer one-on-one career counseling, (what can I do with a major, making a career plan, networking etc.), access to online job and internship listings on Handshake, job search assistance, career workshops, online career assessment program called Focus 2, advising for Pre-law and other graduate programs, and a wealth of Career Resources listed under Career Center tab in Handshake.
Q13: How do students follow up with Career Services and schedule a virtual appointment?
- Appointments: Please call 617-287-5519 or email email@example.com to schedule an appointment with a Career Services staff member. Please indicate three, 2-hour blocks that work for you for your 30-minute appointment (1 hour for mock interviews). Please type “Appointment Request” in the subject line of your email. Once your appointment is confirmed email the Career Services Staff Member any documents you want reviewed (preferably Word docs).
- Appointments via Handshake: You can also schedule appointments through Handshake. (After you sign-in, select Career Center, then Appointments, and then Schedule a New Appointment, followed by selecting your college to schedule your appointment). Please refer to the “Request an Appointment with Your Career Center” article for more information.
- You can make an appointment for any type of career counseling need that you have. The Career Services Staff Member will call you at your scheduled appointment time so make sure to provide a phone number when you call or email. Please refer to our Resume and Cover Letter guides to assist you. Documents can be reviewed electronically and sent back to you.
Q14: What specific internship/job searching resources does Career Services offer?
- Here is an Internship Search Strategies – voice stream PowerPoint presentation narrated by “PK” Manager of University Internships which covers: how to prepare, apply and follow up on internships opportunities.
- Here is an Internship Check List which offers steps and sites to help you search for internships.
- View and search for internships in Handshake our jobs and resources database. Over 2,000 internships are listed at any one time and over 500 internships are in the greater Boston area. Please see the Handshake Student/Alumni support center to help you navigate the Handshake System.
- Here is a list of remote online resources and sites that can help you with your internship search.
- Got an interview – great, here are some resources to help you with remote interviews: Please refer to Indeed’s “Video Interview Guide: Tips for a Successful Interview” for video interview tips or their Phone Interview Tips online resource.
- Career Resources: Please visit the Office of Career Services website or Handshake (under Career Center tab) for resources relating to Resume, cover letters, LinkedIn guides and all other career topics.
- Jobs/Virtual Events/Interviews: Please continue to monitor Handshake for up to date job opportunities. Please Monitor the “Events” section of your handshake as employers’ transition to virtual information sessions and career-related events.
- Social Media: Stay Connected with the Office of Career Services and Internships through LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter for updates and announcements.
Q.15: What are recommended remote/virtual projects or duties/responsibilities a student can do in place of in-person work?
UMass Boston Career Services Disclaimer - these are suggestions, or recommendations. It is up to the individual faculty advisor, student and supervisor to agree upon any remote accommodations or remote projects. These agreed upon projects/remote work must have clear guidelines for supervisory structure and list clear work expectations including: clear overview of project goals and objectives, how the intern will be evaluated upon completion of work, timeline to complete assignments, communication structure with supervisor/faculty, and any additional expectations or information pertinent to the project or remote work being completed successfully.
Potential Remote Internship Projects include but aren’t limited to:
- Write an essay on the impacts of this experience on your professional career
- Create a journal and log in daily – creating internship blogs documenting this experience
- Do a research project in your field or area of expertise
- Create an e-portfolio, documenting your resume, important projects completed at school or work, as well as any side projects or passions that relate to your field
- Create your own project idea and run it by your employer
- Ask your employer about Micro-Internships and whether they have internship projects you could work on, even if they are only for a short period of time
- Ask your employer/supervisor what are some projects that they need completed that a student could work on remotely
- Check social media updates or conduct research on the impact of the COVID-19 on your present employer, the industry or the economy on a whole
- Be creative, work with your employer to come up with a list of multiple projects that can be completed remotely, a timeline to complete them, communication channels and best next steps
- Refer to the recommendations sheet listing suggested projects by industry and major
Recommended Internship Projects by Industry and Major
Recommended Internship Projects by Industry and Major
Filling the Void for Students with Academic Projects
Forbes Article, What to do if the coronavirus cancels your summer internship
CEIA (Coop Education and Internship Association) - www.ceiainc.org
NSEE (National Society for Experiential Educators) - www.nsee.org/
NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) - www.naceweb.org/