by Velena Jones

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — First classes were canceled and now internships. With the majority of companies still working from home, students are missing out on crucial experience before graduating, but some companies are still finding a way to provide virtual experiences for students.

Instead of walking into the office, students like Rebekah Tom are finding a new reason to log online, searching for a virtual internship experience.

“It’s exciting and I think, I do kinda feel like that was cut in half a little bit,” Tom said.

Tom’s excitement was cut short when two weeks into her communication internship at California PTA everyone was told to go home.

“You have this idea of the internship experience, ‘I get to go work at this exciting company. I get to meet all these people, I can learn from them, I can shadow them, maybe see if I want to work for a place like this in the future,'” Tom explained.

READ: Businesses Ponder Permanent Work-From-Home Arrangements

The Sac State student now working from home has a weekly call with her boss to check on her blog post, writing, and social media projects.

“Instead of just getting to be able to pop over and say ‘Hey, can you take a look at this? Or what is your opinion on this?’ Or just to observe to see what they are doing, not having that is hard to adjust to,” Tom said.

Still, she is one of the lucky ones. Sacramento State is keeping an eye on canceled internships through Hiring20, an online national resource that shows many internships are canceled.

“If you intern with a company you are 56% more likely to actually be hired and converted into a full-time position,” said Sacramento State Internship Coordinator, Stephanie Francis.

Francis said while some internships have been canceled, faculty are finding alternative ways for students to receive experience and academic credit. Francis is encouraging students to adapt, network virtually, and find ways to still fill their resume.

“Taking initiative, being entrepreneurial, and resiliency really are qualities employers are looking for, especially right now, in candidates,” she said.

There still hope for students this summer, URx, a talent development company, is working with employers nationwide who have canceled their internships and are hosting virtual workshops for students free of charge. You can reach out to URx here: hi@urxcommunity.com

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