How coronavirus has affected internships
Internships and work experience placements across the nation have either been cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus lockdown. Amber Sunner talked to the would-be interns to see how they are feeling about the situation.
“I’m a second-year journalism student at the University of Kent. I had a work experience opportunity at the BBC in the summer but unfortunately it was postponed because of the lockdown. The opportunity was offered to me and having previously no contacts in the media it was a surprise. I was really excited about working in a national newsroom, especially in the summer! However, it hasn’t disheartened me, I’ve got a part-time job at PressPad and I’m also working on getting some by-lines online and in print to help build up my portfolio. I think the lockdown will benefit me in this way, because I can possibly improve my pitching capabilities too. It could also help me acquire more connections in the media virtually.”
“I’m a second-year journalism student at the University of Leeds. My class has been impacted by the coronavirus as our three-week compulsory placement over summer is most likely going to be cancelled. Our tutors have spoken to us about rearranging it during our final year of university, but I will be doing a year abroad which means I’ll have to wait an extra year. I also won’t be studying anything media related during my year abroad which makes me nervous for my placement as my journalism knowledge and skills won’t be fresh. I also had an interview for a two-month placement with the BBC in Leeds which is most likely going to be cancelled too. I was really hoping to get this placement as it would’ve provided me skills and knowledge in the workplace which would’ve made me more experienced if I was trying to find a media related job whilst I’m studying abroad.”
“I am in my third year at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston studying journalism. I have had to cancel going to BBC Radio Lancashire and North West tonight due to the coronavirus. I had already postponed these placements due to have problems with mobility as a result of a slipped disc in my lower back late last year. This is something which has also meant restarting my third year again this September. Cancelling has made me feel a little anxious but I don’t see it affecting my future. It’s a knock-back but I’m determined to get back in contact with my placements once it’s safe to do so.”
“I’m a second-year journalism student at the University of Kent. This year I applied for the BBC Africa digital summer work placement. While I still don’t know whether I got the opportunity I got an email about a month ago saying that they would most likely have to delay the placement because of the coronavirus. I’m still waiting for more information about whether it has been cancelled or not. I am a bit confused as to why further information hasn’t been conveyed to applicants. In the meantime, I just started at PressPad as their social media editor and I am still continuing my second-year studies.”
“I’m a third-year journalism student at the University of the West of Scotland. In March, I was due to start eight weeks of work experience at a lifestyle magazine. The day before I was supposed to go into the office for the first time, it got postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions. I was relying on this work experience to complete my work experience module, which needs to include a folio of work completed during work experience. The cancellation has forced me to scramble for alternatives at the last minute. I’ve been trying to come up with ideas for freelance pitches in order to scrape together the pass I need for this module, and I’m sure I’ll be able to pull through it, but it’s seriously disrupted my academic year. I was really looking forward to working at this magazine; I was excited to learn from professionals. Everything feels so uncertain right now.”