35% of Summer Internships Have Already Been Canceled, New Yello Study Reveals

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A survey of current college students unveils how employers are altering their internship programs in light of the global pandemic

"As companies big and small consider internship next steps, we encourage them to adapt by offering remote options rather than canceling internships altogether."

Yello, the leader in early talent acquisition software, today debuted the findings from a recent survey of college students that gauges how the COVID-19 outbreak has affected their upcoming internship opportunities.

As employers adjust to remote work, adapt budgets to reflect the current reality, and transition to an all-virtual recruiting model, Yello’s research shows that student internships have also been affected by the global pandemic. 35% of students who have already accepted a 2020 summer internship have learned that it will be canceled, while 24% have been informed that their internship will be virtual. Yello expects these numbers to increase further within the next few weeks.

“We remember how difficult the 2008 recession was for both employers and student job seekers, and we know that the COVID-19 outbreak poses similar challenges,” says Yello Co-Founder and CEO, Jason Weingarten. “The good news is that today’s technology makes hiring, onboarding, and remote work easier than ever before. As companies big and small consider internship next steps, we encourage them to adapt by offering remote options rather than canceling internships altogether. Continuing to invest in early talent development is crucial to the success of the future workforce, and is key to ensuring a lasting talent pipeline for your organization.”

Top findings from the survey include:

  • 35% of students have already learned their summer internships will be canceled.
  • 24% of students have been informed their summer internship will be virtual.
  • Of the employers who canceled internships, 64% offered no compensation. Only 3% offered some compensation, and 11% postponed internships to a later date.
  • Students are sympathetic to COVID-19’s impact on employers. Of the students whose internships were canceled, 70% say they’re disappointed but understanding of the situation, while 26% say they’re upset and 4% are relieved they won’t have to work onsite.
  • 85% of students don’t plan to list canceled internships on their resume, citing lack of gained experience as their main reasoning.
  • For students who have been offered a virtual internship, top concerns are: that the experience won’t be as good, that they won’t be able to prove their value enough to receive a full-time offer, and that they won’t get to meet their team in person.
  • Of the students with virtual internships, 67% want daily check-ins with their manager. Most say a 5 to 10-minute daily check-in is sufficient, with a longer meeting once a week.
  • 72% of students say they prefer video conferencing to communicate with co-workers. Only 6% say they prefer a phone call or instant messaging.
  • When asked about virtual programming and professional development for the entire intern class, 76% agreed that these events should take place no more than weekly.

The study also found that when it comes to going virtual, student preferences vary by major. “We’re finding that business and computer science students want to connect with each other via virtual happy hours, while engineering majors prefer social media groups or team trivia events,” says Yello Co-Founder, Dan Bartfield. “It’s important for employers to provide the right opportunities for students to connect, depending on the types of interns they have.”

Weingarten adds that including canceled internships in job applications may actually benefit students in the long run. “We understand the hesitation students may have in listing canceled internships on their resume,” Weingarten says. “But we encourage young job seekers to consider including them, at least until they secure another internship or full-time offer. Even though no work was completed, these canceled internships show that an employer was interested in you, and that you stood out from other candidates. You earned a coveted spot at that company, and that’s worth noting when applying for future roles.”

To learn more about Yello’s virtual internship study, please visit: https://yello.co/blog/virtual-internship-statistics

About Yello’s Virtual Internship Study:
Yello partnered with SurveyMonkey to survey 913 current college students in the United States and Canada. The survey was conducted from April 10-15, 2020.

About Yello:
Yello’s talent acquisition platform allows the world’s leading brands to deliver personalized candidate experiences to every job seeker, resulting in quality hires and faster fills. The centralized platform is easy to use, enabling recruiters to collaborate with one another to attract and engage top talent. Key hiring statistics provide meaningful insights that lead to more accurate, data-driven decisions while staying on budget. For more information about Yello, visit https://www.yello.co.

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Jason Weingarten
Yello
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