Virtual internship program connects students with local nonprofits

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — A summer internship from the comfort of your own home. With many summer programs canceled across the country, a lot of students were left scrambling to find job experience.

“Everyone in the world or everyone in the United States is virtual right now,” said Michael Clinton, employer relations specialist at UNCG.

A new program through the North Carolina COVID-19 Student Response Corps matches college students with virtual public service internships.

Students gain working experience while nonprofits and local governments get much-needed help during the pandemic.

“We as a university are working hard to make sure that our students are supported,” Clinton said.

So far, Clinton’s helped three students land virtual internships in the Triad.

“Going virtual is not as easy as people might think it is. You might have to make sure students have things that they can do productively to gain that experience as needed to help in the job or help in their future employment,” Clinton said.

It is a new but necessary program that Merrikay Brown with the Lewisville Historical Society is thankful for.

“I think it’s a good program. We have not had interns before so this would be a new experience for us,” Brown said.

Brown is looking for two interns to help with the Historic Nissen House. It’s one of the oldest Victorian-style homes in Lewisville. The house, a historic landmark, was ready to host weddings and small events — then the pandemic hit.

“I think more than anything we need help with social media and marketing,” Brown said.

Brown is also searching for a student with experience in grant writing to help with a restoration project in the Nissen parlor. Even midway through the summer, there are many virtual internships still up for grabs.

“A lot of the organizations weren’t ready to be virtual yet so by the time that the summer hit it was just trying to find those organizations who were ready, up and running and wanted to hire those students,” Clinton said.

The same goes for recent college graduates struggling to find work. Clinton has been keeping in touch with new alums to connect them with virtual positions.

“Especially the class of 2020, we’re making sure that they still have access to things and can get those jobs if they haven’t landed them already,” Clinton said.

To apply for a virtual public service internship, click here. The state also launched a website called nccareers.org which is a streamlined website to help people explore careers and job opportunities.

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