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COVID-19 FAQ

Browse Student Help Topics

We recognize the challenge of navigating this rapidly changing landscape as a result of COVID-19. In an effort to support you during this time, we've captured answers to some of your most pressing questions that can help you pivot your career planning and professional development during this time.

1. My on-site internship has been canceled/is not supported for credit or funding, is there anything I can do?

  • While there are no guarantees, and it requires additional effort, one of the best options is to see if the employer offering your internship would be willing to retain you as an intern working remotely. We have created a guide to help you pitch a virtual internship to employers. Important information for you (and possibly your employer) to know is that LSA has changed its guidelines so that students taking virtual internships are now eligible to apply for LSA Internship Scholarship Funding. Additionally, the requirements for the ALA 225 internship course have been relaxed so that internships qualify if they add up to 60 hours over at least 4 weeks. See our guide for pitching a virtual internship to an employer.

2. My paid internship for the summer was canceled, but I still need to pay rent. Are there resources to help me cover finances that I anticipated my internship would have covered?

  • Losing an internship and expected income is very stressful. There are emergency aid funds available through these offices: Dean of Students, LSA Scholarship Office, CEW+.
  • Some internships are still available or offering remote opportunities. On-site internships, either in the US or internationally, will not be funded. However, for remote/virtual internships you are eligible to apply for Hub funding through the LSA Internship Scholarship.
  • We recommend looking at  U-M Handshake, U-M Student Employment, and LSA Opportunity Network for additional experiential learning opportunities.

3. This summer was my last chance to get internship experience as a student before I graduate and my internship has been canceled. How will this affect my job prospects?

  • Many large employers offer internship or fellowship programs for recent graduates, so it may not be your last chance to find an entry-point into this particular company or organization. Stay in touch with the individuals who offered you the internship so they know you remain interested. Ask them for informational interviews about their work and keep them updated on your future plans, especially if those plans include re-applying for company internship programs or jobs.
  • You may still be able to find a virtual internship or a micro internship that meets your learning goals for this summer. Although internship experiences can help your job applications, they aren’t required. There are many ways to gain the skills and knowledge you would develop during an internship. Please refer to Question #7 for more information on alternatives for professional development.

4. I accepted a summer internship position, but my circumstances have changed due to COVID-19 and I can no longer do the internship. How do I let the employer know without leaving a bad impression?

  • Employers understand that we are in unusual circumstances right now and everyone is responding to the COVID-19 situation the best that they can. When you reach out to the employer you can keep your reasoning for having to back out very general, and you are not obligated to share any personal details about why you can no longer fulfill the internship as planned. Be sure to thank the employer for the opportunity and, if true, express your interest in working with them in the future. If you would like assistance crafting this message, you can book an appointment with a Coach or Internship Program Coordinator by emailing lsa-opphub@umich.edu.

5. I was planning to take ALA 225, and my internship is in-person. Though in-person internships are not supported this summer, I need the credit, so what should I do?

  • You could ask your employer if they can convert the internship to a virtual internship. See this handy guide on pitching a virtual internship option to employers. For ALA 225 course credit, all internships (whether US or international) can continue to be supported and/or receive credit if they are offered in a remote format (without "in-person contact").  If a student’s internship will remain in-person or have a combination of remote and in-person work, they must complete a few extra steps. Please consult the LSA COVID 2019 Adjustment Policy for Internship Course Credit. You should also consider starting a conversation with your academic advisor and/or your departmental advisor to confirm that the internship is not a requirement for the completion of your major or minor. If your internship is canceled, please email Ian Baker (iabaker@umich.edu). Newnan Advising, RC Advising, Honors Advising, CSP Advising.

6. I’ve found internship agencies that are advertising virtual internship opportunities with employers in the U.S. and abroad for Summer 2020. Should I consider applying?

  • Given the ways COVID-19 is affecting employers’ ability to offer on-site internships, a range of internship agencies (third party vendors) are now offering virtual internships. Virtual internships can be a great experiential learning opportunity as long as students take a few precautions before committing to a particular agency. Students can also reference the LSA Opportunity Hub Student Guide on remote internships for insights on how they can pitch their own virtual internship.
  • To ensure agencies and the employers they work with are prepared to offer high quality virtual internships, we encourage students to ask the following questions before paying a deposit for an agency internship program:
    • How long has the vendor been offering virtual internships?
    • How well does the vendor know the employer who is offering the internship?
    • Has the employer hosted virtual internships before? 
    • Are there past interns who worked with this employer that would be willing to talk to me and answer some questions about their experience?
    • What is the total financial cost to find an internship through the agency?
    • What types of support does the vendor provide for students?
  • Students should also keep in mind that there may be cultural and language barriers that need to be addressed through virtual interfaces, as well as potential time zone differences that could affect when you’re able to meet or communicate with your employer. For more information on how to navigate applying for a virtual internship, email lsa-opphub@umich.edu to request an appointment with an Internship Program Coordinator.

7. My internship was canceled this summer. What else can I do to continue developing professionally?

  • We recognize that having your internship canceled is very disappointing. Keep in mind that securing an internship is still an achievement that deserves recognition; please see some employer guidance on how you can still list your rescinded internship on your resume. We recommend thinking about alternative ways to learn about careers you are interested in. Some examples of these may be:
  • We strongly encourage you to make an appointment with a Coach or Internship Program Coordinator at the Hub to work through these and more potential options by emailing lsa-opphub@umich.edu.

8. Is it still appropriate for me to contact alums for informational interviews right now?

  • Yes. Informational interviewing with alums during this time is still a great way to receive career guidance, gain industry insight, and build a network while still keeping your distance. Email might feel cold or outdated, but it’s still one of the most powerful ways to connect with new people, whether you’re trying to reach an alum at a specific publication, marketers who might be willing to chat with you, founders of specific companies, or other potential alum mentors you would like to learn from. It is important to keep in mind that everyone is in a different situation during this time, so you may experience longer wait times to hear back from alums whom you are contacting.

9. Are there any tips or strategies to help me balance taking care of my emotional and physical health while ensuring I’m not falling behind professionally?