The benefits of good internship programmes are clear to students. There is an inherent benefit for host companies, too. However, the immediate impact of the global pandemic has hit the sector hard as most of the in-person programmes have been essentially cancelled. However, the Faculty of Economics responded flexibly and allowed students to do virtual internships.
From September 2020 till the end of February 2021 altogether four students of Faculty completed 4-6 weeks’ virtual internship and one student is currently participating in a 12 weeks’ blended (in-person and online) internship.
A round table discussion on virtual internships was held in February 2021, organised by TU Košice. Altogether 12 people from 5 countries Germany, Greece, The Netherland, Italy and Slovakia) took part in the round table: four company mentors, four students/interns, one HEI tutor, two Faculty Vice-deans (for education and international relations) and one administrative responsible. The experiences from all involved parties have been gathered and will be documented in the Impact study of the EnterMode project (https://entermode.eu/sk/).
In fact, remote internships have always been possible but, as student wished to travel, they have just never been popular. Today we can see that people can be productive in their jobs remotely. It means that internships will also be seen in a similar way, as work will be less focussed on the number of hours and more on the outcomes achieved.