Ally Bivens

(Fort Mill, S.C.) — For many college students internships are required or at least strongly encouraged, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has limited options for students and made the search for an internship more difficult.

Rachel Romagnoli, a junior at Coker College in Hartsville, S.C., is currently looking for an internship or research opportunities, which are required at Coker, as she gets closer to graduating.

She said she has struggled with finding possible opportunities, due to the pandemic and because of where her college is located.

“So it is hard to find a lot of places here (in Hartsville) to begin with that are close to my school, so when I do call, I call for places in like Columbia, Charlotte or Charleston and they are just like at the moment we cannot because of health and safety protocol,” Romagnoli said.

She said that she will continue to look and inquire, but as of right now, she isn’t expecting to get any of her research or internship hours done.

Katlyn Nguyen, a junior at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, has also struggled to find opportunities that would allow her to get the hands on experience she needs.

Her major does not require an internship, but it does require a certain amount of volunteer hours and work experience in the field.

“I am looking for an internship close to campus and preferably at a smaller clinic so that I get that one-on-one experience,” Nguyen said. “I have faced challenges with finding a place that can work around my school schedule…many places aren’t offering their volunteer programs right now.”

She had one virtual interview planned at a clinic and is hopeful they will be able to provide her with an internship.

Henry Vy, a senior at the University of South Carolina, said he has not had a problem finding opportunities, because he is accustomed to doing work and projects online as a computer science major.

“The opportunities are still there and it felt like I definitely had a good shot at another internship for the summer,” he said.

Vy also said he has learned a lot through past internships and would recommend that all students try to have at least one internship before they graduate, no matter what their major is.

Students looking for internships can use the resources made available to them on their campuses.

For example, students at Winthrop University can take advantage of the Center for Career Development and Internships and make a virtual appointment with them.