College students struggle to find internships in midst of pandemic

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Students in masks on campus. Photo by Mark Cornelison | UKphoto

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — The pandemic has affected just about everyone and everything and that includes internships for college students.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers recently found about 22% of employers have taken back internship offers.

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The summer before senior year most college students intern – a fun way to explore what you want to do.

But University of Kentucky junior Sammy Bluso has to have one to graduate with a hospitality degree.

“It’s been hard because companies just aren’t hiring,” says Sammy Bluso.

For some college students it could mean they won’t graduate on time or be prepared to work.

“Hopefully, companies will be more understanding about how difficult it is to find an internship right now,” says Bluso.

Normally, now’s the time to be looking and applying for summer.

“The internship I really wanted was to stay in Lexington this summer and work for the Lexington Legends,” says Bluso.

He says if he can’t find a summer opportunity his major will allow him to intern in the spring but Bluso says it would be hard to work and take classes and this semester has been difficult enough with so much online learning.

UK says it knows students will enter a difficult job market so it’s let new alums access career services for a year after graduating.

The university also says a lot of organizations are creating remote internships but students like Bluso want a more hands-on experience.

The stress is hurting his mental health.

“My hospitality teacher always tells me the industry is so volatile, it’s always changing,” says Bluso. “Things happen so quickly but that’s just one of the things that i knew I’d have to deal with it in the industry and make the best you can out of the situation.”

He hopes his future won’t be paused like everything else the pandemic has stalled.

Listed below are UK’s Career Center’s additional resources students can use:

UK’s Micro-Internship Program: https://info.parkerdewey.com/uky
Extended career services support for 2019-20 UK graduates: https://www.uky.edu/careercenter/alumni-resources
Access to appointments in-person and online: https://www.uky.edu/careercenter/coming-appointment
Custom UK-branded Zoom backgrounds for student online interviews: https://www.uky.edu/careercenter/zoom-backgrounds
Real-time resource for tracking companies that are hiring versus companies that have enacted hiring freezes or have begun layoffs: https://candor.co/hiring-freezes
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Christy Bollinger joined the ABC 36 news team as a reporter in March 2018. Christy comes from a little western Kentucky town called Cadiz. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 2017 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology. Christy is thrilled to be working at her dream job in her home state. She is passionate about storytelling and you can see her weekdays on ABC 36 News at 5 and 6 p.m. She's covered everything from visits from the sitting president and vice president, to high-profile murder cases. When not chasing stories, Christy loves nothing more than being at the beach and says life is just better with sand between your toes and waves crashing at your feet. She is also a big animal lover. She's a fur momma and her mini-Australian Shepherd, Milly, standard Australian Shepherd, Bennie, and her Maine Coon, Cheeto, are the loves of her life. Christy encourages you to send her any story ideas you may have. Find her on Facebook at Christy Bollinger ABC 36, tweet her @ChristyB_news, or email her at CBollinger@wtvq.com.