HP Innovation Issue 18: Summer 2021 | Page 41

“ Not everyone can afford to live in San Francisco or New York ,” he says . He plans to continue using remote externs even when offices are open — and to recommend them to HP Tech Ventures ’ portfolio companies . ( Externships are typically shorter in duration than internships , unpaid , and take place throughout the year .)
Paragon One has been organizing remote externships since 2019 , but for many companies , the onset of the pandemic meant a massive scramble to convert their internships to virtual . This often required changing the nature of interns ’ projects , sometimes because of security issues , other times because the intern program had to be shortened or otherwise altered .
To help students who found themselves left in the lurch when other companies rescinded their hiring offers in 2020 , HP also created the Summer Scholars program , a six-week learning experience featuring workshops and webinars from industry experts at HP . It was originally designed for US students , but nearly 2,000 worldwide participated .
Making it work Inevitably , technologies and methodologies that have yet to be invented will make virtual experiences richer ,
Many HP leaders and employees began their careers as interns , above . Learn more about their experiences on the following page .
but even now , both interns and employers are finding new ways to make an impression . Virtual internships may unlock opportunities that wouldn ’ t have been possible in person . Abbott , the global health technology company , was able to host video discussions for remote interns with C-suite executives ( including the CEO ), which were experiences that in-person internships didn ’ t get previously .
To integrate interns into corporate life and help them build their networks , global aerospace defense firm Northrop Grumman created a special app for interns to interact with one another . Meanwhile , at Facebook interns were put into teams of three to six and encouraged to work together in a Zoom room and simulate a real office , says Azhar Ali , 21 , a rising senior at Florida International University who interned at the company in the summer of 2020 . The company also organized virtual social events , from game nights to cooking lessons , and Ali attended as many as he could .
“ This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity , and I wanted to make the most of it ,” he says . ( Ali “ trended ,” in Facebook parlance — meaning he received an offer to return in the summer of 2021 .)