Below is the email that was sent on April 13, 2020 regarding the suspension of the Career Communities program.
Dear Career Communities Students,
We hope this email finds you healthy and well. I am very disappointed to inform you that we are unable to offer you a summer internship as part of the Career Communities program, due to the impact of the coronavirus. After consulting with Oberlin College officials and based on the current and forecasted information from the CDC about COVID-19, all summer funded internships are being suspended.
This was a very difficult decision for us, and one that we have been dreading. However, our top priority is to keep students safe. We cannot guarantee that this priority will be met, and therefore, we must suspend all summer funded internships.
The Career Communities program was designed to offer high-quality, in-person internships, and the funding model was created to facilitate your experience beyond the academic module course. This is why we offer stipends, not wages, for internships. These stipends are based on internship location, duration, and financial need.
What does this mean for you? There are two pathways, depending on your class year:
- For third-year and Double Degree third- or fourth-year students: Those who wish to pursue an internship experience in summer 2021 will be eligible to defer funding to next year. Please complete this brief Google form by May 8th to request your deferral.
- For fourth-year students: The Career Development Center advisors will do everything possible to support you in your efforts to find employment post-graduation, as funding cannot be deferred for the following summer. Please refer to our FAQs for additional information.
Many of you have written to me and your Career Community leader in the last few weeks about the possibility of remote internship opportunities. At this point, we cannot offer the same robust experience remotely that the program was originally designed to provide. Because stipends were meant to cover costs associated with an in-person summer experience (i.e. travel, transportation, housing, etc.), we are not able to provide funding for remote summer experiences. However, this is something we will explore in the future.
We understand that this decision may create further uncertainty and anxiety with regard to your summer plans. This is disheartening for all of us - students, staff, alumni and employers - but please know that this decision was made with the best intentions and your safety and health in mind. To our seniors, the Career Development team is here for you now and in the future. We invite you to schedule a time to chat with us regarding next steps in your career journey and post-graduation plans.
Furthermore, we encourage all Career Communities members to take advantage of the second module courses being offered on the COVID-19 pandemic. Enrollment is still open and will close on April 15th (add/drop deadline). This is an opportunity to engage with a paid independent project and professional development opportunity that can be added to your resume when looking for future employment. Should you choose to enroll in one of these courses, all Career Communities students are offered the opportunity to propose an independent project based on the course material and receive a stipend of $200–400 for your work.
There will undoubtedly be questions that will come up, so we have created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page with answers to common questions. If you want to discuss this decision further, please feel to reach out to me directly or your Career Community leader. We are here for you, and we want to support you navigating these unprecedented times.
Meredith Raimondo, Vice President and Dean of Students
Dana Hamdan, Executive Director, Career Development Center