COVID-19 creates ‘huge opportunity’ for Ferris State interns

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The COVID-19 pandemic is altering workplaces, which is also leading to how many college internships operate in West Michigan.

When it comes to summer internships, officials with Ferris State University say their biggest focus right now is on flexibility.

Normally FSU’s College of Business would require 400 work hours for a three-credit internship, but college officials are more lenient this summer. They say as long as the student is getting experience, especially during a global pandemic, then they’re satisfied.

“This is a huge opportunity to kind of see how to properly and improperly… react to the pandemic and the experiences attached to it,” said Christian J Bottke, a hospitality student at FSU.

“It really is a great learning experience from their point of view — like how do these businesses handle getting this thrown at you out of nowhere? How do you make changes to your standard operating procedures? How (do you) implement the changes,” said Kathryn Wolfer, internship coordinator for FSU’s hospitality program. “So I would think from a student point-of-view, I would think (this) would be a pretty interesting time to be in the industry.”

The status of fall internships statewide is still being determined as the economy reopens.