Microsoft's Summer Internship Program is a tradition in the company, stretching back 30 years. Over those three decades, the program hosts thousands of students. However, for the first time, Microsoft won't be hosting the camp physically. Instead, the company is taking the program online.
The reason for the change is the ongoing COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic which has forced numerous events to be cancelled.
For the Summer Internship Program, Microsoft says it will bring the camp virtually to 4,000 students around the world. The event will focus on building connections, developing learning, and helping interns develop their skills:
“We're fortunate to have the infrastructure and support needed to deliver a world-class remote internship program through onboarding tools like Microsoft Dynamics 365, and collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams,” wrote Kathleen Hogan, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer at Microsoft.
For students who cannot participate in the virtual internship, Microsoft says their internship can be deferred until 2021. The company admits the situation is not ideal, but is a solution better than cancelling the program:
“While this experience is not what anyone expected, we're embracing this opportunity together with our interns to learn from one another and grow. After all, the power of a growth mindset is that every obstacle is an opportunity to succeed. Adversity often creates some of the biggest leaps in innovation, and I predict that this year's intern class will not only help us shape our virtual experience, they will have a lasting influence on our program for years to come.”
The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in Microsoft cancelling many events, such as Build 2020. This week, the company revealed it is moving all events virtual until July 2021.
Looking ahead, plenty of major conferences will now go digital. After Build 2020, this year's edition of Ignite will not go ahead as planned and will instead be virtual. Ignite is a partner conference that is the largest event Microsoft hosts on its calendar.