Google will move its summer internship program to a virtual format this year in response to coronavirus

GoogleCampus bikes at Google’s Mountain View, California, headquarters.
  • Google will be moving its summer internship to an online-only format in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Interns will instead take part in virtual replications of the company’s usual summer internship events.
  • The move comes as Google manages its vast and sprawling workforce in response to COVID-19.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Google has one of the most coveted summer internships in tech, but this year’s interns will be swapping the “Noogler” hats for webcams as the entire program goes virtual, Business Insider has learned.

The company will be shifting its summer internship program to an entirely online experience, a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Candidates will be able to attend everything remotely, with many of the usual session replaced with digital versions. Google’s leadership team plans to host virtual versions of its traditional “brown bag lunches,” and interns will be able to attend various networking events online.

All of the usual internship programs will also move forward in the online format, though it means 2020’s interns won’t get to make use of the games rooms, free food, or Mountain View’s campus bikes. They will still be compensated, however.

Confirming the changes in a statement, a Google spokesperson said: “As the COVID-19 outbreak develops, we are doing everything we can to keep our Google community safe and informed. With new public health advice, travel restrictions, and shelter-in-place orders being implemented across the globe, we’ve made the decision to make our summer internship program virtual.”

Google hosts thousands of interns each summer, and the company will be contacting successful candidates to detail the logistics of the virtual program, a spokesperson said.

Getting a Google internship is no easy task. To land a spot on its UX program, for example, candidates must pass several rounds of interviews, a portfolio review, and a design challenge.

Some companies, such as Yelp, have cancelled their summer internship programs due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many applicants to the Google program, including those had already received a written offer, were concerned that the company might also end up pulling the plug.

Meanwhile, Google’s recruitment process has moved entirely online as it continues to bring on new employees, with new starters receiving their company laptops in the mail.

This week, Business Insider reported that Google will extend the contracts of temp workers whose jobs were set to end during the coronavirus pandemic.

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