What does this mean for Graduate and Internship Programmes?

Before I start this blog, I want to say a big well done to everyone for making it to 2 week of the lockdown! That’s 1 of 4 down. Many of you have spent this week getting used to lectures on Zoom, resisting the urge to cut or bleach your hair, making your first TikTok, or went the emotional rollercoaster that was Tiger King. No matter how you spent your first week of lockdown, you also undoubtedly started to feel the pressures and challenges of the lockdown. But you made it, we made it, and I want to take a moment to congratulate everyone for getting this far (because if you’re like me, it feels FAR). 

There is a lot of uncertainty about what the lockdown means for the future and I think it’s best to say that, while we can predict somethings, we don’t know everything. This is a new experience, for all of us, which is why it might feel scarier. There isn’t anyone to tell us “Back when this happened in my day…”, no one to ease our minds. But we can maybe take a positive approach to that fact and say “Okay, so that means we can to figure this out together”. 

And if anyone can handle this, it’s you, Generation Z. The digital Generation. With the lockdown comes a new need for understanding/being able to work within the digital sphere. That means Zoom meetings, chats with the team on Slack, and using iCloud more than ever, which are all things we’ve used before but now they’ve become how we operate. After experiencing almost 2 weeks of working from home that it isn’t impossible. Sure, there are challenges, but when are there not? With that in mind, let’s take a look at what this lockdown means for you and the process of applying to graduate or internship programmes. 

Keep up to date
It’s important to keep up to date with any changes to graduate/internship programmes. Make sure you follow NxtStep on Instagram and Facebook because we will always make sure to alert our followers anytime a change has been made. As of right now, there are still plenty of programmes with applications still open that you can apply for, with new ones being posted daily on our website and social media platforms. This is a time for everyone to stay connected so make sure you follow us for all the latest updates!

Video Chat Interviews
One thing we know is that many employers are turning to video chat interviews for graduate/internships, using applications like Skype or Zoom.  The important thing to remember about these online interviews is that they are still interviews. You might be able to roll out of bed and go to your Zoom lecture in your pajamas, but you certainly can’t do that for an interview because you wouldn’t do that if it was a face-to-face interview. So, dressing appropriately (at least the top half of you), being well prepared, and having a healthy amount of nerves is all still necessary. But as this is still a new way of doing things, there are some new rules to consider. It’s important to make sure all your tabs are closed to avoid any wayward music suddenly coming on during the interview. Using your phone is a big no no as well, always use your computer. Choosing your video chat location is key too. It’s important that you’re in a private room and that the rest of your household knows not to bother you (try putting a note up on the door as a reminder). Try to ensure that you have a blank/un-distracting background as well. 

After 4 weeks…?
Today, I asked our followers and my co-workers here at NxtStep if they thought this lockdown was going to last for more than 4 weeks. I got a fat (yet begrudgingly) yes.  Yes, it seems most people think this was last for more than 4 weeks (*Please keep in mind that no announcements have been made to confirm this, this is only speculation). So, say you’ve done your Zoom interview, gotten the job, but New Zealand says you still shouldn’t leave your home. Well, we already know that working from home is possible, so maybe starting a new job from home will be possible? I recently spoke with my friend Jess who started a job 3 days before the lockdown, and she had this to say: 

“I’ve met most of my team on Zoom, which was a little weird. I do miss getting to go into an office, but I’ve found that everyone is really well connected, and we reach out to each other daily. I can do my job and feel like I’m a part of a team, even though I haven’t met them!” 

Starting a new job is unnerving as it is, but having to meet your new boss over Zoom is a whole new ball game, and it will be one that this generation is going to be the first to experience. And if things don’t go smoothly? That’s fine because no one has ever done this before! No one is expecting it to go perfectly. 

If you’re going to take anything away from this blog, it’s this: the way things operate are changing, but we can handle it, especially you.

 Written by Erica Shepard, Auckland