If everything had gone as planned, Mina Lee would be in Guatemala right now.
The 20-year-old American told VOA the Guatemala trip was part of a program at Princeton University in New Jersey. She began studying history at Princeton in 2018.
But Lee says the coronavirus health crisis completely changed her plans for the rest of this year. Luckily, she already had a part-time job with the technology company GRUBBRR. And the company offered a solution to her problem: a summer internship.
Internships have become increasingly common in the United States and elsewhere in recent years. They provide important work experience to college students. Internships also give students a chance to see what working at a given company is like before they launch their careers.
A growing number of companies have come to expect college students to complete at least one internship if they want to be considered for full-time employment.
Yet the coronavirus has affected the ability of students everywhere to take part in such programs. Studies have shown that half of all internship openings in the U.S. have been cut since the coronavirus started spreading. In Britain, 64 percent of the positions have been cut.
Hundreds of companies, including Airbnb, Fedex, Gap and Disney, have cancelled their summer internship programs, one online database reported. The International Labor Organization noted last month that at least one in every six young workers worldwide has stopped working. The United Nations labor agency says the long-term effects of the health crisis could lead to a “lockdown generation” scarred throughout their working lives.
That is why some companies are moving their internships completely online. Amazon is seeking more than 8,000 interns for its summer program. And while many of her friends now have nothing to do, Mina Lee has been able to work for GRUBBRR entirely from her New York home.
“Even if there was a feeling that something was stolen, it’s followed by a feeling of … excitement for what’s going to come next,” Lee said.
Yet some observers worry that an online internship may not be as useful to young people as an in-person experience. And they share concerns about what will happen to students without any internship at all.
Edwin Koc is Director of Research, Public Policy and Legislative Affairs at the National Association of Colleges and Employers. He notes that 22 percent of the companies his group works with have cancelled summer internships.
This is troubling for several reasons, he says. It is not just that students might miss out on valuable work experience or a chance to learn new skills. Since the recession of 2008, companies have grown to depend on internships to identify the best candidates for employment. And they also give students a chance to see if the culture of a given company is a good fit for them.
“It really requires the student to kind of network and integrate with the workflow of the organization, get a feel for the organization, the type of people that individual will work with, the comfort level they find working in that kind of environment,” Koc said.
David Jaeger adds that what is happening now is also closely tied to these young people’s future. Jaeger is a professor of economics at the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland. He notes that job candidates are more likely to hear back from employers if they have had an internship. But also, companies increasingly expect students to have more than one internship during their college years. And students are more likely to get a second internship if they have already had one.
“So, it takes an internship to get an internship. And the kids … who are in their second or third year of university who aren’t going to have an internship, perhaps their first internship, this summer really could be behind the eight-ball going forward,” Jaeger said.
However, there some people who say the future is not all bad for college students facing an unusual summer.
Rebecca Woolf is the human resources and information director of EUSA Academic Internship Experts. Every year, her group places about 2,000 students from U.S. colleges and universities in academic internships in Europe.
All of EUSA’s summer programs have been cancelled. And since the programs involve the student’s living and working in a foreign culture, it seems unlikely they will be able to move the programs completely online.
But that does not mean there are no valuable life experiences students can take away from this difficult time, Woolf says. And since the coronavirus crisis is affecting people around the world, these students will not necessarily be treated unfairly.
“If everybody’s experiencing the same barriers right now, nobody’s falling behind,” she said.
I’m Pete Musto.
Pete Musto reported this story for VOA Learning English with additional reorting from the Associated Press. George Grow was the editor. We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section.
Quiz - Coronavirus Changes Plans of College Interns Everywhere
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Words in This Story
internship – n. of or relating to schools and education
database – n. a collection of pieces of information that is organized and used on a computer
lockdown – n. a state of isolation or restricted movement established as a security measure
scar(red) – v. to cause someone to feel great emotional pain or sadness because of a bad experience
excitement – n. a feeling of eager enthusiasm and interest
network – n. to talk with people whose jobs are similar to yours especially for business opportunities or advice
integrate – v. to make a person or group part of a larger group or organization
comfort – n. a state or feeling of being at ease
behind the eight-ball – idm. in a bad position
academic – adj. of or relating to schools and education
HOW TO PRONOUNCE
How to Pronounce: /ɑ/ The Sound of Modern Jobs
6 Minute English
Is music getting faster?
EPISODE 190117 / 17 JAN 2019
Music producers are adapting their songs for modern technology. Researchers have found long instrumental introductions to pop songs have become almost extinct. Neil and Rob discuss this new trend and teach you some vocabulary.
This week's question
In 2017 Luis Fonsi's summer hit Despacito officially became the most streamed song of all time. Do you know approximately, how many times it was streamed? Was it:
a) 1.6 billion times,
b) 3.6 billion times, or
c) 4.6 billion times?
Listen to the programme to find out the answer.
describes the activity of listening or watching music, radio or videos directly from the internet as a continuous stream
something that is popular and makes lots of money – like a new computer game or pop song
something that attracts attention and is easy to remember
list of songs that a radio station plans to play or list of songs you compile yourself on a streaming service
(here) having a strong influence
record, count or measure something – like the download of a file
Note: This is not a word for word transcript
Hello. Welcome to 6 Minute English, I'm Neil.
And hello, I'm Rob.
Today we’re discussing music and the idea that songs are becoming faster. What music do you like, Rob?
Oh me? I like rock music. It has good vocals and it's loud! How about you, Neil?
Well, I like anything and I prefer streaming my music actually. No old-fashioned CDs to buy and load up – it's easier to play and you can play it anywhere! And streaming is where you listen or watch music or videos directly from the internet as a continuous stream.
Did you know that some people believe that streaming music online is actually changing the songs people write? And it might be leading to songs getting faster.
Well, that's what we're discussing today. Let's hope it doesn't happen to this programme, otherwise we might become Three Minute English! But before it does, let's get on with our question for everyone to answer. In 2017 Luis Fonsi's summer hit Despacito officially became the most streamed song of all time. Do you know approximately, how many times it was streamed? Was it:
a) 1.6 billion times,
b) 3.6 billion times, or
c) 4.6 billion times?
I know the song was popular but 4.6 billion sounds too big – so I'll go for a) 1.6 billion.
OK. Well, we'll find out later in the programme. But now back to our discussion about how music producers are adapting their songs for modern technology. Researchers have found long instrumental introductions to pop songs have become almost extinct.
Of course the aim of many pop songs is to be enjoyed by many – to be popular - but they also need to be a commercial success – they need to make money.
Brendan Williams, a music producer and professor of music technology can explain what he thinks influences the songs. Here he is speaking on BBC Radio 4's You and Yours programme…
I think that, you know, one of the things that’s driving this, there are a number of things. They’re all radio, they’re all singles designed for radio playlists. Radio playlists are extremely important factors in judging the success of a track and obviously do feed into the kind of commercial success of a track.
So, he mentions that radio playlists are important factors. A playlist is a list of songs that a radio station plans to play. And he says that radio playlists affect the commercial success of a song.
By the way he called a song a track – that's a recorded piece of music. And notice how he used the word driving which means having a strong influence. So getting a song played on the radio is important and it has to be made in a way that will suit the radio station's playlist.
Now, we know there are thousands of songs out there to listen to – and plenty of ways to listen to them – so how can record companies get someone to listen to their particular song?
Well, have a listen to Brendan Williams again to see what he thinks…
… But then there’s the influence of streaming services like Spotify, where if a track isn’t played for at least 30 seconds then it doesn’t register a play and Spotify…
Presenter: And if we don’t hear the vocals then we might not carry on listening. Is that the theory?
Brendan Williams: Absolutely, yeah, yeah. That’s the theory – it's to get through… I guess to get into the meat of the song to hear the lyrical content and get through to that first chorus.
Well, it seems songs no longer have an 'intro' – the instrumental piece of music that's played before the singing begins. In the old days, radio DJs – disc jockeys who played the records – loved to talk over that bit! Now we need to get to the lyrical content – that's the lyrics or the words of the song - as soon as possible.
So, the theory, or idea, is to present listeners with vocals and a chorus more quickly, as it will make them want to continue listening! That's because if a song isn't streamed for more than 30 seconds, it doesn't register a play – it doesn't get measured or recorded as a play – so it doesn't make money.
So a song needs to hook the listener in quickly – in other words it needs to attract their attention and be easy to remember – another word for this is catchy. Do you have any favourite catchy songs, Rob?
Oh, I do, I do. It's got to be Happy by Pharrell Williams. A very catchy song.
Well, something that is always catchy in this programme is our quiz question. Earlier I mentioned that in 2017, Luis Fonsi's summer hit Despacitoofficially became the most-streamed song of all time. Did you know approximately, how many times it was streamed? Was it:
a) 1.6 billion times,
b) 3.6 billion times, or
c) 4.6 billion times?
And I went for a staggering 1.6 billion times.
Well, it's not staggering enough, Rob. It was actually streamed 4.6 billion times.
Amazing. That's a number that we can only dream of for this programme – or is it?! Well Neil, shall we download to our memory, some of the vocabulary we've learnt today?
Streaming describes the activity of listening or watching music, radio or videos directly from the internet as a continuous stream.
Something that is a commercial success is popular and makes lots of money – like a new computer game or pop song.
A good pop song, Rob – not something annoying like Gangnam Style.
Well, that was a huge commercial success because it was catchy – a word that describes something that attracts attention and is easy to remember.
We also mentioneda playlist – that's a list of songs that a radio station plans to play. And we also use the same word – playlist – to describe a list of songs you compile yourself on a streaming service.
We also heard the adjective driving, which in the context of our discussion means having a strong influence.
And we mentioned the verb to register. If you register something you record, count or measure it. Like every download of this programme is registered. But how do we download this programme, Rob?
By going to our website at bbclearningenglish.com.
And we have an app too – download it for free and stream all of our content!
Bye for now.
Latest 6 Minute English
By The Nation
Since the reopening of the monastery where Phra Phuttha Chinnarat is enshrined, a steady stream of visitors have been queuing up to enter the monastery in order to pay respects to what is considered the most beautiful and classical Buddha figure in Thailand.
The temple has strictly implemented measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, such as allowing visitors to enter or exit the monastery only one way, screening body temperature, and limiting the number of visitors inside the monastery to not more than 50 people.
"Every visitor must wear a face mask before entering the monastery," a staff at the temple said.
The staff expected the number of visitors to the temple to be much more than usual during the Asalha Bucha and Buddhist Lent Days from July 4 to 7 this year.
"The temple will allow devotees to walk with lighted candles in hand around the monastery on Sunday from 3pm to 5.30pm," the staff added.
Heavy rain forecast for most parts of Thailand
By The Nation
The forecast for different parts of the country:
Bangkok and its vicinity: Cloudy with scattered thundershowers; minimum temperature 25-26 degrees Celsius, maximum 32-35°C; southwesterly winds at 10-30kph.
North: Very cloudy with scattered thundershowers and isolated heavy rains in Chiang Rai, Phayao, Nan, Phrae, Uttaradit, Sukhothai, Tak, Kamphaeng Phet, Phitsanulok, Pichit and Phetchabun provinces; minimum temperature 24-26°C, maximum temperature 33-35°C; southwesterly winds at 10-25kph.
Northeast: Very cloudy with scattered thundershowers and isolated heavy rains in Loei, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Kalasin, Roi Et and Mukdahan provinces; minimum temperature 24-26°C, maximum temperature 31-34°C; southwesterly winds at 10-25kph.
Central: Cloudy with scattered thundershowers mostly in Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chai Nat, Kanchanaburi, Suphan Buri, Ratchaburi, Nakhon Pathom and Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya provinces; minimum temperature 24-26°C, maximum temperature 34-36°C; southwesterly winds at 10-30kph.
East: Very cloudy with scattered thundershowers and isolated heavy rains in Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat provinces; minimum temperature 23-27°C, maximum temperature 31-34°C; southwesterly winds at 15-30kph; waves about a metre high and 1-2 metres in thundershower areas.
South (East Coast): Cloudy with scattered thundershowers mostly in Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung and Songkhla provinces; minimum temperature 23-26°C, maximum temperature 32-34°C; southwesterly winds at 15-30kph; waves a metre high and 1-2 metres in thundershower areas.
South (west coast): Cloudy with scattered thundershowers mostly in Ranong, Phangnga, Trang and Satun provinces; minimum temperature 24-26°C, maximum temperature 30-33°C; southwesterly winds at 15-35kph; waves 1-2 metres high and about two metres in thundershower areas.
From July 4-7, a rather strong southwest monsoon prevails across the Andaman Sea and Thailand with the monsoon trough lying across Myanmar to the low cell over upper Laos while on July 6-7, the southeasterly wind prevails over the Northeast, the East and the Gulf. Thundershowers are likely over upper Thailand and isolated heavy rain in the North, the Northeast, the East, and the South. From July 8-10, the moderate southwest monsoon prevails across the Andaman Sea and Thailand with isolated heavy rain in the East and the South.
People in the North, the Northeast, and the East should beware of severe conditions in this period that may cause flash floods.
Sunday, July 5, 2020