‘Canceling was not an option’: Summer internships are going virtual at U.S. Bank

May 13, 2020

We’re welcoming more than 400 interns from late June through early August.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change work around the world, U.S. Bank is shifting its internship program to a virtual format this summer. 

The decision comes as, widely reported in media outlets including The Wall Street Journal and Money, many companies are canceling summer internships due to logistical or financial concerns.

“We could have considered canceling the program,” said Kate Quinn, vice chair and chief administrative officer at U.S. Bank. “But it is important to give our emerging talent the best possible opportunities, no matter what is happening in the industry or the world. So, canceling was not an option.”

In late June, U.S. Bank will welcome more than 400 interns from diverse backgrounds and spend six weeks getting to know them, their goals, their skills, their generational perspectives and how they want to grow their careers.

“Upon receiving the news, I read the email to my whole family,” said Emma Lorentz, an incoming intern. “I am very excited to participate in the virtual program.”

Recognizing that internships can be an essential source of income for students in addition to a career stepping stone, U.S. Bank is also compensating interns for the 10-week timeframe that was initially planned for the program.

“We want to do right by our interns and were thoughtful about how we approached this change,” said Penny Momon, campus recruiting director at U.S. Bank. “This opportunity allows our incoming talent to fully contribute and helps us create a pipeline that drives our business further and faster.” 

In addition to meaningful work specific to each intern’s role, the virtual program will include mentoring opportunities, weekly leader lunches with executives and virtual volunteering.

“Most interns understand the career experience they’re signing up for when they apply for an internship, whether it’s at U.S. Bank or elsewhere,” said Momon. “What they don’t always anticipate is the impact they can have on the people in their communities when they volunteer with U.S. Bank. They get to represent the company in a way that has nothing to do with their major or area of study, but everything to do with their hearts and their personal development.”

In addition to the virtual internship program, U.S. Bank has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by instituting a premium pay program for front-line employees, modifying personal and small business products for customers, expediting community giving programs, and other changes.