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Covid-19 FAQ

Last edited 5/7/2021

What are Northwestern's offer guidelines at this time?

NCA kindly requests that all return offers extended at the conclusion of an internship are kept open for a period of three weeks from receipt of the formal offer. All other offers for an internship or full time employment are kept open for a period of two weeks. For a complete discussion, please visit NCA's Recruiting Guidelines.

As we continue to host events in a virtual format, are there any best practices to follow?

From large scale information sessions, to one-on-one coffee chats with a recruiter, many traditional recruiting events can be held virtually and are a great way to connect with students. For more tips on how to have an inclusive, accessible, and successful event, please visit NCA's Recruiting Guidelines (PDF).

Will NCA be hosting a career fair this fall?

NCA is pleased to offer the Fall Internship & Job Fair virtually on Wednesday, September 29 and Thursday, September 30, 2021. More specific information around pricing and structure for the event will be available this summer. 

Can we plan to recruit on campus in the fall?

NCA plans to provide a variety of recruiting activities in the fall, including the career fair, interviews, information sessions, and coffee chats. We are working to create the best campus recruiting environment, offering virtual or in-person opportunities where possible, and considering both employer and student comfort and university and public health guidelines. Our fall calendar is open and reservations can be submitted on Handshake.

Has Northwestern's academic calendar changed? How long will students be studying remotely?

Fall quarter classes begin on Tuesday, September 21, 2021. The University’s plans include in-person classes and on-campus living options and activities for students, subject to public health guidance. For the most up-to-date information on academic calendar changes, please visit Northwestern's official COVID-19 webpage.

What if we are uncertain about our current hiring needs or plans for spring?

We know many plans may require contingencies and our team is here to support you. NCA staff will work closely with you providing flexibility and individual guidance. There are no penalties for canceled interviews or events and our registration period for career fairs is generous. We are also happy to discuss alternative opportunities to establish connections with students beyond just a recruiting context.

How will changes due to COVID-19 affect students' academic standing and GPA?

For this academic year (Fall 2020, Winter 2021, and Spring 2021), the University will employ a temporary grading option, Credit/No Credit, which will fulfill any academic requirement. Similar to Pass/No Pass, these grades will bear no impact on the GPA, but will simply denote whether a student has completed a course and earned credit or whether they have not. The goal of this new grading option is to provide students some reassurance now that they will be able to change some of their letter grades from any 2020-21 quarter to a Credit/No Credit grade at the conclusion of the academic year. As a reminder, for the Spring 2020 quarter, the University implemented Pass/No Pass only grading.

What are best practices for a remote internship?

Best practices for a remote internship are very similar to those for an in-person internship. We recommend making expectations clear to students starting with the work agreement. Be sure to include information on how they should be logging their hours, how many hours should be worked each week, who their supervisor will be and how many times they will be checking in, etc. It will also be important to note any equipment they will need or that which will be provided by the employer at least 4 weeks prior to the start of the internship so that students can feel prepared. Use the virtual onboarding process to set norms for connecting with students and uphold the guidelines for which they should be communicating during the summer. Provide an opportunity for the interns to connect with their peers before they start to help them build community amongst themselves so they feel comfortable with others that are in their shoes during this unprecedented time. Lastly, create opportunities for students to absorb the culture of your organization by interacting with those outside of their teams to help them extend their networks more broadly throughout the summer. Please see Handshake for additional helpful resources.

Is there a preferred platform I should use for virtual interviews or events? Who is communicating with students?

We recommend that you use the preferred platform for your company. Please be sure to include an access link for students in the event description, or reach out to students individually for their interview times. If preferred, we can provide support in setting up your event via Zoom, and Norris Event Management is also available to support virtual events with tech services.

How are jobs being advertised to students?

Students are still actively engaged on Handshake and can view job postings.

If I have questions on the interview day, who should I contact?

Please reach out to your Employer Strategist or nca@northwestern.edu with any questions.

Our internship is now remote. Do international students require that we formally provide documentation of this change?

Our CPT process does not require any formal updates on the part of the employer if the work is now remote. CPT can also be amended after it is processed. Northwestern students with questions about their CPT requirements, or other questions pertaining to visa status or work authorization, should be directed to the Office of International Student Scholars.

Will study abroad be permitted for Northwestern students this winter or spring?

Northwestern will prohibit student international travel associated with Fall/Winter 2020 and Full Year 2020-21 undergraduate credit-bearing study abroad programs.

For students who were not able to participate in an internship experience due to COVID-19, how are you advising students to talk about their canceled opportunities during interviews or on their resume?

NCA acknowledges both the current and long term impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our community. Student career progress was interrupted as various programs were canceled. In addition to canceled internships and truncated experiences, many students and their families were directly impacted by the virus itself. Students may include canceled opportunity details on their resumes or bring up the impact of the pandemic during an interview discussion. As a hiring organization, we ask that you consider all of these factors in context when evaluating students' resumes moving forward.