Advice for Employers and Recruiters

Majority of Amazon’s interns favor hybrid work. Are they typical?

Steven Rothberg AvatarSteven Rothberg
June 19, 2021

In so many ways, Amazon is a leading employer of college students and recent graduates. Sure, they’re one of the largest employers in the world and about to surpass Walmart as the largest. Sure, they hire hundreds of thousands of students to work part- and full-time in their hundreds of warehouses in the U.S. and thousands elsewhere. Sure, they consistently pay well above average for these workers. But did you know that they’re also one of the largest employers of interns with some 10,000 students gaining valuable career-related experience?

So, although their recent survey was inherently skewed because it was only of interns working for one company, the sheer size of the company and the internship class made it a really interesting data point. The survey indicated that the majority of Amazon’s interns prefer a hybrid approach to their internships this summer instead of working only in-person or only remotely.

For what it is worth, what we’re hearing at College Recruiter overall is a slow, cautious return to what used to be normal. A sizeable minority and perhaps slight majority of employers have already implemented a hybrid approach to office workers, and their interns will be a part of that. Now, if your office is in Chicago and the intern is in Dallas and you told her that she could work remotely this summer, almost all employers are standing behind that. But if your office is in Chicago and the intern is in Chicago and you told her she’d be able to intern remotely this summer, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re going to be encouraging her to come into the office at least a day or two a week.

By next summer, I think we’ll see a lot less uncertainty. I think we’ll see some employers trying to pretend it is 2019 and manage by process, which will necessitate all workers being on-site all of the time. Some will succeed at that as some will have workforces that want that. We’ll also see some continue to be remote-only like we’ve been since 1997, and some continue to be remote-first or just hybrid like many became in 2020. We’re going to see employees who want to work on-site gravitating to those places of employment. We’re going to see a lot more and better opportunities for those in rural areas or with physical disabilities who were largely shut out of many of the best opportunities in the labor market instead be able to make the best use of their talents. It’s that last part that is exciting to me. 

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