Illustration of a desk with a computer and a lamp

Students looking for jobs and internships at Ohio State’s career fair now must consider if the positions are in-person or remote. Credit: Donovan Collins | For The Lantern

As Ohio State students prepare to attend career fairs virtually, the semesterly question of “Where will I have to move for work?” has shifted to “Will I be working from the same chair I’m sitting in now?”

Ohio State’s annual Fall Career and Internship Fair will be entirely virtual on the job site Handshake. Of the 100 employers signed up over the two-day fair, companies range from Bath and Body Works to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. 

Since each organization functions in its own unique way, their methods of dealing with COVID-19 also vary broadly as millions of Americans had to switch to a work-from-home set-up. Facebook, for example, announced in May that about half of its more than 40,000 employees would be able to work from home within a decade. And according to a national survey in April by business publishing company getAbstract, nearly half of workers would like to continue working from home after the pandemic ends, and 45 percent of their employers were considering the change.

Some employers, such as Columbus-based CityScene Media Group, made the adjustment to working virtually, and although it doesn’t know if the change will be permanent, it plans to continue to provide that option for its interns.

“At the moment, all of our interns are virtual, which has been different for us. But we’re making the best out of it,” Mallory Arnold, managing editor for CityScene, said. 

CityScene Media Group is a compilation of community magazines centered around the flagship publication CityScene Magazine, Arnold said. She said the magazine focuses on arts and entertainment while also highlighting different communities in Columbus.

Arnold said despite not meeting in person, regular video meetings and streams of communication help the organization connect with its interns. For its full-time employees, she said the organization operates on a hybrid model of working from home and in the office.  

“We’re working half the week at home and half the week in the office,” Arnold said. “We’re super safe with masks and cleaning everything down and making sure everyone is doing their part to keep each other safe.”

On the other end of the spectrum is the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department. David Masterson, director of administrative services, said although the department has some “civilian” jobs available — human resources and information technology — its primary focus is to find potential deputy sheriffs at the fair. 

“Our bread and butter’s the deputy position, I mean, that’s probably 80 to 85 percent of our workforce,” Masterson said. 

Employees in administrative or technical roles are able to work from home, but because of the nature of the deputy position, Masterson said there are limited ways in which deputies can modify their work patterns to work remotely.

“In the law enforcement realm, a lot of the jobs that we have here, especially on the deputy side of things, there’s really not much that’s different other than everyone trying to do social distancing as much as they can inside the jails,” Masterson said.

Masterson said there are mandatory mask policies in jails for both employees and inmates and that the department has other policies to limit the spread of the coronavirus. 

The Fall Career and Internship Fair is Tuesday and Wednesday from noon to 6 p.m.