Networks and securing an internship during an environmental anomaly: the COVID-19 pandemic

Matthew Smith*, Spiros Batas, Yasaman Sarabi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused a slowdown of economic activity across the globe, which has resulted in high levels of disruption to labour markets. This study seeks to examine how the outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted the search strategies of students seeking for an internship, and whether these have changed since the start of the pandemic. The study utilises the strength of weak ties hypothesis, social capital theory and status attainment theory to explore the changes in securing a position since the outbreak of COVID-19.

This study draws on data from two cohorts of MBA students seeking to secure internships: one before the outbreak and one during. A multinomial regression is employed to examine how students have used network ties to secure internships and how this has changed since the outbreak of COVID-19.

The multinomial regression results indicate that there was little difference in the strategies employed by students before the crisis compared to those that secured them during, potentially indicating that students are unwilling to deviate from typical job search strategies, especially in times of uncertainty.

This study provides insights into how network ties are used by job seekers during a period of economic and environmental uncertainty.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-739
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
Issue number7-8
Early online date15 Apr 2024
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2024


  • COVID-19
  • Job search
  • MBA internships
  • Multinomial regression
  • Social capital
  • Strength of weak ties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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