Lyft has slimmed down its internship program from 12 weeks to eight weeks, cut some intern salaries by half and rescinded its housing stipend, TechCrunch has learned. The company confirmed that it has shortened the internship and that it only cut some intern salaries. It did not define which roles and departments were specifically affected.
The internship change comes after Lyft cut nearly 1,000 employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic last week. Uber, which reportedly is doing layoffs as well, declined to comment when asked if new graduate offers have been rescinded.
Tech’s coveted, and oftentimes glamorous, internships have been largely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, with companies across the country canceling their programs altogether. Big companies have a unique privilege in this situation, as they can often afford to virtualize the program to some degree. In March, Lyft, like other big tech companies such as Twitter and Google, told TechCrunch that they would move their internship programs to be completely remote. Now we're seeing an even more conservative approach as Lyft faces greater struggles. Now it's not a question of if there will be snacks, but more along the lines of if there will be job offers.
Internships are important because they pipeline in new, diverse talent. Cancellations challenge the makeup of the future workforces of our companies, and are yet another blow to a graduating class entering a harsh job market.