The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Internships

virtual internships

The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Internships

It’s a post-COVID-19 world, and we’re all just living in it.

In the digital age, professional development is rapidly evolving for college students. While the idea of an internship once existed solely within the boundaries of office walls, a global pandemic changed the way we go about business.

For college students who are interested in gaining real world experience – while also maintaining a flexible schedule to juggle other life commitments – virtual internships have emerged as absolute game-changers.

But what is a virtual internship, and is it right for you? Let’s take a closer look. 

What is a Virtual Internship?

A virtual internship is truly just what it sounds like. 

It’s a work experience program where the participant (the intern) gains practical skills and professional training at a distance through online communication channels. The tasks assigned can be similar to those given in on-site internships, but are executed remotely using technology.

Unlike traditional internships, virtual internships take place entirely online, allowing for geographical flexibility and the opportunity to work with international companies without leaving your home.

What Do You Do in a Virtual Internship?

Day-to-day tasks in a virtual internship can vary greatly based on the field and company. 

Some common activities include:

  • Conducting research
  • Assisting with virtual events or marketing campaigns
  • Drafting reports
  • Contributing to online projects
  • Attending virtual meetings and training sessions

This type of internship often requires self-motivation and strong communication skills, as you’ll need to stay on track with your projects and regularly check in with your team and supervisors.

Benefits of Virtual Internships

A virtual internship can be just as beneficial for your resume as an in-person one. It proves to prospective employers that you have a level of adaptability and tech-savviness – both of which are highly valued by employers, especially in light of the recent shift towards remote work. 

virtual internship benefits

Here are a few more specific details about how it enhances your resume:

Builds Communication

In a virtual setting, the ability to articulate your thoughts clearly through email, messaging apps, and during video conferences is crucial. These communication skills are transferable to any workplace environment.

Skill Development

By working in a virtual team, you’ll gain proficiency in various digital tools, project management, and problem-solving that will serve you well in your future career.

Improves Motivation

Without the structured environment of an office, virtual interns are forced to be self-starters, which is a commendable quality in any professional setting.

Builds Your Professional Network

While you won’t be meeting colleagues in the break room, a virtual internship connects you with professionals worldwide, broadening your network significantly.

Increases Your Chances of Getting a Job

Employers often choose candidates who have internship experience. By completing a virtual internship, you demonstrate that you’re already familiar with the type of work that their position might require.

In fact, studies indicate that more than 66% of all interns receive a full-time job after their internships – and receive a $15,000 higher salary, on average, than students who never complete internships at all. 

Virtual Internships vs. In-Person Internships

There are a few different factors that differentiate virtual internships from their traditional counterparts. Here are a few things to keep in mind: 

Desired Working Hours

One of the key advantages of virtual internships is the flexibility in working hours. This can be particularly beneficial for students who need to balance work with their studies.

Communication Style

In a traditional internship, face-to-face interactions are more or less standard. In virtual internships, the bulk of communication is written, which influences your communication style and ensures you’re adept in various platforms.


Virtual internships are typically less expensive for students, as you don’t have to cover transportation or living costs associated with traveling to work.

Level of Hands-on Experience

In-person internships may offer more hands-on involvement, especially in roles where physical presence and participation are critical. However, virtual internships can still provide substantial project-based work that contributes to your learning and skills development.

Do You Get Paid for a Virtual Internship?

Payment for an internship, virtual or traditional, varies by industry and company. Some virtual internships are unpaid, while others offer a stipend or hourly wage. 

When you’re considering a virtual internship, review the compensation package carefully to ensure it aligns with the value of your time and skills.

How Do You Apply to a Virtual Internship Program?

The key to landing a virtual internship is to be proactive in your search. Here are some steps to take to find the right opportunity for you:

  1. Polish Your Resume and Online Presence: Your resume and LinkedIn profile are your first impression – and your silver bullet here. Tailor them to the virtual internship roles you’re interested in.
  2. Start Early and Apply Widely: The application process for virtual internships can be as competitive as traditional internships, so it’s crucial to start your search early and apply to multiple positions.
  3. Network: Reach out to your professors and peers, as well as potential employers, to learn about available opportunities.
  4. Utilize Internship Databases: Use online databases to search for virtual internships. Websites like, Chegg Internships, and Indeed are great places to start.
  5. Research Companies: Target companies you’re interested in and check their websites for virtual internship programs. If they don’t have one, inquire about the possibility of creating a remote internship position.
  6. Prepare for Virtual Interviews: Just like in-person internships, you may need to go through a virtual interview process. Practice your interview skills and ensure you have a professional virtual setup for video calls.

Pro tip: When searching for virtual internships, remember to be vigilant against potential scams. Research the company thoroughly and never pay for an internship opportunity.

Are Virtual Internships Worth It?

So are virtual internships worth it? Absolutely. And you can embark on a Bright Career with Absolute Internship

Looking for a reputable organization that can help you secure a virtual internship? Absolute Internship is a global leader in providing students with life-changing internship experiences with some of the world’s leading companies. 

We offer a range of virtual internships that can help students gain invaluable skills – and kickstart their careers. 

Now that you’re able to weigh the value of virtual internships, you can decide for yourself whether it’s the right move for your own personality (and your professional growth). 

Remember, internships are just the beginning of your journey into the working world. The skills and experiences you gain will be the stepping stones to a successful career.


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