31 Jul Virtual Internships 101: A Definitive Guide to Launching Your Career
In the past few years, we’ve taken a huge leap forward in the way technology drives our workforce. Gone are the days of exclusively working in office, as we’ve realized it isn’t truly necessary with our technological advances. With this rise in technology we’ve also come to discover that the internet allows for opportunities of professional growth not otherwise considered in prior decades. This nontraditional approach towards work enables young people to really take advantage of the changed landscape and engage in an international experience. Virtual internships have skyrocketed in popularity as we push the boundaries of what work could mean and how we grow professionally.
That all sounds great but…what is a virtual internship?
We’re glad you asked! A virtual internship is a fully remote internship experience, meaning you work from your laptop. Most are project based and don’t require you to physically be in an office space as you’ll be working from your computer. Yep, no catch there. You’ll work completely from wherever your feet and internet connection are, using video chats such as Zoom or Google Meet for meetings, and communicating through email, Slack, Teams, or some sort of equivalent. Virtual interning has numerous benefits such as the obvious ones such as reduced cost for travel (ahem- zero!), as well as allowing the intern to work at any company they can think of and apply to! This also allows the intern to be free of the limitations they may have otherwise had in working for an international company, allowing for international experiences as well! No relocating or commuting here! Just log on and get started.
What are some of the benefits of a virtual internship?
The main benefit of a virtual internship is this newfound ability to level the playing field. In generations past, internships were reserved for those who could afford to either drive or commute to their internship, sometimes even traveling and staying in a new city (or sometimes country) in order to intern with the company of their dreams. Obviously, this knocked out many who dreamed of this, but simply couldn’t afford it. Now, as long as you have a steady internet connection and a computer, you are able to apply for a virtual internship and successfully complete it. This can put you WAY further ahead for post grad job searching.
An additional benefit of a virtual internship is the exposure it can grant you. Now, with the push of a few buttons you can gain access to anyone who works at the organization you are interning at. You can develop a relationship with people who you may have never seen in office due to different departments and levels. You also open up the ability to work with organizations from different countries, cultures, and industries not otherwise possible. Take advantage of this new pool of people to network with!
How can I prepare myself for a great virtual internship?
First things first, make sure you have a space to go with reliable wifi. Obviously things can go awry for any type of wifi, but making sure you have a space that works consistently is the first step towards success in a virtual internship.
Next we can work on establishing a space in our home that promotes productivity. You want to look for a space that has little visual clutter as well as low foot traffic in your home. It is also important to find a location where you won’t be distracted by noise. While we usually recommend working near a window for the natural light, forgo this if you tend to get distracted by passersby outside. Once you’ve found the perfect location you can begin to make it your own! FInd a nice planner if you enjoy making to-do lists, or perhaps make the perfect classical music playlist to listen to while you work. Whatever it is, choose something that gets you excited to sit down and work!
How can I make the most of my virtual internship experience?
In order to reap the benefits of a virtual internship experience, you need to commit. It can be tempting to watch TikTok sneakily from your phone, or try one of the many keyboard hacks to appear as if you’re working all day but don’t! This is your time to really test out a career in the field of your choice and determine if you enjoy it. Learn as much as you can from your colleagues. Virtual work can be quite conducive to this believe it or not, as you can video chat with someone to observe what they do and ask questions. Camera shy? No worries! Now you can simply send a message and learn more about what they do from the comfort of off screen. That being said, be sure to turn on your camera in meetings. You’ll leave a bigger impact if others remember your face!
Another important element to a virtual internship that you should be taking advantage of is networking. In the past, it could be difficult to muster up the courage to talk to higher ups in your company. No longer! Unlock the ability to simply message anyone in the company with a virtual internship Setup a stress free coffee chat over a video call. Here is your chance to expand your network internationally, so make sure to pick up some knowledge in your field from the many experts available to you.
How do I sign up?!
Explore our website to see what various international virtual internships we offer. You will be directed from there to sign up where you see fit. By embarking on a virtual internship experience you are launching your international career all from your bedroom! You are making a wonderful choice to further your education in your field of choice as well as simply adding to your experience in a budding new work world. Gain new culture experiences and insight through your internship and you will have a memorable and rewarding experience indeed.