The Benefits of Virtual Internships for High School Students

It’s never too early to gain work experience. For high school students, internships offer the chance to ‘try out’ a career before committing to a higher education path that takes them into that field or industry. What’s more, whilst interning remotely with global companies on key projects, students will gain experience that will boost any university or college application beyond their peers - an unbeatable advantage. 

Many geographies worldwide are increasing focus of high school systems and educational institutions on work readiness and work integrated learning at a younger age.  The UK has the Gatsby Benchmarks and many US States are implementing similar initiatives, such as the Illinois Career Pathways Dictionary

What is a Virtual Internship?

A Virtual Internship is a chance to develop professionally, enrich employability, and upskill students into candidates that few universities/colleges or employers would say no to. Students will gain key skills, real-world experience, and new connections through interning remotely in a global company. Virtual Internships for high school students are also commonly known as remote or online high school internships.

Why It’s Important for High School Students to do Internships

The benefits of undertaking an internship as a high school student are numerous, both for personal development, guidance and insight when making those next step decisions, and long-term career pathway choices. 

1. Creating Connections

Networking is another big benefit to be taken from an internship - and it’s great to start early. In an internship it’s possible to create connections that students could have through university/college and into a first role after graduation. 

2. Real-World Learning

Stepping from the classroom into a professional environment at a young age provides an early glimpse into what real working life could be like. It might answer some huge initial questions about preferred career fields, directing students sooner before deepening learning and skills at higher education level. Seeing what suits as a high school student and getting that tiny taster before university/college may serve as a crucial steering wheel towards finding a dream career. 

3. Personal Growth and Development 

Remember, not all growth should be with a student's career or future work life in mind. Personal growth and learning, figuring out who they are as individuals, what strengths and weaknesses they have, how they respond to feedback and teamwork at high school age, is extremely important for the next generation of professionals. Soft Skills such as creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and emotional intelligence are listed as the top 5 Soft Skills by LinkedIn in its 2020 Skills Report. An internship in high school can offer a plethora of opportunities for individual personal learning for life, relationships, and future wellbeing, not just work. 

4. Impress in College/University Applications

Taking on an internship shows initiative, and universities/colleges love seeing students who have shown a drive to learn. It shows students are dedicated, before they even arrive on the campus and will help an application to jump out from the rest. 

Virtual Internships High School Program - What’s Included

A remote internship with VI gives high school students more than other online work experience opportunities. For starters, students are supported throughout by an internship experience manager. Students develop core skills needed to advance in the future through a professional development hub of 12+ courses. They have access to a career coach who helps students leverage their internship experience to take the steps towards their desired career. And of course, they’ll gain the valuable experience they need. The VI Program includes: 

  • Four-week fully remote internship working in teams of four students
  • Daily group meetings with an assigned internship facilitator
  • Access to our online professional development courses
  • End-of-program portfolio highlighting the projects the student has completed
  • Supervisor evaluation, program, evaluation, and certificate of completion


Host Companies High School Students Will Intern With

The host companies we work with are changing the way companies grow by hiring diverse talent from around the world and building a global team of remote superstars. They are actively disrupting their industry with new and innovative ideas and products. Many are budding ‘unicorns’ (young companies and startups valued at over $1 billion, just like Facebook and Uber once were) that will give you huge exposure to the inner workings of a growing organization. They value diversity and inclusion, and actively encourage new ideas from their interns, which means interns could make a real impact at their host company. Many are backed by world-renowned VC Funds such as Sequoia Capital, 500 Startups, and many others.

Your students could intern with a global host company that is: 

  • High-growth - allows participants to see various exciting elements of a growing company.
  • Tech-enabled - ensures that participants are exposed to the future of work and as many new digital tools as possible.
  • International or cross-border - brings participants a new perspective and allows them to develop cultural capital and a global mindset.


Types of Projects for High School Internships

Our VI projects are designed to allow participants to see a variety of opportunities within a particular industry. Weekly projects include; 


High School Students Recommend Virtual Internships

We know that hearing from people that have actually experienced these high school internships is priceless. Here are some quotes from our alumni sharing some of the many benefits they found from completing their Virtual Internship in high school.

“The VI program was excellent and great for preparing us all for the various parts of working in our chosen sectors.”

“The internship has taught me a lot about work experience and what I’ve learned and developed throughout these weeks will be useful to me and is valued, even if I don’t choose this exact career path. I’m grateful to have connected with people from so far around the world and found it really fun.”


“A personal highlight was being able to work and network with like-minded students from all over the world who were driven and enthusiastic. I would without doubt recommend this program to driven students looking to learn about their industry of interest, refine their skills, and meet fellow students across the globe.”

“My month-long experience with Virtual Internships was a very positive one, where I worked directly under a top-level executive for a company with over 1000 employees. I learned quite a lot from this program, and the time-management and collaborative skills I took away from this program will greatly benefit me when I go to college, along with once I start a job.”

“The Virtual Internships program allowed me to access different perspectives in creative ways. I learned how to manage a virtual workplace across different time zones and to communicate efficiently with colleagues online. It was a unique experience that I could learn and develop as a high school student. Through this program, I gained lots of confidence.”



How You Can Help Your High School Students Gain An Unbeatable Advantage?

We’re working on getting our next cohort of high school internships ready at the moment. Register your interest below if you’re looking to help the students at your school gain an unbeatable advantage for their college/university application.

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