PIEoneer Awards 2022 – Two Nominations for Virtual Internships!

It is always an honor to be nominated for awards, especially awards that represent the impact that our programs have on our alumni. 

The PIEoneer Awards 2022 champion innovation and achievement across the global education industry, celebrating both individuals and organizations who are challenging professional standards and redefining the international student experience. 

We are very proud to announce that we have been nominated for not one, but two PIEoneer Awards this year by The Pie. The two categories we are finalists for are very dear to us, as they truly represent the spirit and breadth of the opportunities we offer students to enhance their employability and catapult their careers.


Employability International Impact Award: Our Partnership with Aston University

Firstly, we have been nominated as a finalist for the Employability International Impact Award with our long-standing partners, Aston University, for the “Work GLOBAL, Stay LOCAL” program.

This collaboration is driven by four main principles:

  1. Replicate Aston’s exceptionally strong undergraduate placement and employability rates at the postgraduate level;
  2. Make good the promise of work experience to international students choosing the UK and Aston as their postgraduate study location;
  3. Overcome the inherent challenges of sourcing large numbers of placements for international students, especially when factoring in visa restrictions, course intensity, local availability, competition from domestic students and employer readiness;
  4. Ensure Aston University postgraduates have experiential learning opportunities that enable them to thrive in the 21st-century job market.

The program offers students the possibility to gain guaranteed work experience in the career sector of their choice (UK or worldwide) while acquiring remote working competencies and expanding their professional network. Moreover, Virtual Internships deliver wraparound employability support including CareerBridge – an e-learning course designed around career-readiness competencies – employability coaching, weekly reflections, and regular employability webinars.

Overall, this initiative has provided employers around the world the opportunity to engage with Aston students, thereby bridging the gap between education and the workplace. Employers value this innovative, integrated employability initiative: it has a significant impact on the university, the students, and employers.

Listen to how Aston University alum, Pamela Chibanguza, now a Tech Consultant at Amazon, felt the Virtual Internships program impacted her career:



International Alumni of the Year: Syrian Refugee Who Excelled on the ACCESS Program

The second nomination is not for us per se, but rather for one of our dynamic, international participants. Jihan Alassad is a Syrian refugee, currently living in Lebanon, who has overcome immense difficulties and is nominated as a finalist for the International Alumni of the Year Award!

Jihan was one of 50 applicants accepted for the joint program run by Virtual Internships and Kiron Open Education. Jihan excelled in the program, gaining excellent feedback, and has now successfully gained paid employment alongside several amazing mentoring initiatives. 

Upon finishing her virtual internship, Jihan went on to get two paid jobs, which are both hugely beneficial to society. One is with Hamzet Wasel, an E-learning portal, through which Jihan pursues her interest in Edtech, bringing e-learning to those who stand to benefit the most. Jihan’s other job is with Check Fake News, where she works to fact-check important news stories and minimize the proliferation of fake news in Lebanon and Syria.

Read more about the Kiron Access Program funded in collaboration with SPARK, the Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD).


Fingers Crossed for the PIEoneer Awards 2022 Ceremony!

We are immensely proud of these two collaborations and deeply grateful to The PIE for the recognition. It is an honor to be nominated amongst some incredible individuals and organizations, so we wish the best to everyone with their fingers crossed for the announcements on September 9th!


Get in Touch to Discuss Your Tailored Impactful Partnership

If you are an organization or educational institution looking to partner to see how Virtual Internships can deliver employability, skills development, and career advancement opportunities, get in touch here.

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