Gain insights on employability and remote work from esteemed Virtual Internships alumni. Discover how experiences as remote interns shaped their...
How This Student Gained Her Firsthand Finance Experience Through Virtual Internships
This article was originally written and posted on Aston University Careers and Placements
MSc Accounting and Finance student, Amandeep Chadha, recently secured a postgraduate placement with The Virtual Internship Programme – well done, Amandeep! We asked her to share some details about the role, her experience, and what the application process was like. She provided an insightful and interesting view into her thought process around applying for a remote internship and the skills and experience she has gained throughout her placement which you can read below.
HERE’S WHAT AMANDEEP HAD TO SAY ON HER REASONS FOR PICKING THE VIRTUAL INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME:
In these strange, unclear, and unprecedented times, it is even more difficult to gain experience in your career field. That is why I wanted to undertake a virtual internship as a rising number of businesses have dramatically shifted to a virtual world. I am currently undertaking a virtual internship with Lendsqr in Nigeria, Africa. The start-up business aims to help the people in Africa gain access to credit, which in the past has been difficult because of the weak financial eco-system of the country. In doing so, my key role as a finance intern is to provide my knowledge in financial modeling from a British perspective. So far, I am enjoying my internship; I work with a small team of 15 people including myself and I feel very comfortable and welcomed into the team.
By completing an online internship, I hope to gain knowledge in digital communication and the different e-platforms which would not be possible in a typical office job. Virtual networking sessions and online chats with various organisation members can help me gain insight into the business. I am especially looking forward to the training opportunities provided virtually, which can allow me to work on myself on a personal level and gain both soft and hard skills. This will allow me to become highly self-disciplined and gain independence to work on my initiative.
AMANDEEP HAD THIS TO SAY ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE SHE HAS HAD WHILE ON PLACEMENT:
I am currently working with my team, and some of my projects consist of the revalidation of the 2021–2023 financial model, which can provide me with valuable insight into the business model for a lending-as-a-service platform. Also, understand the changing dynamics of how internet SaaS companies make money and compete. With revalidation, challenge the fundamentals of some assumptions, and after the revalidation, research and propose alternative assumptions or directions for the business model.
I have further developed my skills of being able to manage my time and workload well, with support, able to tailor communications to different audiences; and improve analytical and IT skills. I can make good judgment in knowing when to act independently to decide and resolve problems, and when to seek further guidance, working effectively and flexibly as a member of a small team. It also helped me develop skills in carrying out basic research, for example, searching for relevant information on the internet, and interpreting and reporting on research findings.
The most interesting part of my internship has been challenging myself outside of my comfort zone and seeing the project develop over time from an initial thought/idea into a fully-fledged financial model. The projects are very hands-on and require commitment from the intern; it is important to stay proactive and ask questions to make the most of the internship.
AMANDEEP’S ADVICE FOR FUTURE PLACEMENT STUDENTS AND HER THOUGHTS ON THE VIRTUAL INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME:
My advice to future interns would be to go for it and fully embrace this chapter in your professional and personal life. Time flies by so enjoy your internship while it lasts… I can’t believe I am almost halfway. Also, if you are unsure about an internship since you don’t know what you want to do after university, I would say this is a significant reason to do so as it gives you a taste of the field. I think an internship is always a good idea. You get to experience how the content of your university lectures is applied in a real-life environment. You also develop a distinct set of social and strategic skills that you will benefit from for the rest of your life. Even if you realise after your internship that you do not wish to continue to work in that area, that is one step closer to deciding what you want to do in your later career.