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Virtual Internships 101 – Your Top 3 Questions Answered
Virtual internships, also called remote internships, offer a great deal of flexibility by removing the restrictions of having to look for work within your particular location. With the COVID-19 pandemic restricting movement in many parts of the world, a Virtual Internship could be the only truly safe way to gain experience without breaking strict quarantine protocols.
1. How exactly does it work?
As its name suggests, Virtual Internship programs take on a remote work set-up, allowing participants to take the internship experience within the safety of their homes. In such a set-up, the intern reports to work through the use of productivity and collaboration platforms, such as Slack, Skype, or Office 365.
This is a great chance for the students who cannot complete the traditional in-person internship programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this set-up, students are given the same valuable work experience that they will need when applying and interviewing for post-graduate jobs.
2. How do you apply for a Virtual Internship?
Virtual internship programs are most commonly offered in the fields of IT, marketing, journalism, and software development, where work can be done remotely. The application process is largely unchanged, with the only exception being that the interview will be done via a video call.
First, you will be asked to send in a resume/CV, cover letter, and probably some sample works or projects related to the industry that they can assess. If you pass the first screening, they will send in an invitation for an interview, which will be conducted through the use of video conferencing software or even via phone call.
Before deciding to accept a virtual internship role, here are some things that you need to take into consideration.
- The nature of the tasks – Internships should give you real work experience, even if it is done virtually. Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your interview, and try to consider the type of work that you will be doing as a remote intern.
- The number of hours per week you need to work – Most curriculums specify the required number of hours, but some companies have very specific work-hour guidelines that they comply with. If it’s not in line with your school’s requirement, see if you can negotiate a set-up that meets your required number of hours. Virtual Internships program participants can select to commit 10, 20, or 30 hours per week in most cases.
- The payment – Some countries place restrictions on who can be paid, especially if you’re foreigners in the country. It’s best to clarify this before accepting the role. However, an unpaid internship should not automatically deter you from taking on the role, especially if the opportunity to work with a known company arises.
- The college credit – If your program requires internships, then you will need one from a company that your school recognizes. Virtual Internships offers participants the opportunity to earn university credit for their internships.
- The possibility of full-time employment – The possibility of full-time employment after graduation is a good incentive to work hard—and could give you a great headstart on your future career. Don’t be afraid to broach this question during the application process! If anything, this shows them that you are eager to learn and do good work for them!
3. Are there benefits to working virtually?
When you’re working remotely and are not required to report to a physical office, your working hours tend to be more flexible. You have the capacity to handle certain tasks during particular time frames—which you may not have been able to do in a typical workday!
If you’re feeling particularly motivated, you can even free up your daytime hours and do another job at a different company, or complete your remote internship during your university semester! This is incredibly beneficial for you in the long run as it allows you to have more experience within a short period of time.
Beyond the benefit of time, virtual internship programs allow you to work for the company of your choosing without having to relocate to a different city or country. You may even work for your dream company abroad without undergoing the hassle of traveling—helping you save both time and money in the process!
Doing a virtual internship presents its own set of advantages. For one, you will not have to worry about the struggles and expenses of the daily commute. Additionally, working at home helps you build independence, as you will have to produce results with minimal guidance!
The good thing is this also helps you master time management and self-discipline. Most importantly, virtual internships prepare you for the reality of working amidst the threat of a pandemic—which is bound to teach you a lot of valuable lessons and skills in itself.
Are you looking to get into a global internship, but don’t know how to proceed with one? Then Virtual Internships are your best solution! We connect high school and university students to remote internships for various industries all over the world. Our aim is to help students boost their global employability by partnering with reputable businesses and educational institutions. Contact us today to learn more!