As an increasing number of businesses go virtual, so are their internships. Students with an interest in a professional field or college major should tap into these valuable opportunities. As an intern, students can accrue experience, explore a career, grow their network, and add to their resume. Students can find virtual internships with businesses ranging from the small entrepreneur to medium and large-sized companies.
Online internships are most common for internet-friendly jobs, such as IT, marketing, journalism, design, sales, software development, and research, but this is not to say they can’t be found in other fields. Virtual interns may find themselves working on any number of projects, including website designs, business proposals, market reports, code testing, and financial assessments. Although remote internships are not the same as traditional internships, the application process is similar. Expect to email a prospective employer your resume with a cover letter.
Working remotely offers many positives. Interns have no commute, more flexible hours, and no worries about location. On the flip side, however, challenges may include less structure, less training, and less workplace guidance. For students who want to intern virtually, strong communication and time-management skills are critical for success. Unsurprisingly then, a remote internship can demonstrate to a future employer that a person has the skills and discipline to work from home. Many companies are establishing permanent remote work policies, meaning there is an increasing demand for workers with demonstrated remote work experience and skills.
As with any internship, what you get out of the experience will be commensurate with the commitment of the intern. Before accepting the job, any concerns that a virtual internship might be a lesser experience should be discussed with the hiring person. Some questions to ask before accepting a virtual internship job include:
1. What tasks will I be doing and what will my responsibilities be?
2. What type of training is offered?
3. How will my work be supervised?
4. How many hours per day or week are required? Is the schedule flexible?
5. Is this a paid internship? If so, how much does it pay? (Only ask this after you’ve been offered the position.)
6. Can I receive high school or college credit for the internship?
7. Do interns often get offered full-time positions?
8. Do you give recommendations or referrals?
While interning, students should evaluate if their experience meets the expectations established. As needed, they can ask, in a professional manner, for more guidance and support.
How to find a Virtual Internship
1. Identify companies and organizations with jobs in the field you are interested in. Then, depending on the company’s size, write to the Human Resources Department (large company) or the principal/director (small company), asking about internship opportunities.
2. Network. Let everyone know you are looking. Ask teachers, professors, parents, parents of friends, etc. if they know of any opportunities or leads. Do not forget to ask alumni of your high school or college about internship opportunities. You never know who has the right connections.
3. Actively participate in industry and/or internship groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other platforms.
4. Seek guidance from an advisor at International College Counselors.
International College Counselors strives to be a strong resource and partner for your family. Even in these unprecedented times, we can enable your students to reach their fullest potential in the college admissions journey. We’re here to help.
For help with any or all parts of the college admissions process, visit www.internationalcollegecounselors.com or call 1-954-414-9986.
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