The way we do internships now has changed drastically. Nowadays, virtual internships are becoming more common. There has been a shift in technology, allowing us to be more connected than ever before with our Zoom calls and WhatsApp chats, and the Covid-19 pandemic pretty much led the way for virtual work.
How Do Virtual Internships Work?
A virtual or remote internship is completed from home or anywhere in the world. This means you can choose a location that’s more affordable than the city where the internship is based. Plus, you still find an industry-related job that will give you the right skills. Virtual internships allow those who aren’t able to live in big cities like London still access amazing big city opportunities.
They are pretty straightforward, and it is simple to understand the difference between online and in the office. The biggest difference is that you’ll need to develop strong skills in communication and project management. Your manager doesn’t watch your every move so you communicate when you need help and get your work done independently.
Most companies that offer virtual internships have designated onboarding to set you up with different online tools – think Zoom, Google Meets, Slack, etc. Usually, virtual interns are guided step-by-step through this process and any questions are asked during this time.
Remote internships aren’t much different from in-person internships as long as you get the work done and complete it well. There should be no issues!
Are Virtual Internships Common?
As you’re searching for internships, you might come across the opportunity to apply for a remote position. More companies than ever are allowing interns to work from home while they complete their internships. The pandemic has changed the way many of us work, especially students and grads. We have pretty much got online learning and working down to a tee.
Flexible, remote internships are becoming a lot more common as are remote jobs and freelance opportunities. You’re more likely to find a virtual internship now than you were 5 years ago.
However, some employers still have reservations about where remote internships are valuable. Employers want interns in the office to watch them getting the work done. They want to see you demonstrate your skills, communicate with the rest of the tie and meet deadlines effectively. Of course, this is all possible during a remote internship which is why they are becoming more common.
Virtual Internships: A Good Opportunity?
Some employers and interns might question how useful a remote internship actually is, but the truth is that these are just as good as in-person roles. Skills developed in a remote internship are valuable in a technology-driven and rapidly changing world.
For example, interns will need to learn how to communicate effectively with people around the world via technology platforms such as e-mail and other forms of online communication tools like Skype or Zoom meetings. More and more companies want GenZ with this basic skill set because we’re online and navigating technology everyday.
How Can You Stand Out In An Online Internship?
Internships were previously designed to be on-site, in-person and hands-on. Now they are valuable remotely as you’re able to gain new skills and network – the right companies will invest in this training and encourage virtual chats to do just this.
Standing out and making a positive impression virtually isn’t difficult.
Stand out by regularly messaging your team to say good morning, ask about their day or arrange a virtual catch up. Put the effort in to get to know them personally as you would if you were sat next to them in the office.
Also, make sure to ask questions and really get involved in the company. Let your boss know you are eager to help anyway you can and that you are really passionate about the work they are doing. A genuine interest in the company can get you far.
Another way to stand out when you’re doing a remote internship is to share your ideas. Take the initiative and prepare a presentation to show your team about the ideas you have (and back them up with research!). Essentially, you have to show up every day with enthusiasm and passion.
To summarise, internships can definitely be completed online. You just have to find the companies that are offering these unique and super valuable opportunities. Being a virtual intern is not much different from being an intern running around an office – all you have to do is put in the effort and show up.