COVID-19 has halted many of our internship plans both locally and abroad and has since brought up the dilemma of how to grow your career while staying at home. One of the biggest ways to do this is to do virtual internships.

What is a Virtual Internship?

A virtual internship is where one can gain professional experience much like a traditional internship except you can do it anywhere.

Online internships have been around for some time but have steadily grown in popularity due to improvements in technology and widespread use of the internet.

How does a virtual internship work?

Typically, a remote internship would mean you would meet one-on-one with your supervisor either via Zoom, Google Hangouts, or another platform to discuss your upcoming projects. From here, you’ll spend the week working on those projects while also attending several more online calls with your supervisor to discuss your work and also get recommendations on how to improve it.

As you might be already starting to pick up, participating in online internships means you are working pretty independently. You will have a set number of working hours assigned to you by your company, but you can work those any time of the day.

What does the process look like?

You will still have to send the employer your CV, most likely have to submit samples of your past work, and have to interview with someone from the company via telephone or video conferencing and give them your references. Basically, the difference is that you don’t have to do the traditional 9-5 office job and commute.

How to apply?

You can use Google to search for virtual internships offered directly by companies or go to job boards like LinkedIn or We Work Remotely.

Why Intern remotely?

Firstly, during unprecedented times, like the current COVID-19 situation, being able to intern online will let you still work on growing your international career while you’re safe at home. However, don’t think that virtual internships are only useful during the current situation.

The main benefit of Virtual Internships is the flexibility they offer. Due to this flexibility, you can even take on multiple online internships if you’re up to it! Often people cannot commit to a standard internship whether it is due to being too busy with school or being unable to afford to take a full-time internship. Virtual internships can offer those who can’t participate in a traditional office internship an opportunity to get valuable experience and be paid.

Although virtual internships do require extra effort from the intern because its biggest benefit is also its biggest drawback- the lack of structure. If the intern is generally unorganised, they will find a virtual internship difficult because it does not have the structure an office-based internship will provide.

What about a Visa?

Since virtual internships do not require you to be in the same country as your employer, you do not need a visa to intern online with a company. As far as language requirements, that really depends on the company and where they are located.

What are the drawbacks?

There are of course some drawbacks to online internships. These can include missing out on the office culture, social events and not receiving as close supervision. An intern can pick up a lot from being physically present in the office like how people conduct themselves, body language, etc.

Doing a remote internship does mean you miss out on these things but there are many benefits to virtual internships.

Src: Capital Placement