When it comes to internships, some people mistakenly imagine working in a corporate mailroom or completing other equally mundane tasks. However, internships are one of the best ways you can set yourself apart from the competition, and in today’s digital age, virtual internships are becoming increasingly popular. What are they, and is a virtual internship right for you?
The next step
Virtual internships are just like their traditional counterpart, with one exception – you won’t need to actually go to the office every day. Most, if not all, of the work you’ll be doing will be done exclusively online, using tools such as instant messaging and video conferencing software to liaise with your manager or supervisor. Once, virtual internships were very rare, but today, many employers are seeing the benefits of allowing interns to work remotely.
“In the last 10 years they’ve gone from being almost unheard of to being something almost every college student has at least considered,” Steven Rothberg, founder of student employment website CollegeRecruiter.com, told The Wall Street Journal.
It’s all about balance
If you’re studying for a business, marketing or even arts degree, a virtual internship could be a great way for you to get some valuable real-world experience without the hassle of commuting into the city. A growing number of social media marketing companies and graphic design firms are offering virtual internships.
For students who are balancing part-time jobs and family responsibilities with their studies, virtual internships are an ideal way to fit an internship into an already busy schedule.
“If you have children at home or work several hours per day, finding something that lets you operate on your own time might work well for you,” Lauren Berger, a student career expert, told USA Today. “A virtual internship can [also] help a young person learn to separate, turn ‘off’ every so often and manage his or her time wisely.”
If the idea of completing an internship remotely sounds appealing to you, don’t waste time – competition for these opportunities is just as intense, if not more so, than for traditional internships. It’s never too early to start thinking about seeking out internship opportunities. Identify companies that can help you achieve your career goals and get in touch.