Due in part to the Covid-19 pandemic, and to the global shift towards a remote workforce, students and professionals in every corner of the globe are considering virtual internship placements. For many, these remote experiences are a new phenomenon. You might even be wondering, “are virtual internships worth it?”.
While remote placements of course won’t be identical to traditional in-person placements, that doesn’t lessen their value. Remote interns won’t have the office experience, but will still develop valuable connections and skills. Perhaps the top difference is the importance of self-motivation. As a remote intern, you’ll work closely with managers and teammates. However, your self-direction and time management skills will be crucial to your success.
It’s likely that many aspects of your studies or work were disrupted by the global pandemic, but internship plans don’t have to be canceled. There are many reasons to pursue virtual professional experience, particularly if you’re hoping to enhance your CV before graduation or are looking to make a career change. Not only will a remote internship ensure you have the experience necessary to pursue your career goals, but it will also set you apart from the crowd, most of whom didn’t intern during this unusual time.
Are virtual internships worth it? Here are 5 reasons to apply for a virtual internship now:
Gain real-time experience
Whether you’re a student hoping to supplement your studies with professional experience, or a professional hoping to gain entry into a new industry, there’s nothing more important than relevant experience. A virtual internship provides real-time insight into the inner workings of an organization and industry. That experience is essential for success in a full-time role, whether remote or in an office. The real-time nature of virtual internships is also preferable to self-directed courses or freelance work. This is because interns have the benefit of immediate feedback from experts in their fields.
Boost your network
One of the top benefits of an internship, whether remote or in-office, is the valuable professional network you develop. A strong network is one of the most important tools you’ll have when it comes time to apply for a full-time job. From referrals and references to mentorship and advice, the connections you build during an internship are essential to future professional success. Remote interns collaborate closely with direct managers as well as cross-functional teams. They also have the opportunity to demonstrate their interests and skills to build relationships with experts.
Prepare for remote work
Working remotely doesn’t always come easy to everyone. Successful remote workers have to be extremely self-directed, have excellent time management skills, and be top communicators on all platforms. Virtual internships allow you to develop the skills and habits necessary for remote work, while guided by mentors and teammates. If you choose to apply for a coveted remote job in the future, whether at home or abroad, you’ll be well prepared and well qualified!
Gain technological fluency
One of the most obvious differences between in-office internships and remote placements is the prevalence of technology. Virtual internships rely heavily on today’s top technologies, including remote teamwork and organization software, as well as online meeting platforms. Digital fluency is essential for success in today’s workforce, regardless of your chosen industry. The experience of interning remotely ensures your familiarity with popular technologies, and your ability to learn new digital skills quickly.
Develop a global perspective
If you’re still wondering “are virtual internships worth it?” consider the flexibility of a remote placement. Many virtual internships offer placements with companies and teams in other parts of the world, allowing interns to develop international experience in their field. Part-time internships and flexible schedules mean that regardless of where you are in the world, you can intern with a top firm on the other side of the globe, from London to Shanghai and everywhere in between.
Apply now for a global virtual internship!