With remote work on the rise globally, virtual work experience is more popular (and more beneficial) than ever. There are endless benefits of remote internships, ranging from accessibility and cost to flexibility and relevance to the modern workforce. Remote placements allow interns to travel the world, or to gain experience from their own homes while pursuing a degree or raising a family. No matter your situation, virtual placements allow you to build up an impressive global network and enhance your resume.
Of course, some industries are more prone to remote work than others, as are certain companies and even certain cities. That being said, remote internships are available for students and professionals in just about every career field, ranging from marketing and software engineering to graphic design and accounting, and everything in between. If you aren’t sure which industry is the best fit for you, check out some of the options on our career fields page, or schedule a time to speak with one of our expert admissions counselors.
If you’re new to the remote work world, you probably have a lot of questions about how these virtual placements work, whether they’re legitimate, and if they’re as good as traditional office placements. We’ve got all the answers about the top benefits of these placements, the types of remote internships available, and the type of candidate that should apply.
Check out the top five benefits of virtual placements, and then apply to be matched with your own remote internship!
One of the most important benefits of remote internships is the lower price point. Internship programs are often all-inclusive, and if you’re traveling to a major city, whether international or domestic, there are of course costs associated with that, including flights, accommodation, and even visa sponsorship.
Remote internships are evening the playing field, eliminating the often prohibitive costs of placements and travel, and allowing anyone in the world to gain professional experience on their own terms. Taking on an unpaid placement becomes more realistic when you can do it in your free time, and from the comfort of your own home.
The increase in virtual placements is going a long way towards closing the opportunity gaps when it comes to who can pursue an internship. Of course, no matter where in the world you’re from – whether a major financial center like London or an emerging economic power like Mumbai – professional experience is incredibly beneficial. Access to internships in your field can determine the types of job offers you receive and even your candidacy for promotions and pay raises.
Remote internships strip away many of the top barriers to pursuing an internship. In addition to being more affordable, these virtual placements allow interns to avoid the challenges of visas and geographic location, which previously limited top-tier placements to those who could travel or lived near major cities and company headquarters.
This increase in accessibility is particularly important for students and professionals in “the developing world,” also known as emerging economies. Remote placements can be conducted from anywhere with a stable internet connection. That means that top talent from less prominent economies can now take on internships with organizations based in their field’s hubs. For example, an aspiring accountant in Kenya can gain professional experience with a firm in the global finance center of New York City, without leaving their hometown.
Flexibility is one of the top reasons that more and more people are choosing remote jobs and internships over the more traditional in-office model. It’s in part due to the flexible nature of these roles that they’re so accessible. You no longer have to drop everything and put your life on pause to gain professional experience, whether as a student or in a new field. Remote placements enjoy more flexibility when it comes to the number of hours worked every week, the type of work, and even the timing.
Customization is one of the top benefits of remote internships. Those accepted to one of the Intern Group’s remote programs are able to customize a placement that fits their interests and lifestyles. Interns can choose between part-time placements requiring anywhere from ten to 30 hours a week, to full-time, 40-hour week placements. That means you can gain valuable professional experience while working towards a degree, whether you’re a high school student looking to get a headstart, or are working on a university degree or certification.
It also means that internships are now available to parents or those caring for family members, and even those who are already working. If you’re looking to make a career change or just want to pivot industries, you can prepare yourself to do so by enhancing your professional profile without setting aside your current work.
4. Global Opportunity
Another one of the key benefits of remote internships is the access they provide to the global workforce. With a stable internet connection, you can gain work experience at one of Tokyo’s premier consulting firms, or get a glimpse inside a top creative firm in Los Angeles. And of course, you can do that without having to leave your home. This means that even those who didn’t have the opportunity to study abroad or travel can gain international exposure.
Part of that exposure includes language opportunities. There’s little doubt that speaking a second language fluently is one of the best ways to excel in today’s global economy. No matter your field, the ability to communicate with different types of people around the world is invaluable. If you’re already working on learning a second language or have working proficiency, a remote internship is an excellent way to hone your skills and even practice them in a professional setting.
Finally, remote internships provide the unique opportunity to expand your professional network without geographical limits. Virtual placements allow you to engage and work with professionals in your field from different parts of the world. You’re no longer limited to your physical location and those in close proximity, such as in the same city or office. No matter where you are in your studies or your career, those professional connections are key for future success.
5. Workforce Relevance
Today’s global workforce is increasingly embracing remote work. Many of the world’s top companies and organizations are continuing to offer remote positions and geographic flexibility, even after the Covid-19 pandemic. That new reality means that remote internship experience has a direct correlation to today’s workplace. Interns develop some of the most in-demand skills and traits for the remote workforce.
From independence and self-motivation to time management and communication skills, remote interns come away from their placements extremely prepared for today’s globalized economy. They also have the chance to be mentored and inspired by experts in different parts of the world, who bring different perspectives on a single field.
Learn more about our remote internship program here.