With all the sweeping changes to the world’s economy in the last two years, students and graduates wanting to gain work experience with a company realize that remote internships are a solid option to get a chance to put that all-important experience on their resume. However, some students and graduates still wonder whether a remote internship provides the same benefits as an in-person one and, ultimately, if it’s worth undertaking online internships to build a professional career.
Why Intern Remotely?
To consider whether it’s worth undertaking a remote internship to accelerate your professional career, consider this scenario.
A few months from now, you will apply for a job, and it comes down to you and one other recent graduate. The only difference between you is that they did a remote internship while you did not.
- Which of you will have more to talk about in your interview?
- Which of you showed more initiative and adaptability?
- Which applicant would you hire?
When you look at it from that perspective, it’s clear to see that while a remote internship is different from a traditional in-company one, they’re incredibly valuable at accelerating your career.
Benefits of Remote Internships
Remote placements can be challenging, particularly for first-time employees eager to learn the ins and outs of the workplace. But, they’re also, for better or worse, a way of life post-pandemic. So, what are the key benefits of online internships for students?
Internship programs can be expensive, particularly when you add travel costs to the city or other distant locations. So undertaking a remote internship, generally unpaid in Australia, becomes more realistic.
No matter where in the world you’re from – whether a significant financial centre like New York or an emerging economic power like Delhi – professional experience is essential for career development. Access to online internships in your field can determine the types of job offers you receive, your future career progression and opportunities for higher income. Remote internships remove many barriers to entering internship programs, including challenges of visas and geographic location. In addition, you can undertake a remote internship from anywhere with a stable internet connection.
You no longer need to put your life on hold to gain work experience thanks to remote internships for students. Remote internships provide a more flexible solution regarding the number of hours worked weekly, the type of work, and even the timing. This means you can build your professional experience while working towards a degree with an online internship. Moreover, if you are looking for a career change, you can enhance your professional profile without setting aside your current work.
Objections to Remote Internships
Many students and graduates exploring remote internship opportunities are unsure whether they’ll get enough experience compared to an in-company one.
This is mainly due to current perceptions of online internships for students and how familiar they are with the idea of working remotely.
We see that students present three main objections to online internships for students:
- Do online internships for students look as good to future employers as it would if they undertook the opportunity in-company?
- Would they be able to develop their skills in the same way in online internships as in-company internships? Particularly as they wouldn’t be alongside people in the traditional sense.
- Similarly, as they wouldn’t be directly engaging with their colleagues, would they be able to develop meaningful, professional relationships in the same way through online internships for students?
Should You Intern Remotely?
Now first off, there’s the question of whether a remote internship looks as good on a resume as a traditional one. This is what most students are concerned about. And that’s understandable; why put in the effort in online internships if you’re not going to be recognized for it? Here are some reasons why you should intern remotely:
Quite simply, if you secure a remote internship and work just as hard as if you were showing up at the company daily, it will look just as good on your CV. You’ll still be able to use your line manager as a reference, and the fact that you were able to adapt and become a valuable member of their team through online internships could lead them to appreciate you more than if you were actually operating alongside them.
On a related note, if you successfully complete the tasks you’re assigned in your online internship and do everything that’s asked of you, you’re guaranteed to develop various skills. Plus, you’ll have a trusted mentor that you’ll check in with frequently who will ensure you’re being challenged and that your capabilities are being stretched, as well as support you at every step during your online internship.
In undertaking online internships, you’ll have to learn how your host company has adapted to operating remotely– which will force you to pick up a vast array of transferable skills. Ultimately, even though you’ll be working from the comfort of your own home, you’ll still have to leave your comfort zone continually so your professional growth is assured in online internships for students.
This brings us to the third most common concern students have: Unable to develop relationships with other team members in person while pursuing online internships, will they be able to add to their all-important professional network? Again, going back to the idea of leaving your comfort zone: it’s crucial to remember that as well as being outside yours, your colleagues are also outside theirs. The more you can support them, the more they’ll be willing to vouch for you. In some ways, you have more scope for proving yourself with a remote internship than you do with an in-person one.
If you want to develop your employability skills and gain Australian work experience with an in-company or online internship, check out the internship opportunities our partner Readygrad offers.