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 realise that online internships for students are a solid option to get a chance to put that all-important experience on their resume. However, a few students still wonder whether a virtual internship provides the same benefits as an in-person one and, ultimately, if it’s worth undertaking an online internship to build a professional career.
What is a Virtual Internship?
If you’re wondering what is a virtual internship, it is a work experience opportunity that is conducted remotely, typically over the internet. This means that the student and the company they are interning with are physically located in different places. The intern and the company communicate and collaborate online using tools such as email, video conferencing, and project management software.
Virtual internships can be a great way for students to gain work experience. Plus, there are many benefits of virtual internships, which we will explore in a bit. It can be a convenient option for companies that want to offer internships but may need more resources or capacity to host interns on-site.
Online internships can take place in various industries, including technology, marketing, finance, and more. They may involve tasks such as conducting research, creating content, assisting with data analysis, or helping with various projects and assignments.
Why do Online Internships for Students?
Now that we know what is a virtual internship, let’s look at why you must do one. 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 is that they did a remote internship while you did not.
1. Which of you will have more to talk about in your interview?
2. Which of you showed more initiative and adaptability?
3. Which applicant would you hire?
When you look at it from that perspective, it’s clear that while a remote internship is different from a traditional in-company one, they’re incredibly valuable for accelerating your career.
Virtual Internship Benefits
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 virtual internship benefits for students?
One of the advantages of virtual internship is the lower cost. Internship programs can be expensive, particularly when you add travel costs to the city or other distant locations. So, undertaking an online internship 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 for students in your field can determine the types of job offers you receive, your future career, and opportunities for higher income. Accessibility is one of the virtual internship benefits that remove 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 online internships for students. One of the other virtual internship benefits is its flexibility. An online internship provides 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.
4. Learning and Skill Development
Skill development is also one of the virtual internship benefits. No doubt, doing an internship will help you develop many valuable skills, such as technical communication, collaboration, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. You will also learn adaptability and resilience while gaining the ability to work independently.
5. Intercultural Exposure
Virtual internship benefits also include the opportunity to connect and work with people from different countries and backgrounds. You also get to improve your language skills, one of the virtual internship benefits.
6. Enhance your Employability
Employability is also one of the virtual internship benefits. By doing an online internship, you increase your chances of landing a good job in a reputed company. Most employers prefer candidates who have some basic knowledge of the work and skills to do it properly.
Should you Intern Virtually?
Even though there are several virtual internship benefits, there’s still 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 recognised for it? Here are some reasons why you should go for an online internships for students:
Quite simply, if you secure a virtual 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 an online internship could lead them to appreciate you more than if you were actually operating alongside them.
2. Professional Growth
On a related note, if you complete the tasks you’re assigned and do everything that’s asked of you, you’re guaranteed to develop various skills. Plus, you’ll have a trusted mentor 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 an online internship, 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: being unable to develop relationships with other team members in person. 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.
4. Join the amber Ambassador Program
As you explore the myriad virtual internship benefits, consider amplifying your impact by joining the amber Ambassador program. This unique opportunity not only complements the skills and adaptability gained through remote internships but also allows you to play a pivotal role in helping students find accommodation across the globe. By becoming an amber Ambassador, you contribute to a global initiative, showcasing your commitment to supporting students' needs beyond professional realms.
Requirements for Online Internships for Students
The specific requirements for an online internship will vary depending on the company and the opportunity. However, here are some general requirements that you may need to meet:
Some online internships for students may require you to be enrolled in a degree program or have completed a certain level of education.
You will need access to a computer or other device with a reliable internet connection in order to participate in an online internship.
3. Communication Skills
Virtual internships require strong communication skills, as you will communicate remotely with your supervisor and other team members.
4. Time Management Skills
Online internships for students often require a high level of self-motivation and the ability to manage your time effectively. This may include being punctual, meeting deadlines, and following through on tasks and projects.
How to Apply for Online Internships for Students?
Here are a few steps you can follow to apply for an online internships for students:
Step 1: Research Potential Companies and Organisations
Start by identifying organisations that offer online internships in your field. You can find opportunities through job search websites, professional associations, and networking events. Make sure you research the company before you move ahead.
Step 2: Tailor your Application Materials
Once you have identified some potential online internships, it is important to tailor your application materials to the specific opportunity. This may include your resume, cover letter, and any other required documents. Make sure to highlight any relevant skills, experiences, and achievements.
Step 3: Submit your Application
Follow the application instructions provided by the organisation. This may involve submitting your application materials online, through email or via a job portal.
Step 4: Follow Up
If you have yet to hear back from the company after a few weeks, send a follow-up email to inquire about the status of your application.
Step 5: Prepare for the Interview
If you are invited for an interview, be sure to prepare beforehand. This may include researching the company, reviewing your application materials, and practising your interview skills.
Step 6: Negotiate the Terms
If you are offered the internship, consider negotiating the terms of your internship, such as the length of the internship, the number of hours per week, and the responsibilities. Be sure to communicate your needs and expectations clearly.
Tips for Virtual Internships
There are a few tips that you can follow to ensure your online internship journey goes smoothly. These include:
1. Set up a Dedicated Workspace
Having a dedicated workspace can help you stay organised and focused. Make sure you have a comfortable and ergonomic chair, a good desk and lighting, and any other supplies you may need.
2. Communicate Effectively
Communication is key in online internships. Make sure to clearly communicate your availability, deadlines, and any questions or concerns you may have with your supervisor and team members.
3. Use Technology
Many tools and technologies can help you communicate and collaborate effectively with your team. Please familiarise yourself with these tools and use them to your advantage.
4. Set Boundaries and Take Breaks
When working remotely, it can be easy to blur the lines between work and personal life. Set clear boundaries and establish a routine that works for you. Working remotely can also be isolating sometimes, so take breaks and stay connected with your colleagues.
5. Stay Organised
Keep track of your tasks, deadlines, and projects by using a calendar or task management system. This can help you stay on top of your responsibilities and meet your commitments.
Now that you know what is a online internship and the virtual internship benefits, you can get on with finding the one that suits your career goals. The virtual internship benefits are not just limited to flexibility and accessibility but also a broader range of opportunities, as geographical constraints are eliminated. The virtual internship benefits will also include the development of valuable remote work skills, such as time management and communication, which are increasingly essential in today’s digital age.