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What is a virtual internship?
A virtual internship is when an intern works remotely, as in anywhere else other than a physical working space. The virtual means of collaboration include video conferencing, email, a content management system or any other collaborative working environment.
Participants in virtual internships do similar kinds of work and get similar levels of experience as their in-person colleagues. Pay and other benefits are also similar with that of the traditional in-place internships: some virtual internships are unpaid and count as credits in a degree program while others offer a salary for the amount of work being done.
Hiring interns to work remotely has an array of advantages such as the following:
- Big level of flexibility for the intern’s schedule. Summer time, during academic holidays, is probably the ultimate period for students’ internships. Many students compete to find an internship at this period. However, when there are virtual internship offers, students can engage and work during the academic year, while they study in the university, simply because they do not need to move out of their homes and they do not have to skip university classes.
- The ability to work under limited supervision.
- Not having constant supervision gives students the opportunity to learn how to be self-motivators and how to complete deadlines without any constant reminders and instructions.
- Causes interns to be more aware of the quality of work they turn in because they need to meet deadlines and deal with the challenge of not being able to constantly be in touch with their superiors and get feedback, advices, etc.
- The opportunity for interns to network with a whole new variety of professionals in their field.
- Apart from their direct-report, students can connect and work with other interns and full-time staff members on assignments that will allow them to learn more and broaden their network in other cities or even countries.
Check out Heather Huhman’s 5 REASONS TO CONSIDER A VIRTUAL INTERNSHIP.