Any opportunity for students to gain work experience and learn more about their chosen field of study is a great thing to take advantage of. The question is, with thousands of graduates emerging from colleges every year, how can young professionals stand out among the rest? One way to set your resume apart could be by adding a virtual internship experience. A virtual internship consists of gaining work experience without physically being at the company headquarters. Instead, virtual interns utilize technology such as web or teleconferencing, email, cloud software, and Google drive to complete tasks and assignments. This type of position is new to the marketplace, but with a growing demand for interns, it is quickly becoming a means for current college students or recent graduates to balance their busy lives and still gain practical experience.
The Benefits of Going Virtual
- Flexible Schedules:Being a virtual intern gives you the opportunity to manage a work schedule around the time slots that work best for you. This works perfectly for students who are looking for work experience, but have additional commitments i.e. student organizations, part-time jobs…homework!
- Location & Time Management: Most virtual internships require only an internet connection to work, so you can set up shop anywhere. Work on a project at the library or complete work assignments between classes, since there is no physical office to report to, every open opportunity you have can potentially become “intern time.” One this is for certain participating in a virtual internship will teach you time management skills.
- Broaden Your Network: Since the freedom of a virtual internship can allow someone living in Georgia to work for a company in L.A., participants have the opportunity to network with a whole new spectrum of professionals in their field. Aside from their direct-report, interns 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 far away cities. This is especially helpful if the intern wants to relocate to the area after graduation.
- Practical Experience: All internships give students hands on experience outside of the classroom setting.Being a virtual intern is no exception. Interns can work on multiple projects and learn how to be part of a virtual team. The experience teaches students how to overcome challenges like working with limited communication and with time change elements.
- Ability to work under limited supervision: Not having constant supervision gives students the opportunity to learn how to be self-motivators and how to achieve deadlines without micromanagement. It also causes students to be more aware of the work they turn in because they need to meet deadlines and have to deal with the challenge of not being able to constantly be in touch with their superiors.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, employers are increasingly asking top students from in-person summer internship programs to continue working remotely from campus during the succeeding school year. This gives students the chance to continue formulating relationships with companies and the ability to extend their experience along with their current skill set. So why shouldn’t you consider applying for a virtual internship? At the very least, you can build up your resume and present additinal project samples at a job interview.
Learn more about virtual internship opportunities with Branding Muse.