Pandemic has introduced us to a lot of new things like virtual internships. While landing a college internship has always been a competitive pandemic made it tougher. Since then, a lot of employers have stopped employing interns making the situation more difficult for the students. Consequently, online internships for college students became popular.
What is a Virtual Internship?
In a technology-driven world where a full-time job can be done remotely why not internships? In virtual internships, the interns get the opportunity to gain experience in a remote setting. You can complete the internship online and you do not need to physically appear at the office.
Usually, remote internships are taken by students to develop their skills. It is a great opportunity to explore the industry they want to be in. Even though you have been working remotely you will be part of the team. The benefit of the online internship is that it allows the intern to get a first-hand experience from their comfortable location.
What is the Importance of Virtual Internships?
Internships as a whole are a great opportunity for the students to gain practical experience in the industry and as well as improve their skills. Virtual internships on the other hand offer comfort which is believed to improve the productivity of the candidate. However, the importance does not end there, read on to learn how you can be benefitted out of it.
For a novice who is planning to build a career in a certain field, industry experience is very important for them. It offers an added advantage to them in near future. Besides that, you will be able to figure out whether the field suits you or not.
You will finally get to implement your theoretical knowledge in the practical field. Along with that, online internships will teach you to identify the hard skill and soft skills that will be useful in building a career.
Besides providing a hands-on experience in the industry, internships help you to grow your network with industry professionals. Seemingly, these networks can get you employed in the future. Some students may find a guide or mentor who will help them to navigate their careers.
Improves Professional Skills
Having solid practical knowledge brings professional skills out of a person. The aim of virtual internships is to prepare skilled candidates in a comfortable setup. You will learn teamwork, and accountability, and acquire problem-solving abilities.
Builds a Competitive Attitude
Since the internship is the first step toward building a career, the purpose lies to build a competitive attitude in a candidate. The nature of the internship depends on the company which is quite different than theoretical knowledge. Having an internship will not only make your resume stand out to the recruiters but also
Time Period of the Virtual Internships
The time of internship depends on the company as well as the position you were are employed. Usually, a virtual internship is designed for 8 to 12 weeks and one has to complete 20 to 30 hours per week. The project is decided by the companies.
Which Industries are Offering Virtual Internships?
The purpose of the online internship is to provide practical experience to the students. It is beneficial for the students in advancing their careers. So, while applying for an internship be sure about your area of interest and your career goal.
- Public Relations
An online internship in public relations or PR will teach you to handle the brand’s image and reputation. You will get to learn about critical thinking, crisis management, and people management. If you are pursuing media studies or a related field you can take up this as your career.
The increasing popularity of social media made journalism a fast-paced job. So, an internship in this field will teach you to be relevant with time. Since the media is entirely digitized so finding online internships for college students has become easier.
To prosper in a skill-based field like engineering internship is a must for the students. Since a lot of companies have switched to work-from-home mode so they provide virtual internships. An intern can implement their theoretical knowledge in the practical field to improve their technical skill.
There is no better place than creating a marketing campaign online. So, college students can seek out online internships in this field. There are lots of market research agencies that offer virtual internship programs.
- Data Analysis
If you are into coding and want to build a career around it then you can opt for an internship in data analysis. An intern learns the insight of the structured and unstructured data so that an organization can make an informed decision.
- Social Media
During the pandemic, while everything was shut down, people turned to social media which increased its exposure and the effect is still vivid. So, the brands and advertising agencies seek out interns who can manage their social media handles.
It is one of the best online internships for college students who are pursuing media and communication. You will gain experience in content creation, content strategy, community management, and online advertising.
- Graphic Design
If you want to build your career in graphic design at advertising agencies, design studios, or even at private companies to boost their creative aspects, having an internship will help you in the future. You will get to brush up on your creativity and technical skills during the period. Through a virtual internship program, you will be able to improve your software knowledge.
The Pros and Cons of Virtual Internships
While the recruiters hardly screeched the surface of virtual or online internships, during the pandemic the travel restrictions around the world made it popular. A lot of youngsters became seemingly interested in taking up as an endeavor to build a career.
However, there are pros and cons to it. So, let’s take a look at them-
Pro: Real-world Experience
Virtual internships are meant for providing a real-world experience to novices. You will get to hone your practical skills before completing your school. You will be given an opportunity to implement theoretical knowledge in the field.
Con: Miss out on Professional Environment
Even though online internships are regarded as in-person internships, you will miss out on the office environment. Sometimes, working in an office environment teaches people to be professional. Virtual internships do not teach you to deal with challenges and on top of this, you will miss the regular office culture like chatting in the lunchroom, socializing with people, etc.
Pro: Opportunity to Explore
Online internships for college students are the best way to test the waters of the industry before signing up for a full-time job. You will get an idea of whether a specific career choice is appropriate for you or not. You will be able to opt for multiple internship programs.
One of the downsides of the work-from-home model is that people often tend to work round the clock. So, the organization may make you work extra hours since you do not have to visit the office physically. If you are overburdened with work then you have no way out but to clock many more hours.
Pro: Personal Growth
Albert Einstein once said that “The only source of knowledge is experience”. So, signing up for an internship program will give you the exposure that you need to grow further. It will prepare you for future employment.
Con: May not Get Paid
Not every company chooses to offer compensation for virtual internships. You are often asked to perform as a full-time employee. Even if they pay for work most time that is a pittance for a salary.
Pro: Making Professional Connection
To have a career in a specific field, you need to have good connection with the industry professionals. Virtual internships let you build that connection which may help you to get employed in the future. It often happens that the company you have been working with as an intern might employ you full-time.
Despite the cons, virtual internships help you to build a resume where you can add the skills that you acquired. In a competitive job market, it is important to have a strong resume that speaks about field experience. Moreover, since geographical barrier does not exist in this case you can get the opportunity to work with foreign organizations.
Frequently asked Question about Virtual Internships
1. Are Virtual Internships Worth it?
Potentially, a virtual internship is meant to bridge the gap between theoretical and practical knowledge. Students can save the travel cost and work on their skills working from home. Students do not have to compromise their study time.
2. What do you do in a Virtual Internship?
A virtual internship is a work experience program and one can do it from home.
3. Is Virtual Internship Paid?
It depends on the employer and the kind of internship program you are in. In most cases, employers provide compensation to the interns.
4. Are they as respected as in-person Internships?
Yes, they are. While working from home has become normal employers recognize the interns who participated in the online internship program.