Virtual internships have become one of the latest internship trends around the globe. Having personally completed three virtual internships, I can say and they were just as valuable as an in-person internship. Many top companies offer virtual internships and if you find a company you want to work for but location is an issue, don’t be afraid to ask if they could formulate a virtual internship for you.
With the current economic climate, a lot of students can’t afford to travel or move for a summer internship and need to stay at home or near campus where they are already paying rent for the summer. With a virtual internship, you can make your own hours and you still have another job or two on the side that pay.
Here are five reasons why a virtual internship may be your best option:
• No moving costs or hassles – One of the worst things about summer internships can be moving costs and moving hassles. I recently moved to Atlanta on a Sunday and immediately started work the next day, so I’m familiar with moving issues. The apartment/house hunt, packing up all your things and finding a way to get all of your belongings to a different area can be a major headache. With a virtual internship, you can work from your home or apartment.
• Cuts down on travel expenses – With gas prices continuing to soar across the nation, one of the best things about a virtual internship is that you don’t travel anywhere and avoid sitting in a long commute to work. A virtual internship allows you to work from home or the local Starbucks – anywhere that’s convenient.
• Flexible work hours – With most virtual internships, employers will try and work around your schedule. As you don’t have an office to go to, virtual interns often make their own hours and work during the time of day most convenient for their schedule. With the freedom to pick your own hours, it’s important to make sure your supervisor is onboard with your schedule and that you actually stay productive during those hours.
• Enhance communication skills – Despite all the technology available to help us communicate with people, sometimes we still lose the ability to communicate effectively. With a virtual internship, you are forced to communicate with your fellow co-workers and supervisors on a regular basis to make sure all tasks are being completed and to make sure everything is running smoothly. It can be hard to coordinate across different time zones, but it is an additional skill to add to your resume.
• Virtual internships still count – An internship is an internship and we are all told throughout college that everyone needs to complete at least one before graduation. A virtual experience can be just as valuable as an in-person, in-office experience if you make the best of it and take advantage of the opportunity.
As you continue to look for internships this summer or for the fall, keep in mind virtual internships are great opportunities for any student already juggling a busy schedule and work load. Look for virtual internship listings and continue to have great internship experiences.
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