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Are you looking for a virtual internship with a flexible schedule?  Do you have an average of 1 hour to 90 minutes per day to commit to working with an innovative company and entrepreneur?

A decade ago, the concept of a virtual internship was borderline baffling. In place of the typical nine-to-five daily grind, virtual interns complete all tasks remotely–no office, no desk, and no warm-blooded personal contact. Yet recently, virtual interning has been enjoying a rise in both interest and legitimacy. More young adults have been taking on these opportunities than ever, and places like Columbia and George Fox University have established virtual internship programs and centers.

There are several reasons for this surge in popularity, not the least of which include the benefits to both the employers and the interns themselves. For an employer, a virtual intern can help cut costs even more than a traditional one. Not having to provide office space and a computer, for instance, can be especially meaningful for small and mid-size companies. Add on the fact that the generation graduating right now is more computer and internet-savvy than ever, and it makes sense that many companies would maintain a virtual internship program.

There are also several benefits from the intern’s point of view. And on that note:

The Good

  • A virtual internship can give you the opportunity to work in a field that would normally not be available to you for geographic reasons. Now, instead of taking on a conventional internship, he or she can work remotely.
  • For the most part, a virtual internship works around your schedule. If you’re taking classes, volunteering, or just prefer to sleep from 4 am to 12 pm, you can schedule your working hours accordingly. At a virtual internship, the concern is less when you work and more whether you get the job done.
  • It is virtually impossible for your boss to ask you to make coffee or copies.
  • Say you wanted to take an internship in Chandigarh, but you’re from Delhi. You’re really excited about the company or organization, but you can’t afford to live in Chandigarh City for a couple of months, or for six months. A virtual internship would allow you to stay at home, save your money, and still take your dream training.
  • In the same vein, you can work anywhere: in your living room or a cafe;, on the bus or the toilet. It doesn’t matter, and no one will ever know (unless, of course, you tell them).

Virtual internships run for 2 / 6 months for 7-10 hours per week (start and dates are flexible if there are special circumstances with your school commitments).  Summer Internships run 2 / 6 months for 90 / 250 hours approx. of work respectively.

During your internship, you will work virtually for 7-10 hours per week on projects such as human digital marketing, web design, e-commerce, project management, and more.  The internship is designed to offer you the opportunity to learn things outside of the classroom about your major.

While there will be specific assignments required, during your internship, you will have the flexibility to make your own schedule, learn more about your major from a college professor, and participate in online discussions about business.

While this is an unpaid internship, you will gain valuable experience working with companies and on projects that range from startups to existing businesses, and gain knowledge you can bring back to your college or to your job.

Program Benefits

Upon completion of the Virtual Internship Training (VIT), students will have gained:

  • Time-management, organization, and communication skills;
  • Experience in self-directed work and project management;
  • Familiarity with a virtual work structure, including tools and techniques to manage responsibilities and share information;
  • Professional skills and industry knowledge related to their individual internships;
  • An understanding of virtual work trends across industries.

What exactly is a virtual internship? Is it real?

Yes, a virtual internship is a real internship. As a virtual intern, students will have an internship supervisor, co-workers, teammates, and/or clients they will work with.  Students can expect to contribute to their employer through working on tangible projects throughout the semester.

What are the advantages of having a virtual internship over an in-office internship?

Each type of internship has its own unique benefits. A virtual internship relies on a student’s ability to work independently and in a self-directed manner. One perk of having a virtual internship is that a student can work in his or her own space, whether that is a dorm, a library, a coffee shop or outdoors. Another perk is that a student can work on his or her own schedule. We recognize that not everyone works best on a standard 9-5 operating schedule. Some individuals come up with their best and brightest ideas late at night, while some individuals like to get their work done in spurts throughout the day. Whatever your working style is, a virtual internship offers an incredibly high level of flexibility in time and space.

How will I interact with my supervisor and co-workers?

Virtual interns primarily produce work and connect with people remotely but not all interactions may be virtual. Occasionally, employers will want to meet in person, depending on the location of the internship. There are a variety of methods available to interact with your employer, co-workers and clients as well. Aside from traditional methods, such as e-mail and phone, virtual interns can connect through Skype, video-conferencing, online meetings, and virtual chats. Because staying connected is a critical part of a virtual internship, the Virtual Internship Program will have workshops to help you improve your skills in communicating, working on a virtual team, etc. Additionally, your program manager will be there to support you throughout your internship, should you have any questions that arise.

What kinds of program activities are organized during the internship period?

Students participating in the VIT are provided with pre-training to help them learn about resources available to them, logistics of the training, as well as insight on how to have a successful internship experience.  Specialized workshops pertaining to working in a virtual environment are offered to enhance the virtual internship experience. Students will meet with a designated advisor from ISDMMT during the program to both provide feedback about the internship and have an opportunity to ask questions and share stories about their experience. Additionally, students will be offered networking opportunities and career development events to sharpen their professional skills.

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