The Rise of Virtual Internships


That our lives have moved online is now more than established. COVID has accelerated the future and brought it to our doorsteps, radically changing the way we work and learn.

This summer, unsurprisingly, saw the rise of virtual internships jobs. According to WayUp, a jobs-site for college students and recent graduates, 33% of employers are hiring virtual interns, and 71% of students are open to the idea of holding a virtual internship programs.

Table of contents:

The virtual upside

It’s the new way of working – in your home, at your time and on your schedule. The world is moving towards a fluid working model and virtual internships jobs for college students fit right into that mode. Also, the fact that the internship is location-agnostic opens up a world of possibilities – literally. You could be sitting half-way across the globe from the organizations you’re working (or interning) for.

Also, for students the great thing is that online internship allows them to intern while studying – so, it’s not just about finding the right summer internship, but also about finding one that can fit into your study-schedule.

Great benefits of interning remotely

It’s all about networking: Virtual internships enable you to build networks across the globe, as you connect with people from diverse cultures and places.

Self-discipline and time management: Whether it is your summer internship or the one you are taking up while still studying, remote working trains you to manage your time well. By the time you complete the internship, you will have mastered self-discipline yourself.

Remote working skills: In a post-COVID world, remote working skills have become critical. Organizations are now actively seeking these skills in their team members, so a virtual internship experience will only add to your employability.

More Accessible: One thing is for sure, virtual internships means fewer expenses. Unlike a traditional F2F internship, you would not have to worry about the rent cost or travel cost for that matter. All you need to focus on is getting the project done perfectly on time.

Types & Models of Virtual Internships

The rules are not set in stone. Online internships can be broadly classified into four basic types. These models have been outlined by the Virtual Internships company as emerging models, i.e.

  • Insight Model: This type of internships is typically short in duration. Here, students have the liberty to complete the given task in their own time. This model is especially developed to build brand awareness through the creation and dissemination of insightful online content such as (online) graduate program, internships etc.
  • Internship Marketplace Model: This model is where two entity meets, i.e. universities/students looking for internships meet with companies/organisations requiring interns. The support system is given by the university unlike the insight model. This model is good for meeting stakeholders.
  • Micro Internships Model: This model refers to the type of work that has been specifically created to cater to students searching for short, bite-sized pieces of work. It is a professional assignment and can be done remotely. The type of work can be – a research project, graphic design, editing, copy writing, and more.
  • Program Model: This model is where universities handpick service providers/ organisations to partner with based on the universities’ expertise. Here, the goal is to deliver quality virtual programs for its students. Usually, students are matched with opportunities based in their skill level.

Areas that lend themselves well to online internships

While almost every sector is now open to remote work and internships, there are some fields where virtual connect works well and these are likely to see better opportunities for interns.

  • Information Technology
  • Research writing
  • Freelance writing
  • Software development
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Social Media
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Journalism
  • Graphic Designing
  • Video Creation, Editing

Check out top skills in demand in 2021.

Some internship platforms

There are various platforms where you can seek remote opportunities. Few of the platforms are:

Some online internship opportunities

Here are some the best online internships that many organizations are offering:

  • Internship with Google: Whether it is in business or engineering, Google has multiple openings for virtual internship opportunities. Some of the various positions include- IT intern, Associate Product Manager internship, Legal internship, and MBA internship among others.
  • Remote Internships with TCS iON: The Tata Consultancy Services recently launched its remote internship with an aim to help connect students with industry mentors, and give access to industry-curated learning material, projects, and videos or webinars. There are over 200 active openings that you can apply.
  • Remote Internship Program with Facebook: What’s more exciting than having the chance to intern with one of the world’s bigger social media network? Facebook has resorted to ‘remote-only’ internship for 2020 summer. The internship openings include- Research Intern, Applied Research; Production Engineer, Intern/Co-Op; Core Data Science, PhD Intern; and Software Engineer, Intern/Co-op.
  • Internship at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Company: Here’s a chance for you to intern at one of the world’s renowned foreign-policy think tank. They are offering (remote) internship opportunity for Carnegie India’s security studies program. The internship is set to be for three to six month long.

As virtual career fairs and events become the new normal in a post Covid19 world, virtual internships are becoming the norm – paving the way for borderless world in the true sense of the word. It should be looked on as an opportunity, rather than a constraint.

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