With the advancement of technology, remote jobs have become highly sought after by most skilled professionals, so virtual internships are no exception. As a student, having a virtual internship means you can easily juggle your college with your job and even get paid on the way.
Various online platforms allow you to apply for virtual internships to get professional exposure in your desired field or field of expertise. It is a great way to get a sneak peek into the industry before stepping into it.
If you are eager to get hold of Virtual internships but do not know if they are right for you, we are here to help you. In this article, we will discuss virtual internships – what they are, their pros and cons, and what to expect from them in terms of exposure and payment. So, without further ado, let us see what they are.
What are Virtual Internships?
Virtual internships are something other than remote internships in which you do not need to visit the office space to work with the said company.
These offer excellent flexibility compared to traditional internship programs, as you can take up internships from anywhere globally.
You could be working with a Singapore-based company while sitting in New York without ever having to visit Singapore.
There are various platforms and tools dedicated to facilitating such internships, like online video conferencing apps, project management apps, messaging apps, and emails. Virtual internships are great if you are a student because it lets you work from your home without having to compromise your studies.
Best Sites Offering Virtual or Online Internships
|Offers global internships in various countries with professional career coaching and opportunities for further engagement post-internship.
|Ideal for gaining international exposure and professional guidance, enhancing your resume with global experience.
|The Intern Group
|Provides a range of start dates for remote internships throughout the year, catering to different schedules.
|Offers flexibility in timing and a variety of fields, suitable for those looking to align internships with their academic or personal schedule.
|Features internships in fields like engineering, data science, IT with companies such as CVS Health and SAP.
|Great for those seeking opportunities in tech and engineering with major companies, offering valuable industry experience.
|Lists remote internships in areas like software engineering, brand design, with companies including Dropbox, Okta, and Discord.
|Perfect for those interested in tech and design roles, especially in fast-growing companies and startups.
|Offers remote global programs in graphic design, journalism, tech, law, business, and data science.
|Suitable for those exploring diverse fields and seeking comprehensive programs with global reach.
|Provides virtual global internships with credit and non-credit options, available full-time and part-time.
|Offers academic credit for internships, ideal for students looking to gain practical experience along with academic achievements.
|Intern Abroad HQ
|Features unique virtual internships like Psychology in Spain, NGO Support & Law in Tanzania, and International Business in India.
|Offers specialized internships in unique fields and locations, ideal for those seeking specific career paths or cultural experiences.
|Offers a range of work-from-home internships, including international remote options and specific programs for women.
|Popular in India, it provides a wide array of internship opportunities, including initiatives focused on women’s career development.
|Offers free virtual work experience programs with top companies, building real-life skills and providing opportunities to connect with recruiters.
|Provides real-life job simulations and skill-building from top companies, great for hands-on experience and networking.
|We Work Remotely
|A platform for finding remote internships in various industries, providing up-to-date opportunities.
|Offers a wide range of remote opportunities across various industries, suitable for those looking for diverse options.
Pros of Virtual Internships
Virtual internships come with a plethora of benefits, making them ideal for people who have a busy life, for example, full-time students. Let us look at 5 of those benefits.
The biggest advantage of a virtual internship over a traditional one is its flexibility. First of all, you do not have to go to work; you can just stay home comfortably and do your work in your comfort zone. Second, it also gives flexibility in scheduling. You can work anytime you want as long as you adhere to deadlines. This flexibility allows you to work correctly, be more productive and choose your working hours. It also lets you manage your tasks efficiently so that you can contribute more to your work and, in turn, learn more.
With a virtual internship, the scope of getting your best-suited internship is endless. As virtual internships are not bound by geography, you are free to look for opportunities anywhere you want and apply to the best possible match. By working in a company that is somewhere else, you will be exposed to different cultures, various work cultures, and industry practices, thus giving you new perspectives on certain jobs. This global exposure also allows you to build international connections and helps you understand the work ethics of various countries and corporations.
Virtual internships are cost-effective for not just interns but also employers. The biggest savings come from infrastructure. For more employees, you need more workspace, and the moment 30% or 50% of your staff starts working virtually, you save up on expanding the workspace. As an intern, you do not have to relocate to a new city or country or commute to your office daily. This saves a huge amount of money. This cost-effectiveness is one of the biggest reasons why many people prefer remote internships and jobs.
Virtual internships, like traditional internships, let you gain experience in your domain before you start working full-time. But how does this differ from what traditional internships offer? Since, with remote internships, you can apply anywhere; you get to engage in more diverse projects and thus collaborate across countries. You are exposed to different work cultures and, thus, learn the best from every place. It also increases your ability to adapt to different working environments. It will thus help you understand industry trends better and later connect seamlessly with employers when working full-time.
Better work-life balance
Another key advantage of a Virtual internship is its better work-life balance. By eliminating this, like daily commute time, interns can work better and rest better outside work. Also, as virtual internships offer time flexibility, you can easily make and follow your schedule. It not only helps you to be more productive but also allows you to take care of your health better. All in all, virtual internships allow you to balance your professional life and personal life, contributing to a healthier and more fulfilling work experience.
Cons of Virtual Internship
With all the benefits of virtual internships, you must think it is ideal to do a virtual internship. However, it also has its cons. Make a decision only after you look into what restrictions virtual internships have amongst all the good things it has.
One of the biggest cons of doing a virtual internship is that it restricts communication among workplace peers. The absence of face-to-face interactions can lead to misinterpretations, not understanding requirements, delays, and a lack of spontaneous collaboration. It may be hard for your senior or manager to explain what you must do properly. Of course, various online applications and tools help you overcome this issue, but only to a certain extent. These platforms have their disadvantages, like missed emails or overlooked messages. And remember the issue with unstable networks during online meetings. It is possible to connect with your colleagues, but it is harder than what you do in a traditional internship from the office.
Less Networking opportunities and isolation
Another disadvantage of virtual internships is the limited networking opportunities and potential isolation. Working from home does not involve any spontaneous interaction with your colleagues that you may have if you work in the same space, in the office. It means you connect less with them and are practically working with strangers. So, it takes more work to make meaningful professional relationships. Also, since you work from home, you practically work alone, even though you must be part of a team. This often leads to a detachment from the office, and you lose the sense of belonging. It also demotivates you to work and affects collaboration and communication.
Tips to get exposure to Virtual internship opportunities
The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages; thus, looking for a virtual internship will benefit you. So, if you are lost and need help knowing where to get the proper exposure, we are here to help you out!
Research and target companies
Researching online is the key to getting a company that aligns with your goals and thoroughly with your domain. Compare your choices with companies and their internship programs, remote work policies, ethics, and values. Only then should you apply to companies. Don’t just randomly apply, as this has a slim chance of success.
LinkedIn is the best platform to grow your career. Here, you can create your profile, look for internships and work openings, and connect with people relevant to your field. You can follow leading experts to stay updated and connect with recruiters. Blindly applying to jobs will not get you one. Connecting and getting professional recommendations on a specific job profile gives you a better chance of getting hired.
Explore dedicated Internship platforms.
To increase your exposure to virtual internship opportunities, use dedicated internship platforms. Platforms like Internshala, Indeed, Chegg Internships, and LinkedIn Internships are solely dedicated to connecting students and professionals with remote work opportunities. These platforms offer a vast number of virtual internship openings. You can filter out jobs based on job post, CTC, experience level, and work from home/ office. With this, you can only focus on the job posting that caters to your needs and field without scouring the internet.
Highlight your remote working skills.
To get a virtual internship, you must show the recruiters you are good at working remotely. You must showcase skills like proficiency in online collaboration tools, effective time management, and good communication. It would help if you showed that you are productive while working from home and can connect with managers and other teammates to work on projects assigned to you.
Engage with University Career Services
Your university career service is a valuable place to look for internship guidance. Most students overlook it and start searching on their own online. These services have better insight into the industry and job opportunities, and inquiring with them gives you a better chance to get a virtual internship. Your university career service will help you refine your resume, highlight your skills, and help you apply to jobs that are looking for precisely what you have. Also, attend university workshops and events to connect with potential employers and increase your chances of getting recruited.
Doing internships is not just about getting experience and career guidance but also about the money. You can get both paid and unpaid virtual internships when you search; however, most people do not want to do unpaid work, and rightfully so.
The stipends and salaries are quite competitive as you enter as a fresher. The pay is often influenced by the country the company hails from, industry, company size, and the job role. However, it is hard to find virtual internships with good payrolls.
So, get jobs that give you good exposure and some good money. You may not get the money you deserve but be prepared for it. But, to make the best out of your situation, research properly and look through company policies to agree somewhere between reasonable monetary compensation and good industry exposure.
Wrapping up, virtual internships are a mix of both bad and good, but the good outweighs the bad by a tonne. The connections you make globally and the exposure you get through traditional work from office internships are nowhere near as good as virtual internships. And even the money you get through the job isn’t spent on relocating or commuting to the workplace.
The payout scene is tricky and depends on how well you can search for job postings.
Overall, virtual internships are more comfortable physically and for your wallet and give the same benefits as an in-office internship. So, we suggest you start looking for one right away!