How to Make a Virtual Internship Work
As more and more companies find cost-effective ways to make the most of their employment opportunities, the availability and flexibility virtual internships have to offer are becoming the new norm. While traditional 9-5 internships give you that real world work experience you don’t seem to learn in a classroom, virtual internships combine the best of the millennial world — the ability to work anywhere and anytime across the country, while saving your potential employer tons in cash they might have otherwise spent on giving you a place to stay.
Independent environment to invest in your skill set
Some might find the idea of taking your work space home or on the solo route intimidating, but by starting your career off on an independent track, you allow yourself to gain a new skill set on your terms. By eliminating the typical office environment, you can focus on your own needs and assignments without the day to day distractions. The virtual aspect to a virtual internship is particularly desirable for those who can’t really picture themselves in a cubicle from 9-5, rather, those who can dictate their own schedule and pace of work and can take the initiative that employers consider a top candidate trait.
Maintain your daily routine while advancing your career
Another positive aspect to taking the typical intern job and making it virtual is the benefits you’ll find in your normal life. While normal internships require either a seasonal commitment (Spring or Summer) you can take on an internship role with a company year-round, while still pursuing your ambitions outside your career aspirations. Still in school? A virtual internship is the perfect way to keep your goals in tact while keeping the majority of your focus on your education. In between jobs or on the job hunt? Taking on a side internship that you can devote time to between interviews or job applications is the perfect resume buffer to show you are still advancing your career in between your job lulls. The key to any internship, virtual or IRL, is to consistently devote time to advancing your career. Even by taking on a virtual internship at home you are showing a future employer that you are interested in doing what it takes to make a career for yourself.
Take on more research or long term projects
Possibly the best part of a virtual internship is the extent of real, impactful work you can take on. While standard internships might give you menial tasks, a virtual internship gives your employer the opportunity to give you more research-based or extended date work. Not only do research or meatier projects allow you to really show off your skills on a variety of levels (research, analytic, data-based) but it provides substantive buffers to your resume. Instead of listing intern performing duties at a name brand, you are now able to say through your virtual work, you were able to provide meaningful and worthwhile work for your employer. Talk about bang for your buck!
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