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Virtual Internship Program


Program Overview

Currently, over 8 million people work virtually across the United States and increasingly, companies and organizations are exploring the virtual workspace.  There is an undeniable shift towards work being done in locations outside of a traditional office setting, which allows for greater flexibility for employees, enhanced collaboration across global teams, and reduced operating costs and carbon footprints for employers.

Columbia University is moving in an innovative new direction to enhance the professional skills and experiential opportunities to its students with the Virtual Internship Program (VIP).  The program provides students with a virtual internship based in cities across the globe in a variety of career fields.  Interns will contribute to projects while working remotely, meaning the majority of their interactions with co-workers, clients and supervisors (as well as project work) are done  in the comfort of their own space.  The Center for Career Education will support the student intern through educational programming designed to enhance the virtual internship, helping students sharpen their professional skills. In the past, students in the Virtual Internship Program have had internships in the following industries or job functions:

  • Public Relations/Marketing
  • Consulting
  • Start-Ups
  • Public Health
  • Not-for-Profit/NGO
  • Arts Administration
  • Legal Advocacy
    and more!

Program Features

The Virtual Internship program offers a combination of internship experience, peer connections with other VIP interns and professional career development and support with a career counselor.
Program features include the following:  

  • Twelve-week project based internship for 10-20 hours per week during the Spring semester.
  • Pre-program training that includes communications training, goal setting exercises and a chance to meet all Virtual Interns in the program.
  • Skills Development Workshops with a career counseling professional addressing topics such as navigating a virtual work environment, managing time, dealing with distractions and communicating effectively. This is also an opportunity to work with other VIP interns to develop skills and ask questions in a supportive environment.
  • One-on-one career counseling appointments throughout the ten weeks to explore a career opportunities, development of professional skills and individual support to enhance the internship experience.
  • End of Program Reflection Session that includes evaluation of the internship, goal attainment analysis, resume and interviewing workshop, and personal and professional development discussion.


Program Benefits

Upon completion of the Virtual Internship Program (VIP), 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



The application period is now closed. Please check back for Spring 2017 opportunities in Fall 2016.

Information Sessions

Please attend one information session to learn more about VIP, as well as other CCE Spring Internship Programs (CAE, KCCAP @ CU, and SIP).

Monday, October 12, 2015
12:00pm - 1:00pm
CCE Conference Room
Register Now

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
5:00pm - 6:00pm
CCE Conference Room
Register Now

Apply Now

Eligibility/Application Process
Frequently Asked Questions


Student Experiences

Joshua Dillon

VIP Intern Joshua Dillon's tasks at Fission Strategy ranged from analyzing social media trends to managing clients. Learn more on his blog.

Klaas Roberts

As a research intern at Bpeace, VIP Intern Klass Roberts was both challenged and rewarded while learning the importance of networking and aiding entrepreneurs from developing countries. Read more about Klaas' experience

VIP Intern Radhe Patel explored her interests in consumer advocacy as an Editorial Intern at Consumer Action. Visit Radhe's engaging storify about her experience!

VIP Intern Leslie Hill gained valuable insight about the start-up industry through her Marketing and Business Development Internship at Snapette. Read Leslie's journal detailing her experience.

VIP Intern Doreen Mohammed explored her interests in medicine as a School Health Program Intern for the National School Boards Association. Read Doreen's reflection about her experience.

VIP Intern and PhD student, Ju Yang, reflects on her experience balancing coursework and serving as a virtual intern for the London company, NestorAdvisors. Check out her blog and learn more about the possibilities of a virtual internship.


Program Contacts

If you have questions about this program, please feel free to e-mail



Virtual Internships in Rising Demand - Read Business Week's article about the rise of virtual internships including one Columbia student's experience in VIP.
The Invisible Intern - ABC News highlights VIP and the value of virtual internships
An Internship from Your Couch - The Wall Street Journal discusses the gaining popularity of virtual internships
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Virtual Internships - the Vault Career Blog shares tips for interning virtually.