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.

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:

Social Media
International Development
Legal Advocacy
Sustainability Consulting
Mobile Software Application
Public Relations
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.
  • Networking events, fairs and workshops- customized schedule of programs to further develop skills and build knowledge relevant to virtual work experiences.

Program Benefits

Upon completion of the Virtual Internship Program, students will have gained an understanding of the virtual workspace and effectively produced completed projects for their employer. Students will have developed their skills in self-directed work, time management, collaboration and working on a virtual team. Additionally, students will have acquired professional skills such as research, effective communication, and project management. With the support of a career counseling professional, students will also be able to articulate their experience through goal setting exercises, understanding transferable skills they have gained and reflecting upon their internship experience with guidance and support from program managers. 



To view all current positions available through CCE's Spring Internship Programs, click here.

2013 VIP Interns

VIP Intern Po Linn Chia utilized her social media skills to excel as a New Media Intern for Fission Strategy. Read Po Linn's blog 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 Radhe Patel explored her interests in consumer advocacy as an Editorial Intern at Consumer Action. Visit Radhe's engaging storify about her experience!

Former VIP Interns

VIP Intern Julie Kim complemented her Sustainable Development concentration with a virtual internship in sustainability consulting. Read about Julie's experience.

VIP Intern Dora Kwarko wrote microfinance guides while interning for an economic empowerment project with Development Foundation Worldwide. Read about Dora's experience. 

VIP Intern Jenny OKwon explored how her passion for creative writing could contribute to addressing social issues such as children's rights through writing scripts for rural kids in India. Read about Jenny's experience. 

VIP Intern Matt Kalish used his classes in optimization and efficiency strategies as an Operations Research major for his internship in mobile software application development. Read about Matt's experience.

Information Sessions

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

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

12:00pm - 1:00pm

CCE Conference Room

Register Now

Monday, October 21st, 2013

5:00pm - 6:00pm

CCE Conference Room

Register Now


Apply Now

Eligibility/Application Process
Frequently Asked Questions

Program Contacts

If you have questions about this program, please feel free to contact:

Emily Rosenberg
Assistant Director, Experiential Education and Student Enterprises, Center for Career Education


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.