Our Virtual Internship Program offers students the unique opportunity to gain tangible work experience virtually—that’s right, most students never meet their internship supervisor in person, some will never engage in awkward water cooler conversations, print and review a document for signature, or commute an hour to an office each day.
In fact, many will be making their own schedules for completing tasks, familiarizing themselves with key online tools, and dialing into a lot of conference call lines.
Now how does the experience of a virtual internship actually impact you, and how can it help you prepare for a job that may or may not have a physical office space? Last year’s VIP students have a thing or two to say about their experience gained in a virtual internship.
What Students Say About Their Virtual Internship
“This internship helped me develop my copywriting skills and…see a future in marketing. My employer also trained me in essential skills such as YouTube video editing and creating graphics. This was my very first exposure to an internship that took place remotely, and it opened the possibility of pursuing a career based online.” – Tracy C., VIP 2018
“…I became a clearer and more fluid health communicator, and a more creative and improvisational thinker. These skills can translate well to…a variety of future career paths I could…take. I’ve spoken to [my direct supervisor] multiple times, and I find my relationship with her very rewarding. I’m not sure if [I’ll] continue in this field, but…her support has been helpful in meeting people in the community health field.” – Virginia J., VIP 2018
“It helped me learn more about the tech industry and how important relationships are in closing deals. This will assist me in my goals of starting a chemical startup back home in South Africa.” – Kalisa N., VIP 2018
Student Key Takeaways
Building Relationships Requires Clear Communication
As you can imagine, virtual work requires an incredible amount of relationship building and communication skills. Since the nature of working online limits these face-to-face interactions, students in VIP have gotten first-hand exposure to the skill of building relationships with clients and supervisors through clear communication on a virtual platform.
An article in the Harvard Business Review touches on what muscle you’re building when those two skills come together.
Virtual Relationship building + Virtual Communication = Virtual Intelligence
Virtual Intelligence is imperative in today’s work environments, whether you’re looking for a career in finance, health, business, or the non-profit sector. As the need for virtual interactions and online engagement rises domestically and globally, so does the need for virtual intelligent employees.
It Never Hurts to Ask
If you’re interested in training this muscle further, don’t be afraid to ask companies you’re interested in about their virtual internship offerings. You may spark a conversation that will go from face-to-face to online conversations and video chats.