Benefits of Online Internships – Why Choose a Virtual Internship Over a Traditional Internship? Here is all you need to know, its requirements, and how to apply.
There’s no denying that an internship, in-person or remote, is a brilliant way to boost your work experience profile and get ahead in your chosen career field.
That means an internship experience could be the difference between whether or not you get hired when up against an equally qualified candidate.
However, most internships are notoriously competitive, involve lengthy application processes, and are hard to secure. In a 2021 survey of 17 US colleges and universities, only 21.5% of American college students reported having internship experience, which shows –whilst the demand is there from employers– securing these experiences is not as straightforward.
Furthermore, in today’s era of international employability, interning for a company in a different country demonstrates broader cultural immersion and looks great on your job applications. But, the ability to relocate entirely or travel to a different country for an internship is only accessible to a minority of students and graduates.
Whilst paid internships to offer certain monetary benefits to help with these costs, you’ll often find that paid –and free– internships are based on what the employer wants and may not contribute to your skillset or offer you the professional development boost you need to benefit your future career goals.
The alternative? An internship program in which you’ll gain the following:
- The ability to review the projects you’ll be working on before accepting your internship to make sure they align with your future career goals
- Online internship placement at an approved, pre-screened host company matched to your interests within six weeks of applying
- Customized, flexible programming to fit your internship alongside your studies and social life. Virtual internships are project-based which means you’ll benefit from choosing your own hours and work schedule, with the freedom to design your day how you wish as long as your work gets done
- Support throughout your internship from our team of intern experience coaches and guidance on your next career move
Read on as we dive deeper into how 6,000+ virtual interns have already gained from a virtual internship program and how you could too.
12 Reasons Why It’s Worth Doing a Virtual Internship
1. Get Matched to a Host Company Based on Your Preferences
- Want to gain experience in the UAE?
- Are the tech start-ups of the San Fran Bay calling your name?
- Perhaps you want to create a professional working relationship with China, or you want to work with an amazing start-up in NYC but can’t afford to move states just yet?
If you’re looking to gain global work experience and broaden your professional network, this can be difficult to do by yourself without having the right connections, or even language skills.
When you apply for a virtual internship program, you’ll be asked to set your preferences including the location of the company you’d like to intern for as well as your desired career field or industry.
Our team of experts will then scan our database of over 11,000 host companies in over 110 countries to find the company and placement project that perfectly matches your profile.
Whilst waiting to be matched, you can work your way through our CareerBridge courses which are designed to equip you with the skills to enhance your remote internship experience.
2. You Don’t Commit Until You’re Happy With Your Placement
One of the main things that set an internship program apart from the ones that you source yourself is that you know you’re going to get a placement where the projects, supervision, and skill development have all been given careful consideration, by both our team and your host company.
Furthermore, you only pay a deposit to begin the matching process and won’t pay the balance until you’re completely happy with your internship placement, that’s both your host company and the projects you’ll be doing.
If for any reason, you are not offered an internship by your chosen start date, you are eligible for a full refund.
3. Career Guidance and Support Throughout our Internship Coaches
Our coaches are on hand to provide support to help you make the most of your internship, provide guidance with any obstacles you may face, and help you map out a career path as you approach the end of your internship.
Upon completion of your internship, you’ll be invited to join our alumni network where you’ll have access to career guidance, open roles, networking opportunities, and more.
You’ll also have the opportunity to apply to be part of our Alumni Advisory Board, a six-month program where advisors support the VI team from product development to blog content and more. The opportunity involves working directly with our senior leadership team to help us improve the entire experience for future interns, and will be rewarded with a stipend as well as a recommendation from one of our senior leaders.
4. The Chance to Work with the Next Unicorn
Innovative start-ups and SMEs form the majority of our host companies. These are the types of companies that are embracing the new way of working, understanding that you don’t have to be based in one location or an office to collaborate and create great things.
Companies such as Airtable, Stripe, Grammarly, and Reddit (the list goes on) all started as small start-ups that were thinking differently.
The beauty of interning remotely is that you could be working with a start-up that is on track to become the next unicorn (company values at over one billion dollars) – how great would that look on your CV?
Our alumni have now gone on to work for Amazon, Facebook, Deutsche Bank, and many other internationally recognized companies.
What’s more, start-ups think and operate very differently from other companies, which means you’re more likely to be exposed to the inner workings of a growing company, gain more from your experience, and work directly with the founder or CEO (over 70% of virtual interns do).
Venturing into the job market, you’ll notice the prevalence of job descriptions and ads with a preference for candidates with ‘experience operating in a high-growth business environment’. At Virtual Internships, we can guarantee this experience for you within our Entrepreneurial / Start-Ups Career Field, just one of 18 you can choose from.
5. They are Completely Accessible
It’s 2022, yet there are still so many barriers for people wanting to gain work experience. By interning remotely, those barriers such as location, ability to travel, and even impairments that may limit your ability to work in a typical office setting, are removed.
Remote internships make gaining the work experience you want and need, completely accessible.
6. Get Ahead in a Competitive Industry
If the career path you’ve chosen is particularly competitive, such as tech, having additional work experience could be the difference between landing the job or not.
When thousands of applicants are competing for the same entry-level roles, demonstrating that you’ve got experience working in a similar role or company gives you a significant advantage.
Don’t just take our word for it, our Global Head of Product, Priyadeep (PD) Sinha, outlines why having experience when starting your career in tech is so important in his recent webinar.
7. It’s More than an Internship
There are many differences between an internship you find yourself in and an internship program; one of the most significant is the support you get in an internship program.
As we mentioned in #3, you’ll be supported throughout your remote internship program by our coaches.
You’ll have access to 12+ online courses in our professional development hub, CareerBridge. These courses are designed to enhance your skills alongside the experience you’ll gain on your internship, to both improve your internship experience and enhance your skillset for your future career.
8. We Are Obligated to Fulfill a Great Service
If you choose to go down the path of finding your own internship, there’s no accountability on either side. We’ve all heard of those internships where all interns do is make coffee (or the virtual equivalent).
By opting for an internship program, we are fully obligated to do a great job for you, from finding an internship placement you’re happy with, to making sure your host company delivers a meaningful, beneficial experience.
9. Our Internships are Flexible
Our internship programs are built on the premise that remote work is the future.
Working remotely allows you to be flexible with your time and plan your day around your optimum working hours and conditions. Your remote internship is the same.
Our internship programs range from 4 to 12 weeks, 10 to 30-hour weekly commitments, and we have start dates every two weeks. That means you can fit your internship around your studies, social life, and other commitments so that you can still gain the work experience you need, without having to jeopardize anything else.
The beauty of working remotely, and remote internships specifically, is that you work on your own time.
10. Academic Credit Towards your Degree
Work experience that also contributes to your degree? Yes, please.
If you’re still studying, not only can you design your internship around your study schedule, but you can also apply to gain additional academic credits of 300, 600, or 900 which contribute to your overall degree.
11. Get Work Experience With a Specific Country or Culture
Gaining exposure to a company in another country is not only great for your CV but also enables you to build and expand on vital communication skills and immerse yourself in a new culture.
When looking for a global internship on your own, you’re somewhat limited by what’s available, what contacts you have, and what languages you speak.
If gaining experience with a company in a specific country is important to you, then you’ll be glad to know that stating what country you’d like your host company to be located in is part of the application process at Virtual Internships, and we’ll do our best to match you with one of your top two choices.
12. More Opportunities Post-Internship
Our host companies see hiring interns as a unique opportunity to access diverse talent, and as such one in four of our interns get offered a position at their host company* at the end of their internship.
Even if you don’t get offered a position at the end of your internship, most of our alumni stay in contact with their host company which expands their global network further and increases exposure to future opportunities.
Ready to Apply for a Virtual Internship?
There’s no denying that there are significant advantages to an internship program, especially when you take the above reasons into consideration as well as the experience you’ll gain.
To get started, simply:
- Apply for free to enroll in our remote internship program by clicking the button below.
- Tell us the type of experience you’re looking to gain, the preferred location of your host company, and more.
- Book a call with one of our Enrollment Manages who will advise and provide examples of the host companies that you could match with and the projects you could be working on.
- Pay your acceptance fee of US$300 which officially enrolls you into the program to begin the host company matching process.
Then, it’s over to us. We’ll dive into our network of over 11,000 host companies in 110+ countries to find the company and placement project, perfectly matched to your custom requirements, interests, and future career goals. The balance won’t be due until you are completely happy with your internship.