Virtual internships are rising in popularity, along with improvements in online collaboration technology and the increasing use of social media platforms. Smaller companies and start-ups in particular are recognizing the benefits that come from a global virtual internship program, as students increasingly seek opportunities to gain valuable experience in their field of choice.
Benefits for Students
- No need to relocate. Virtual interns can work for any company in the world as long as they have an Internet connection. This provides the opportunity to gain international experience without even having a passport. Many students cannot afford to study abroad, pay to commute to work or rent an apartment in order to be near their internship. Virtual internships effectively break down these barriers and open the door to a wider variety of students.
- Flexibility. It is often difficult for students to fit an internship into their busy class schedules, especially when they are also involved in extracurricular activities and work part-time jobs. Virtual internships allow students to set their own schedule and work when they can.
- Gain valuable skills for today’s global workplace. International experience is a quality that more employers are looking for in potential employees. An international virtual internship is a great way to improve telecommunication and time management skills. Further, a virtual internship requires self-discipline, independence and the ability to take initiative.
- Expand your network. Working across national borders gives virtual interns the opportunity to greatly expand their global professional network. This is particularly valuable for students earning their degree abroad, who ultimately wish to return to their home country and seek employment.
Benefits for Employers
- Widen your talent pool. Virtual internships allow employers to greatly increase the number and diversity of candidates for these positions. A more diverse range of applicants is likely to emerge, as geographical and financial constraints are less of a concern.
- Cost savings. A virtual internship program eliminates the need for extra office space, computers and other supplies. Project-based virtual internships also protect employers of paid interns from having to pay for unproductive time at work.
- Flexible workers. Smaller companies in particular can appreciate the flexibility that comes with having extra workers on an as-needed basis. Many start-ups who would greatly benefit from having interns shy away from the idea because they are unsure if they will be able to provide enough work. A virtual internship program allows employers to assign work as it arises, without having to worry about keeping interns occupied with busywork.
- Access to international resources. Employers can benefit from virtual interns who have a variety of cultural, educational and professional backgrounds. International students can add value through their social networks, unique perspectives and access to a range of global professional resources.
Jumpstart:HR offers a Virtual Internship Program for students and professionals in a variety of areas including Business Development, Communications, Marketing, Public Relations, Graphic Design, Human Resources, Social Media and Web Development. Contact us today for more information!