Have questions? We have the answers!
Virtual Internships has compiled a set of frequently asked questions that we are continually updating below. Wondering if this is a paid experience, if you can receive academic credit, or how you will be matched with a company? We have you covered!
Still have a question? Contact us
What are virtual internships?
Virtual internships are internships that are done online or remotely. You are placed with a company, and have a supervisor that you report to. You are in regular contact with the supervisor/team via virtual methods such as video call, phone call, email and instant messenger.
How are virtual internships beneficial to students?
They allow students to gain the skills that employers are looking for in today’s market, alongside their studies. Students can gain the educational/theoretical knowledge from their courses, and then apply this knowledge within a real-world setting throughout the course of their internship. They can do this to a schedule that suits them and without having to leave their campus!
Why should I do a virtual internship over a traditional on-site internship?
- Virtual internships allow you to develop digital skills that are important in the 21st century. According to the Pew Research Center, internet literacy is an extremely important career skill, not only when it comes to building your resume but also when finding that all-important first job
- Working remotely also teaches plenty of other skills that are just as important as internet literacy. Students completing internships online need to be highly motivated and organized. Without the constant supervision that an office setting provides, students must have the ability to manage their own time and complete assignments without constantly asking for assistance
- Virtual internships are an excellent resume booster in that they develop and demonstrate a diverse set of skills that are of high value to employers
- No travel required, so this saves costs and also reduces your carbon footprint
- You’ll make connections in major global organisations and network
- You’ll build professional references from around the globe
- You’ll gain vital experience for your résumé and include experience that you can leverage to land your next opportunity
- You’ll learn how to communicate in a professional setting and gain extra skills
- You’ll enhance your familiarity with digital tools and tech-based work
- The virtual internship could lead to a full-time job after graduation
The Internship Program
How will I communicate with my host company?
While it depends on the host company, generally it will be through a combination of email, Zoom/Slack or other messaging software, shared online docs and shared productivity tools like Trello. All Virtual Internship supervisors are required to check-in daily with the intern and schedule weekly virtual face-to-face meetings.
What is the coaching provided?
As part of your internship, you will follow our online employability curriculum, which also includes 2 coaching calls during your internship with an assigned internship coach.
The Midpoint Check-In The Midpoint Check-In is a formal conversation that will review the your midpoint self-assessment, as well as asking some guiding questions designed to create a dynamic 1-on-1 discussion about your internship thus far and steps to take to make the second half a success while planning for the program end and next steps.
The Final Coaching Call is a longer conversation designed to look at your past experience with this internship to highlight skills gained, professional pathways, and best practices for future career management. At the end of the call you will walk away with a Global Career Management Plan, noting key steps to take immediately and in the future in order to leverage this experience for future success.
Can I start off interning part-time and then intern full-time later on?
Most of our host companies are open to your schedule and will be willing to make changes. This is obviously made easier if you build a great relationship with your supervisor, are responsive and respectful of their projects. If you know in advance that your timetable will change mid-way through your program, let us know and we’ll find a host company that will be fine with it! Communicate with us. We’ll make it work!
How is this an international program?
Our program remains international at its core allowing you to select your preferred host company location across 80 different country options. Furthermore we have built in webinars focused on global professional development and job searching skills, included access to online language lessons, and ensured that CareerBridge, our online curriculum supports cross-cultural competencies.
What is CareerBridge?
CareerBridge is a professional development hub used to enhance our participant’s overall internship by targeting personal and professional growth. You will gain access to 14 professional development courses that you must complete throughout your internship experience (before, during and upon completion)
Are these paid internships?
We leave it in the discretion of our host companies as to whether they pay their interns. Our aim is to provide high quality placements that will provide our participants with real responsibility and develop transferable skills for future employment. We do not want to forgo potentially high quality placements by narrowing our search just for paid placements.
Overall, our internships are unpaid and aimed at providing an educational experience, networking opportunities, and a strong support system with supervisor communication. A company may choose to provide a stipend, or exposure to additional software etc. however this is not an expectation of this role or our companies.
Our aim is to place students into internships whereby they can get early career exposure and skills in a career field of their choice. Having said that, occasionally companies will offer a stipend to an intern. However, this is at the company’s discretion and we do not guarantee that or encourage students to expect this.
The Internship Outcomes
Will this lead to permanent employment?
At present about 36% of our candidates are offered positions after their virtual internship has ended. However, we are not an employment agency and finding employment with your host company is not the purpose of the program. You should see the program as a boost to your employability, rather than a guarantee that this particular company will take you on.
Does it look worse on my resume/CV in comparison to a physical internship?
We firmly believe that remote working is here to stay and will continue to increase in popularity in the future. Companies like Spotify, Coinbase, & Amazon have recently implemented policies that allow remote working for some or all of their employees. We would strongly advise you to highlight on your resume/CV the additional skills gained by doing a remote internship – being able to work across time-zones and on different communication platforms, for example. We’ll help highlight the soft skills you develop on this program on your coaching calls!
What are the stats for people getting full-time jobs in their industries after completing the program?
At present 81% of people finishing the program feel they are more employable than before they did the program. We also have plenty of anecdotes of individuals who have aced an interview by using great examples of their skills proven during their virtual internship.
Do you have other stats for people that have completed the program?
- 90% agreed they gained value and learn from the internship experience
- 90% agreed that completing the internship increased their ability to work remotely
- 81% agreed that completing the internship increased their confidence in post-graduation employment
Will I get a Program Certificate?
Yes! All interns who successfully complete the full program will receive a program certificate and End of Program Report. This report will capture all of your self-assessments aligned to the NACE Career Readiness competencies, as well as the supervisor feedback which will have been shared during your coaching calls. The report provides a comparable view of your assessment and your supervisors so that you can more clearly see areas of strength and where you need to improve. If need be, these reports can be shared with your university as well as a more holistic report on feedback and outcomes.
The Admission Process
What is the advising session or interview process like?
Don’t panic, we are not trying to make it hard!
Firstly, don’t think of it as your usual formal interview. After your application has been accepted and the first payment has been made, you will be given a private link to complete the video application.
Secondly, we’ve made it super convenient as you will be directed to a short series of video questions so you can do it any time, any place, anywhere. We want to learn more about your academic experience, and any previous work or internship experience if you have any. We will also focus a lot on what skills you want to build, and what an ideal career would look like for you.
Ultimately we want to find you a suitable placement by knowing a bit more about the skills you are trying to gain.
Matching You with a Host Company
Am I guaranteed an internship in my Career Field ?
Yep. You will be offered an internship in your selected career field. Upon enrollment, we’ll ask you to complete your own student profile within our online platform. Think of it as an online CV that does the work of finding an internship for you. Your profile will be shared with hundreds of host companies in our network looking for interns like yourself. Once a company shows interest, you’ll be asked to book an interview.
Remember, your assigned Intern Experience Manager will guide you step-by-step along the way!
Am I guaranteed an internship in my Location preferences?
During the placement process we will attempt to get you a placement in your first choice location and move to the second & third choices after all options are exhausted.
To find the best fit in your Career FIeld, we would encourage you to select one of the broader options such as “open to all opportunities worldwide” or “open in all opportunities in [a continent]” . This will increase the likelihood of being matched with an internship that is more specific to your requirements.
How do you select Host Companies?
Virtual Internships’ host companies are selected in line with our host company policy and procedures. To ensure all participants receive the best internship experience, all host companies must:
- Must be a registered business
- Have a project-based internship model with a developed placement information plan for interns, with major tasks and projects outlined prior to start date.
- Have an English-speaking supervisor assigned to the intern.
- Review Virtual Internships’ advice for successful online internships.
Host companies can hire 1+ interns at their company depending on need, career fields, and company size. When working with a company to place a student, a Project Placement Plan (job description) is created and the student’s skills, career field interest, and company needs are taken into account.
Currently we have over 7000 engaged host companies with over 8000 different project placement plans. Our host companies come from over 80 different countries, with 15% of supervisors holding titles of CEO or Founder.
What kind of companies do we work with?
We work with a whole range of companies- over 7,000 currently. Many are exciting small and medium-sized enterprises, some are entrepreneurial startups and others are large, international companies.
At the end of your application process, we’ll show you an example host company in our network that is a good preliminary match for you!
What if I don’t like the company you’ve matched me with?
We will always present the best available internship that most closely matches the preferences you outlined in your application, therefore we encourage you to share your future career goals and the necessary skills you will need to get there during the application process. Prior to placement confirmation host companies require a virtual interview allowing you to learn more about the opportunity and the host company to understand how your skills and experiences align with their needs.
During the matching process, we follow a ‘linear placement process’ meaning that you are only introduced to one company at a time, and should you decide to decline the offer, that opportunity will be off the table.
At no point should you expect to view 2 or more placement opportunities at one time, but will always be looking at each opportunity linearly.
How soon can I start an internship?
We ask that you enroll in the program at least 6 weeks prior to your preferred start date. It will normally take us 2-5 weeks to match you with a host company and to prepare you for the internship. If your requirements are very specific it may take longer, and we will advise you of that. We encourage applications as early as possible.
How long does the placement last?
You can select the duration and hours per week that suit your preference. The placement can be 1, 2, 3 or 4 months with 10, 20, or 30 hours per week. The only requirement we enforce is that you must work a minimum of 120 hours total. For example, you can work 30 hours per week for 1 month, or 10 hours per week for 3 or 4 months. It’s your choice!
What are the costs for this service?
The standard price of the virtual internship program is 1,495 USD
Why is there a fee for this service?
Our Virtual Internship Program is a professional development, employability enrichment and upskilling program supported by a team of professionals and integrated with multiple technology solutions. The investments we’ve made in our team and program in turn allow you to have complete confidence in the investment you are making in your future.
Based on data from the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE), internship experience is the most important differentiating factor that employers look at when hiring entry level talent. Yet simultaneously, internship availability is down nearly 40% in the last 2 years. Ensuring you receive the best internship available while maximizing skills-gain and learning outcomes is where our expertise shines.
In addition to a guaranteed internship, our program includes support by VI’s trained Intern Experience Managers, coaching from experienced Intern Coaches and access to our online professional development hub, Careerbridge. There are also ongoing employability webinars featuring expert speakers, and great networking opportunities to ensure you maximise your potential.
Furthermore, if you’re not happy with the first company you match with, you can speak to your intern experience manager about alternatives. The final payment installment is only payable when you accept your match.
Does the program mean I’m eligible for a visa?
Unfortunately no. Because the internship is remote, however, you can do it from anywhere – so you can complete the program from a location where you have eligibility to work.
If your virtual internship led to the company offering you a position, you can ask them to consider sponsoring your work visa at that point, however this is not guaranteed.
Can I get academic credit?
Yes – Virtual Internships works closely with a number of universities to assist those who wish to use our program to gain credit towards a university degree. It is your responsibility to discuss the procedure with your university but Virtual Internships will be happy to provide necessary documentation to support your application.
Interns are also able to gain academic credit, Saint Peter’s University. in Jersey City, New Jersey, to offer a U.S. transcript and award 3, 6, or 9 academic credits for our international internship programs. Credit awarded will be based on the successful completion of CareerBridge, proof of hours worked, reflective essay, and an evaluation from the student’s host company supervisor.