An internship is aimed at taking you to the next step career-wise, providing skills and experience which enhance your resume/CV and providing an introduction into a prospective career field. Remote internships can offer many potential benefits to your employability if you are prepared to work with some of the challenges. Before deciding if a remote internship, such as the Virtual International Internship program, is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:
Why am I doing this internship?
When thinking about your career plan, think of the top three reasons for doing an internship. If those reasons include gaining more experience in your sector, establishing connections in your field, working cross-culturally, and taking ownership over your own projects, then a remote internship may be for you.
However, if your main goals are to gain experience in a traditional office setting, travel for work, or immerse yourself physically in a new culture, then a remote internship may be more challenging. While these benefits are not impossible to gain from a remote internship, these are aspects typically found in a traditional in-person work environment.
How much time am I willing to commit?
One of the major benefits of a remote internship is the flexibility of being able to choose your weekly work hours (20 or 30), and thus, how much time you are committing to your Virtual International Internship. Since you don’t actually have to go into an office, you are free to work during your own time. This means, if needed, your remote internship schedule can fit around classes, other job commitments, or vacation – as long as you are very up front with your supervisor.
Our remote internships can last between 1-3 months, giving interns the freedom to choose their program duration. This is especially helpful for students who need to complete their internship prior to returning to university.
What is my ideal working style?
Remote internships promote independence and working autonomously, as your supervisor may not be available every second of every day to answer a question or check your work. With a remote internship, it is also important to consider that you may not have as much social interaction as an in-person experience. While private messaging, group chats, and company-wide Zoom calls can go a long way, many employees may feel that these do not substitute for that in-person banter around the coffee maker. If you are someone who can self-motivate, and can work well independently with less guidance, then a remote internship may be ideal for you.
Even if you don’t regard yourself as a strong self-motivator, or have never worked remotely before, consider if you would be up for the challenge of learning those skills in a remote work setting.
Do I have a workspace and suitable technology?
Remote internships require organization and time management, and from a practical sense, they also require you to have functioning technology and the space to operate. This does not mean you need to go upgrade to the newest and fanciest computer. Many times, I can be caught drafting work emails from my cell phone, but it does mean you need a stable Wi-Fi connection and should consider having a designated workspace (and plenty of coffee and tea, too).
What is geographically available to me?
Depending on your physical location, there may not be suitable in-person internship opportunities available at all times. If you are not located in a major city or business hub, your options may be limited, and even if you are in an ideal area for work opportunities, everyone may be competing for the same internships. So, how will you make your skills, knowledge, and resume/CV stand out? A remote internship allows you to gain real work experience from an international company, without needing to invest in spending several months abroad.
Ultimately, when seeking any work placement or internship opportunity, you need to consider why you are doing it and what are the most important factors for you. There are so many benefits to a remote internship, but there are also challenges. In order to most ensure a remote internship is right for you, consider the above questions, think about your career plans, and do your research. The more you know about the remote work landscape and opportunities that are of interest to you, the more prepared you will be for any challenges that may arise in your own remote work experiences.