Many students and professionals alike aim to set “New Year’s Resolutions”, which are typically their main goal or focus of the new year. Perhaps you’ve been wanting to get into the gym more and keep yourself healthier. Or, have you been saving up for a new car or new apartment, or want to make more effort to save money in 2021? Whatever your resolution, there is one common theme amongst many people’s goals in 2021: gain more professional experience, land their dream job, or even change careers.
When it comes to pursuing a professional goal, it all starts with having a plan and a solid foundation. An internship allows you to do just that – work towards your career goal by gaining relevant experience, skills, and learning the “real world” of the industry. If you’ve been waiting to begin your internship journey and are now ready to take the plunge in the new year, here are 5 reasons to intern virtually in 2021!
1. The world of work is changing
Chances are you’ve heard this repeated many times, but 2020 proved (among many other things) that a major shift in the world of business and work is upon us. The push towards certain profitable industries, public and private investment into certain sectors, and the widespread remote working landscape means that young professionals need to start getting their feet wet and undertaking career experience!
An internship is arguably the best way to begin exploring this new landscape of work, and understand how it’s influencing your field of study. If you’re interested in learning more about finance and understanding the major push towards financial technology, foreign investment, and the effects of 2020 on the global stock market, you should consider enrolling in a finance internship. The same goes for a field like IT, which was already a very remote-work-heavy field pre-2020, but is now showing the great possibilities of “working from anywhere” that exist for professionals within this rapidly developing field.
In short, partaking in an internship in any field will give you the best possible opportunity to view this changing landscape for yourself!
2. Intern anywhere, from anywhere
While many businesses have resumed their “normal” operations and have returned to their offices, in many parts of the world this is certainly not the case. As companies decide their capacity to host interns in the spring and summer of 2021 (and beyond), many companies have already made the decision to host their interns remotely. Virtual Internships partners with such companies, and this opportunity to work anywhere in the world, from anywhere in the world, is one that should not go unconsidered!
Think about getting to intern with a company in Germany, while you’re staying in your mountain house in Montana. Imagine sitting down at the table in your apartment in London, while you connect with your boss located in Singapore. Having a global working experience at your fingertips, without the need for costly travel or relocation, is an incredibly valuable opportunity and one of the main reasons why you should undertake a virtual internship in 2021.
3. Internationalize your resume/CV
Similar to point #2, imagine being able to work with a company from your bedroom or home office. Now, when you take this point further, you want to think about the incredible value of not only undertaking an international remote work opportunity for your self-growth but the value of adding this type of experience to your existing resume or CV.
More and more companies are citing international work experience as one of their benchmarks for assessing an applicant’s resume or CV. In some fields, it is even a requirement to have at least one international work opportunity outside of your home country. The way things are looking, this trend will only continue to become more common as the world continues to encourage international relations and exchange.
If you are someone who has completed an internship in your field, or maybe even several internships, the obvious next step for you is to take your skills internationally. Getting to experience your career field through the lens of an international company, and through the lens of a new culture, can afford you a myriad of new perspectives and insights. If you’ve already gained business experience in the UK, think about taking on a remote internship with a company in the US, China, Japan, Singapore, or Germany. After all, while all of these countries have incredibly strong business sectors, they all do business in their own unique way that’s worth experiencing for yourself!
4. Apply “theory” to the “real world”
One of the most cited benefits of a professional experience, such as an internship, is the opportunity to understand the “real world”. This is essentially learning how the industry of your field operates, how companies and professionals behave, communicate, negotiate, and collaborate. How do partnerships develop and remain strong? What happens when you’re faced with an unhappy client, when you need to work in a team, or when you’re given an important project and a very strict deadline? These are all aspects one would associate with the “real world” of business and industry.
As a student in university, many times the main focus of your education is the “theory” of your field. This can be described as learning the foundations and the best practices of your field through books, lectures, exams, and projects. An internship or other working experience helps to fill the void that many university programs have when it comes to applicable professional development experiences. If you’ve been studying marketing practices and creating mock marketing plans and strategies for several years in university, it’s time to take the next step in your career development by taking on an internship!
5. Pursue your own unique career pathway
Ever heard someone say that the road to success is not a straight line? If you asked a handful of long-time career professionals, it’s very likely that many of them are not working in the field they planned to be in 10, 20, or even 30 years ago. The truth is that as humans, we often follow unique paths towards the goals we set for ourselves. Some of these involve very linear pathways, and others are pathways that take lots of twists, turns, ups, and downs. All in all, an internship allows you an amazing opportunity to pursue your own unique career pathway by starting out with a strong foundation.
If you have a dream to become the leading IT engineer for a massive tech company, you need to start somewhere and begin working towards that goal. No company is going to hire someone without experience, so consider enrolling in an internship program to begin building up your portfolio of skills, experiences, and industry knowledge. Internships also allow you to network and meet new people in your industry, as you’ll likely work in teams with other interns, and under experienced professionals in the field who can help lead you towards your desired path. This mentorship aspect, and collaborating with others, are one of the hallmarks of a successful internship experience and the reason internships are so beneficial for personal and professional growth.
2020 was a year that impacted us all, for good and for bad, and 2021 should be the year that you aim to continue working towards your professional goals. If you’re ready to begin building the foundation towards your dream career, take the first big step in your journey by joining a virtual internship program for 2021!